In an interesting turn of events, Electronic Arts has cut a deal whereby they will become the new home to the UFC video gaming license. The deal sees former license holder THQ now out of the UFC picture, despite developing some very good UFC video games for a number of platforms.
The deal that EA has cut with the UFC is a multi-year exclusive deal that will give EA video game publishing rights on all platforms, including console and mobile. THQ will continue to market and sell its console and mobile UFC titles until March 31st, 2013.
It is believed that the first UFC title to come out of the EA stable will not arrive till 2014. While EA is still planning how it will attack the new UFC license, it is unknown if it will return to using some of what it had already created in its MMA title that was previously released when EA pulled the plug on the online server portion in April 2012.
UFC President Dana White (who had a minor running feud with EA after they rejected pitches from White to license the UFC for a video game title) now says that, “We’re excited to enter a new relationship with EA that will help us deepen our connection with fighting fans around the world.” It does sound like any bad blood has been forgotten and both sides are looking forward to growing the new franchise.
White also thanked THQ in a released statement, saying that they created some of the most critically-acclaimed sports video games of the console generation. As to why THQ was willing to let the UFC license go is still up in the air; from what we are hearing, it all comes down to money and the best use of it at THQ and, of course, some money has changed hands.