EA and UFC sign multi-year, multi-product deal

EA announced at its E3 press conference todaythat it has picked up the license for mixed martial arts promotion UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship).

Until now, THQ had held the UFC license and developed four games based on it, one being a fitness game. The latest, UFC Undispted 3, was released in February.

Despite critical and commercial success, THQ decided to drop the license in an effort to build a more focused strategy” around original core games IP. We’ve relished our relationship with UFC over the last several years and believe that the UFC gaming brand is in great shape,” outgoing THQ president Brian Farrell had said.

The EA-UFC deal comes as a surprise, considering UFC president Dana White’s past comments about the publisher. "EA doesn’t give a [expletive] about mixed martial arts," he had said on learning that EA was set to release EA Sports MMA, a rival to THQ’s UFC Undisputed franchise at the time.

While Dana White did take the stage with EA Sports’ Andrew Wilson at the press conference, the publisher didn’t announce any games based on the UFC license.

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