THQ sues EA over UFC license

THQ says it's owed the UFC license from EA.


EA Sports UFC
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New court documents (via Polygon) have shown that EA was, at one point, talking about purchasing now-defunct publisher THQ.

The once-considered deal was unearthed as part of THQ suing EA and UFC parent company Zuffa over a claimed fraudulent transfer regarding the video game license to the popular MMA league.

THQ, who made UFC games between 2009 and 2012, alleges EA used information obtained when it was discussing the sale of the company to undermine the publisher's position with Zuffa, with EA later purchasing the rights to the UFC, and Zuffa paying THQ $10m 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 then that THQ 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.

As part of negotiations, THQ claims 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 broke down, THQ claims Zuffa began threatening to break its contract because of the publisher's financial situation. "On information and belief, EA communicated THQ's internal financial information and projections to Zuffa," alleges THQ.

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

THQ concludes by saying it is owed the franchise rights to the UFC, or their financial value. The defunct publisher also says it's owed the interest on the UFC from September 2013.

EA Sports UFC is due for release on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 in 2014.

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