THQ may scrap annual UFC policy

After disappointing sales of 2010 game.

THQ may axe its policy of releasing a UFC game every year after the last game in the mixed martial arts simulation series sold fewer copies than expected.

Between April and June this year THQ shipped around 2.7 million units of UFC Undisputed 2010, down from the 3.5 million copies of last year's UFC 2009 Undisputed.

This combined with a lack of a big game to compare with sales of open world sci-fi actioner Red Faction: Guerrilla, to contribute towards a loss of $30.1 million for the quarter.

In the same quarter last year, THQ posted a $6.4 million gain, the publisher said during an investor call.

Sales for the quarter ended 30th June dropped 39 per cent to $149.4 million, from $243.5 million a year ago.

Red Faction: Armageddon will be released before March 2011.

THQ president and CEO Brian Farrell blamed "the competitive window" in which UFC Undisputed 2010 was released for its failure to "capture the broader gaming population," reports Kotaku.

"We're considering a longer development cycle - 15, 18, 21 months - rather than annually," Farrell said.

THQ confirmed plans to release a UFC game in its next fiscal year, which ends March 2012, casting doubt on the release of a UFC title in 2011.

"The question is timing. That depends on the scope of the game, the window and how we want to release the game."

Selling "2.7 million units in a single quarter is still a top franchise," Farrell said.

"We think there's a lot of growth still to be had with the UFC franchise over the next several years."

We liked UFC 2010 Undisputed quite a bit, awarding it an impressive 8/10 in our May review.

Elsewhere, THQ said it expects Ninja Gaiden creator Tomonobu Itagaki's next game, Devil's Third, to be released on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 as late as 31st March 2013.

Yes, 2013.

Itagaki's new game - Devil's Third

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