THQ Happy Not To Be In EA's MMA Position, Thank You

Publisher THQ may have had a rough 2008, but its 2009 is shaping up nicely, thanks in part to UFC 2009 Undisputed. That's likely one of the reasons THQ's Paul Pucino seems so pleased with its mixed martial arts position.

Pucino, speaking at today's Pacific Crest Securities Technology Leadership Forum, shrugged off worries about MMA competition from EA Sports. When asked about THQ's competitors in the space, Pucino seemed hardly concerned with what EA Sports MMA might have to offer.

"There's one premiere league here, and it's the UFC," Pucino said, saying its contract with the premiere MMA league naturally comes with the top tier fighting talent. "We have the octagon, and we have the announcers. We'd rather be in our position than any other position."

That's hard to argue with, as is the potential for yearly installments of THQ's fighter to grow. Pucino pointed out that 75 per cent of the revenues it pulled in from UFC 2009 Undisputed were from the United States, the rest coming from Europe. The CFO says that its WWE games were traditionally a "a 50/50 split" between the regions, a clear sign that UFC has room to grow internationally.

The publisher has already said it plans to expand its UFC offerings in the future, targeting releases on the Wii and portable game platforms.


    It's certainly good for THQ to have that affiliation with UFC, but I think what they delivered, so this is more levelled at yukes really, while a somewhat fun game doesn't have much lasting entertainment value.

    You can barely tell the difference with fighters beyond style (boxing, kickboxing, muay thai) and the ground game seemed poorly executed to me.

    UFC has alot of big names, but it sounds like Dana White will probably shun the idea of including non UFC fighters in any future titles given his thread of blacklisting any fighters who appear in the EA offering. UFC also doesn't, to the best of my knowledge, have any female fighters, a market I'm sure EA will be only too happy to corner, and with Gina Carano already in the gamer consciousness thanks to Red Alert 3, it probably wouldn't be a bad move.

    Basically what it comes down to is this, The UFC deal is going to be good for them, but there's alot more out there that isn't covered by it, and I believe whichever company makes the better game will have the greater success, particularly in future years.

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