THQ has filed a lawsuit against and Zuffa (parent company of UFC), alleging that that the publisher lost the UFC license after EA “submitted confidential information to Zuffa.”
EA had originally made a bid for the license in 2006, but Zuffa thought EA’s offer was low, not to mention that EA had previously made comments related to MMA that Dana White took offense to.
According to Games Industry International, THQ would then nab the license and publish UFC: Undisputed 2009, which not only sold well, but received positive reviews. Meanwhile, EA would eventually get into the game anyway, with the release of EA Sports MMA, which was more generic but featured fighters like Randy Couture and Fedor Emelianenko, among others that weren’t tied to the UFC.
Unfortunately for THQ, the company was having major financial issues and submitted some information about the company to EA in December 2011, according to court documents, including projected figures for various projects and sales information for UFC: Undisputed 2009. EA would then withdraw its interest in buying out the company.
“On information and belief, EA communicated THQ’s internal financial information and projections to Zuffa,” the suit says, accusing EA and Zuffa of working together on a way to get out of the existing license with THQ.
THQ estimates that at the time, the UFC license was worth approximately $20 million, though they ended up taking a $10 million settlement fee and was contractually obligated to congratulate EA on getting the license.