EA steals UFC license in multi-year, multi-product deal

"Happy to be here, finally," quips UFC president Dana White.

They aren't arguing any more - EA has wrestled the UFC license from struggling publisher THQ in a multi-year, multi-product deal.

EA Sports boss Andrew Wilson announced the deal by welcoming UFC president Dana White on stage at E3 today.

"Happy to be here - finally," quipped White, referencing the public PR spat he and then-EA Sports boss Peter Moore engaged in.

"We're thrilled to finally be working together," said Wilson.

"That makes two of us," added White.

The spat concerned UFC apparently approaching EA years ago, but being turned down. UFC signed with THQ, and then EA waded in with its own MMA game. Cue PR back and forth about whose game was best and which had the best licensed fighters.

The answer to that now seems apparent.

No specific EA UFC game was announced.

The transition of the UFC rights means an undisclosed cash payment paid to THQ. THQ will continue to publish its existing console and mobile titles through 31st March 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," White said in a statement. "We want to thank them for their stewardship of our brand. We look forward to joining forces with EA to leverage their sports platform, and expand our brand in the video game space."

THQ boss Brian Farrell added: "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."

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Robert Purchese

Robert Purchese

Senior Staff Writer

Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.


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