THQ's San Diego studio in upheaval as UFC goes to EA

E3 2012: Publisher confirms WWE All-Star studio cuts as Electronic Arts rolls out multiyear, multiproduct deal for fighting league; THQ given undisclosed sum for license.

LOS ANGELES--THQ has tapped out of the mixed martial arts genre, giving the UFC license to Electronic Arts and laying off people at its San Diego studio in the process.

EA and UFC have teamed up.

During Electronic Arts' 2012 Electronic Entertainment Expo media briefing this afternoon, the company announced an exclusive multiyear, multiproduct partnership with the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

No mention was made when the first game in the partnership will see release or on which platforms. UFC president Dana White claimed the UFC is the fastest-growing sport in the world, noting that today's partnership with EA is a "huge day for the UFC."

Following EA's announcement today, UFC Undisputed series publisher THQ revealed that its agreement with EA results in an undisclosed cash payment to THQ. On top of this, THQ will continue to publish existing UFC console and mobile titles through March 31, 2013.

THQ confirmed the San Diego layoffs separately, saying, "THQ confirms that today's announcement regarding the UFC license transition will affect the company's San Diego studio. THQ is working closely with those relevant staff to either find possible employment within the company, or potentially with EA."

THQ San Diego is best known as the developer of WWE All-Stars. The studio was acquired from Midway after that publisher went bankrupt. Prior to that, it had worked on TNA Impact! Wrestling.

For more on the announcements made during E3's 2012 media briefing, check out GameSpot's coverage of the event.

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Discussion

29 comments
Zulu1Tango
Zulu1Tango

Most Gamers here are on the right track, but a few of you are just RETARDED. THQ did make very good UFC games, as a matter of fact UFC 3 was thier best work yet! Why? Because they learned and adapted to the sport of MMA, took positive feedback and knew what new things to implement. EA always gets criticized for releasing "annual versions" without much improvment of just about everything they own. For the most part, it's true. HOPEFULLY, the control freak Dana White is, doesn't allow that to happen. I love the sport of MMA and I'm happy to see it finally hit the spotlight and PRAY that EA makes a legit game...not just another "franchise cow" to milk every year. Guess we will find out...

raziel2kain
raziel2kain

i think at this time of global crisis, the whole gaming industry needs 10-12 strong publishers to handle all the entertainment.

raziel2kain
raziel2kain

selling ufc was a correct decision. sure ea is a better company to advertise sports games. i think at this time, thq should focus just on a few money-making franchise to survive. "devil third" as an example, does not seem to be profitable. long time development with a jap director and nothing to show at e3 since 2010! what the hell are they doing?

madden75
madden75

I think this could actually be great for UFC video games, as EA is arguably the best sports sim publisher, and they now have three iterations (which had their bright spots and their flaws) to model a better game after.

PixelAddict
PixelAddict

EA may not be the answer, but THQ was definitely a wrong answer, too.

 

Only thing good out of that company is the Metro series.  There, I said it.

G1Ga-B1T3
G1Ga-B1T3

When it get's to the point where I can no longer actively avoid, or wait out EA's pricing structures, is when I will stop playing all together. Hell, there are plenty of other hobbies out there.

o016945
o016945

This industry isn't going to be happy until every game we buy has an EA or Activision logo on it. Yes gamers, keep supporting it. It's where it is going.

leimonides
leimonides

@Nathalmighty1 I don't know the quality of the prior games as such games are not of my interest, however, that was rather rude of him to say. No professional politeness, it seams, was warrented, in his perspective. Why "finally EA", anyway? Is it only because they have a huge sports catalog and think the sport will take off just because of it?

Nathalmighty1
Nathalmighty1

I thought it was quite harsh in the conference how the guy was like "finally get to work with ea" when THQ had worked hard and released great games for the UFC. As @tigertaru said before me "enjoy mediocre anual re-releases" now that your working with EA.

tigertaru
tigertaru

Hope you UFC fans enjoy mediocre annual re-releases.....

MaxCadillac
MaxCadillac

Dana White....  Bwhahahahahahahahaha!

EPaul
EPaul

Microsoft should buy THQ but they no longer care about games .

pszone
pszone

I havent seen WWE Game looks like its dead and since the manger thq left and ex naughty dog step as manger of thq sell the ufc licence to the worst game company of 212 EA Games. Know thq need to keep sanits Row series and get rid of homfront and insane project and make new games what work for thq. To me i dont think darksiders 2 will sell or metro 2.

Foppe
Foppe

Hopefully this means that THQ will survive.

mccanehd
mccanehd

You do realize that San Diego made the All Stars game for the WWE, they have nothing to do with UFC, that game was developed by Yukes.

johnny_pay
johnny_pay

sounds like a good business plan to me. if you cant beat the competition, buy them!

TheCyborgNinja
TheCyborgNinja

I love how Dana White "declared war" on EA, and now he's on their royalty payroll.

X-RS
X-RS

Should be enoguh to make Devil's Third >_>

TruthTellers
TruthTellers

Oh, EA. You just can't help buying the rights to make every major sports franchise game.

MJ12-Conspiracy
MJ12-Conspiracy

I just wonder what EA is going to do with the UFC franchise because if I remember they had such an issue publishing a MMA game then it finally came out and got middling reviews and didn't sell as much as they hoped so if the first AE published UFC game can't top their MMA game maybe this wasn't the big day for UFC after all.......

Not trying to troll or anything just pointing that out......

raziel2kain
raziel2kain

 @o016945 but 2k, ubisoft, warner bros, capcom, square enix and some others are working well.

vidar77
vidar77

 @leimonides  @Nathalmighty1 As far as the "finally, EA" comment, a few years back when they wanted to make the first Undisputed game, they approached EA Sports first, and they turned him down. That's when THQ picked it up. And the sport has already taken off. But I agree, the comment wasn't very professional, THQ has done alright for the UFC. And I really hope we don't get watered down annual releases. 

raziel2kain
raziel2kain

 @EPaul i think, apart from saints row, other thq franchise are not that much profitable to be exclusives just for one console. don't you think? i guess you are a fan of xbox, isn't it?

raziel2kain
raziel2kain

 @Foppe or maybe not. apart from saints row, what profitable franchise remained for them? maybe they decide to delete themselves gradually!

PumpkinBoogie
PumpkinBoogie

 @Foppe Hmm, can't say I feel deep down if that'll really be the case....

 

That UFC franchise was about one of the only few chips THQ had in its stack that gave them still bit of value and credibility. Seeing them chucking over UFC doesn't exactly give me a positive feeling as to their current situation, but who knows....I hope I'm proven wrong and this move helps them out. 

NuDimon
NuDimon

 @TruthTellers It's more like THQ needed some financial help to increase the risk of not going bankrupt...

beast70
beast70

 @PumpkinBoogie

 really? what about saints row,company of heroes,dawn of war,metro.....COH is there highest rated game. so they still some damn good chips in there stack.

PumpkinBoogie
PumpkinBoogie

 @beast70 I don't disagree w/ what you're saying, either, and like I said sure this COULD be a benefit for them to get some much needed extra funds. But make no bones that was a pretty hefty chip to throw in. It's only a good gamble if they don't end up having to 'throw in' anymore chips (aka franchises) in the months and years to come. 

 

It's not like a move like this has instantly taken THQ out of a borderline danger zone. Only time will tell....