THQ Sues EA Over UFC License

According to new court documents unearthed by Polygon, THQ is suing both EA and Zuffa over the UFC game license. THQ alleges that EA used information obtained when it was discussing a sale of the company to undermine the publisher's position with Zuffa. EA would later purchase the rights to the UFC game franchise and Zuffa paid THQ $10 million to terminate its contract with THQ early.

"Throughout 2011, THQ's financial fortunes continued to decline," argues THQ's court documentation. "By the end of November 2011, THQ projected that it would run out of capital within several months and thereafter be unable to support its major pipeline projects, including the next games in the UFC franchise."

It was following these events that THQ claims it looked into "alternatives", including the idea of selling the company.

"EA was a logical party to approach, given its indications of interest in the UFC franchise," THQ alleges.

THQ claims that during discussion with EA it disclosed its financial situation regarding the UFC series to EA.

"In early December 2011, EA and THQ discussed a potential sale of THQ as a whole to EA. THQ provided EA internal financial information, including detailed sales and revenue figures for the UFC franchise, and projected marketing expenditures on the next UFC franchise game."

"After a December 12, high level meeting, several discussions, and a review of management projections, EA broke off negotiations, professing disinterest."

After the deal with EA fell through, THQ claims that Zuffa began threatening to break its contract because of the publisher's financial situation that was communicated by EA.

"On information and belief, EA communicated THQ's internal financial information and projections to Zuffa," alleges THQ.

THQ goes onto to say that EA "wanted to acquire only the choicest portions of THQ rather than commit to the company as a whole as a strategic acquirer."

The company concludes its court filing by saying that it is owed the franchise rights to the UFC, or their financial value. The now-defunct publisher also says it's owed the interest on the UFC from September 2013.

EA's version of the game, EA Sports UFC, is due for release on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 in 2014.

You can read the court documents here (PDF).

Update: We've updated the story with proper attribution to its original source.

Source: Polygon by way of GameSpot

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