THQ may spike yearly UFC releases

Following slipping 2010 sales of MMA fighter, publisher says new franchise installments could come every 15 to 21 months.

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THQ had a bona fide hit on its hands last year with UFC Undisputed 2009, its first foray into the nascent mixed martial arts genre. The in-the-Octagon brawler delivered a one-two combo of solid reviews and sales that exceeded 3.5 million units. Into 2010, UFC already appeared to be sagging, and THQ said yesterday as part of its anemic April-June earnings report that this year's installment shipped--not sold--a markedly lower 2.7 million units.

UFC 2010 apparently needed more than just an ice pack to keep fighting.

To get its fighter back on track, it appears as if THQ will be taking the classic approach of simply spending more time training. As part of the company's postearnings conference call with analysts and investors yesterday, THQ chairman and president Brian Farrell said that the studio in part attributed UFC 2010's sales decline to the length of time between franchise installments. And while he reiterated that a new UFC title will be available next year, a 12-month release cycle may not be in the cards going forward.

"Yes, we will have a UFC title in fiscal '12," he said. "The question is timing, as I said. Could it be 15, 18, 21 months. That depends on both the scope of the game, the window, and how we want to release that game. So as I said in my prepared remarks, we thought maybe a 12 month cycle might be a little quick but it will be somewhere around 18 months, give or take a few months."

Currently, THQ plans to launch two more UFC-branded titles in the near future. The first will be a scaled-down version of UFC 2010 for the PSP, which is slated to arrive on September 7. Ushering in the New Year on January 1, the publisher plans to wade into the fitness genre with UFC Trainer, which will be compatible with Kinect for the Xbox 360, Move for the PlayStation 3, and the Wii.

Discussion

28 comments
kenshin152
kenshin152

maybe if the online play was better the game would be doing better. i'm downloading the ea mma demo now.

MadGamer132
MadGamer132

there is a lesson learned and it could be the "ea threat" i think? hopefully they'll have the a "new" edition of the "undisputed" series real soon, but i'll still try the ea game if i want to.

Fleshtrap666
Fleshtrap666

@onique I pay 60 bucks a month for my internet service. I pay 50 bucks a year for my Xbox live. God only knows how much I spend on DLC. And yes I spend the $64 on tons of brand new games. You have no right to tell me what to do with my money, or call me the same as a "Pirate" that blatantly steals games, just because I want to save a few bucks. In the end we are the ones paying for these games, when I have bills to pay yet I still spare what cash I can to buy games and try to have fun. I have never modded, or played a burnt 360 game in my life. Now I hear that they are trying to squeeze even more money out of me because I wanted to save a few dollars...please.

GAMERVeiwer
GAMERVeiwer

all they needed to do was make a tap button submission system..how hard is that honestly ? and why not add mini games for strength,Speed,Cardio like for speed use speed ball punching,cardio have a mini game running program,strength a mini game bench press.. its like sooOO easy to to add these little tweeks.

setuwa
setuwa

@jonzilla_basic it depends on the game preferably, and also what content they update on. Like for example Fifa 11 compared to fifa 10 which is going to be updated to make the game more multiplayer friendly.

jonzilla_basic
jonzilla_basic

yearly releases are so stupid. usually it's a 60.00 update from the previous year.

xthabeast
xthabeast

UFC 2010 sucks. Its so irritating that they don't have an anti knockout minigame just like Fight night. They also don't last very long which is annoying.

grasshopper6
grasshopper6

UFC trainer hmmmmm that should be good ... hopefully

chrispicard
chrispicard

18 months? still too soon. 24 minimum!

King_Gamer19
King_Gamer19

They need to do one every other year that simple

holenjd
holenjd

Two words, Brand Fatigue.

protoroc
protoroc

@onique Your not supporting the developers, games are purchased by retailers, if it doesn't sell the retailer takes the hit not the publisher. Developers get paid whether you buy the game or not.

dynasty50
dynasty50

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Doolz2024
Doolz2024

Better to take more time to make a better game than to rush one out. People won't mind waiting if the end result is a good game to play.

Maverick2448
Maverick2448

Good idea on their part. Maybe EA sports needs to think along the same lines. With games being as complex as they are now it just doesn't make sense to release a new game every year. As Madden has shown us, the less then 12 month developement cycle just doesn't add up to much in the way of new features and improved gameplay. Plus now you have the ability to add or change things via DLC. It just makes more sense to put new games out every other year.

HankMardukas
HankMardukas

Don't know why they continue to make WWE SvR games every year then. They hardly ever improve plus WWE in general has dropped off in popularity.

HankMardukas
HankMardukas

UFC 2009 sucked compared to 2010. They added enough stuff for a new buy but alot of fans prob didn't know everything it has but NOW we can just get DLC. I can play 2010 for a while longer but 2009 was boring. The juking alone made the game so much better. Plus the cage work and better clinches and more strikes.

mrzero1982pt2
mrzero1982pt2

does this mean there will be more dlc instead? i had nothing wrong with 2009, just add more fighters, but this one... maybe this will show people just add more fighters, make a few tweaks with updates.

onique
onique

"Fleshtrap666 I refuse to buy any game that will charge me to play online if i buy it used, the end." That is a horrible excuse. You don't support the development buying it used. Honestly you're just as bad as a pirate in the sense that none of your money goes to the developers. Keep on making gamestop(insertotherusedgamestore) bigger. Do you think servers sustain themselves?

TrapMuzik92
TrapMuzik92

Maybe if THQ knew how to fix online play then it would sell.

Torque203
Torque203

that sounds good, i hate that about sports games. get the same one every year just a little nothing new added every time.

JLMRacing
JLMRacing

maybe if the game wasnt barely playable online, the sales would be better.......and oh yeah drop gamespy...

Fleshtrap666
Fleshtrap666

I refuse to buy any game that will charge me to play online if i buy it used, the end.

ThePRGod
ThePRGod

Good. I was worried they would make UFC Undisputed irrelevant like they did with WWE Smackdown vs Raw (which has changed almost nothing in a long time)

stickman699
stickman699

maybe 15 months will give them time to polish their UI and menus.