According to Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter, THQ sold the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) license to Electronic Arts because its latest game based on it did not meet expectations. Pachter claims that THQ management told him that UFC Undisputed 3, released for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in February, didn't even hit the break-even mark of 2 million copies sold.
While the latest game did very well in February, THQ was not happy with the end result. Add to that the fact that the 2010 edition of the game underperformed and you can see why THQ decided to give up on the franchise.
While EA benefited from THQ's bad luck with the license, the San Diego studio responsible for the games was shut down earlier this week and all of its employees were laid off.
Moving ahead THQ will focus more on fewer titles and will put an emphasis on AAA titles that don't cost as much to develop such as Obsidian's South Park: The Stick of Truth, which will be released in March 2013. THQ also intends to enter the free-to-play market.
The one thing fight fans should be concerned about is what THQ plans to do with the WWE license, though we assume the WWE titles continue to sell well.