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

Tuesday, June 5th 2012. | Games News

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.

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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