A trailer of Dana White taking to the stage and speaking about the deal has been added below.Original Story:
In one of the biggest shocks of the day so far, UFC President, Dana White took to the stage during the EA press conference to announce a multi-year deal that will see EA Sports develop and publish future UFC titles.
In 2010, EA's EA SPORTS MMA
went head to head with the THQ's UFC Undisputed 2010
, sparking a war of words between EA and the UFC. White said at the time that they approached EA in the past with regards to them developing a UFC game, and EA turned down the chance. He even stated at the time that any fighter who appeared in EA Sports MMA
would be blacklisted from the UFC.
EA Sports told us, 'You're not a real sport,' we wouldn't touch this thing. We want nothing to do with this. EA doesn't give a [expletive] about mixed martial arts. They made that very clear.
THQ have released three UFC titles in as many years. The last and arguably the best being UFC Undisputed 3
, released only four months ago. The publisher had this to say regarding the new deal:
THQ Inc. (NASDAQ: THQI) and Zuffa, LLC, today announced that they have reached an agreement resulting in Zuffa licensing to Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: EA) the right to publish videogames based on the Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC®) brand, effective today. The agreement results in an undisclosed cash payment to THQ. Additionally, THQ will continue to publish its existing console and mobile titles through March 31, 2013.
Over the last three years, THQ has delivered best-in-class, all-encompassing experiences to MMA fans, sports enthusiasts and fighting gamers around the globe with its UFC Undisputed™ series. We want to thank them for their stewardship of our brand," said Dana White, President, UFC. “We look forward to joining forces with EA to leverage their sports platform, and expand our brand in the video game space.
We have relished our relationship with UFC over the last several years and believe that the UFC gaming brand is in great shape. THQ’s more focused strategy moving forward meant that transferring the license to EA made sense to all parties. We would like to thank UFC for their great support and partnership and wish EA all the best moving forward.
As pointed out in THQ's statement, the deal seems to benefit all parties involved. White noted whilst on stage that with EA they will be able to distribute future UFC games to "all 175 countries, 22 languages and over half a billion homes worldwide... Now all these people will now finally be able to get the UFC video game."
No new game announcements were made, but with EA Sports MMA
's online servers being closed
earlier this year, it would be fair to say they will be eager get a new title out soon.