The lights are on
When EA announced that it had acquired the UFC license at its EA press conference, many wondered how it had wrangled it away from THQ, which held the rights to video games based on the popular mixed martial arts league.
According to game industry analyst Michael Pachter of Wedbush Morgan, key executives at the company told him that THQ voluntarily sold its exclusive license to EA after its recent UFC 3 failed to break even. The game did not sell in excess of 2 million copies, the number that was required to be profitable for THQ.
This move was part of a broader strategy by THQ to emphasize profitability on every title it releases. In recent months, the company has made several drastic business moves, including a couple of rounds of significant layoffs, letting go of president Danny Bilson and hiring Naughty Dog co-founder Jason Rubin to take his place.