Despite not actually really existing anymore, THQ has decided to sue EA and the UFC – for what amounts to collusion. If you’ll recall, EA purchased the licence to make UFC games from THQ while that company was collapsing.
It’s alleged that EA and UFC’s parent company Zuffa collaborated and colluded to force THQ to sell the licence to produce UFC games to EA. The complaint suggests that at one point, EA was in discussions to acquire THQ, and used their inside knowledge on THQ’s finances to make the deal happen.
The UFC wanted out of its contract with THQ all the way back in 2011, based on THQ’s ever-worsening financial difficulties. THQ though, believes that EA “informed Zuffa of THQ’s perilous financial condition and expressed interest in acquiring the UFC franchise directly from Zuffa, causing Zuffa to threaten termination of the UFC license.”
Zuffa ended up paying THQ $10 million to terminate their agreement and transfer the licence to EA – and according to the complaint, THQ believes that UFC was worth at least $20 million. And they want the rest of their money. They believe the transfer was illegal, and want the whole deal nixed. They want their IP back (or what they believe is the monetary value of that IP) and damages of alt least $10 million. They also want EA’s slice of UFC profits.
EA’s yet to release a game based on the licence; EA Sports UFC is coming to Xbox One and PlayStation 4 next year.
“We believe these claims are without merit,” an EA spokesperson told Polygon.
THQ no longer exists as a publisher – but it still exists as a company, because many people still want to extract money from its corpse. Do you think EA’s been underhanded in acquiring the licence? That wouldn’t surprise me in the least – and these are some pretty seriously allegations. It could, however, also be THQ trying to drum up as much money as it can to pay back all those debts.