Games based on Ultimate Fighting Championship are set to make a return following a deal between THQ and Zuffa.THQ, which presently publishes WWE games, has won the rights to publish UFC titles through 2011. In a press statement today, THQ said that Spike TV’s The Ultimate Fighter, now in its fifth series, “regularly enjoys ratings higher than the NBA, NHL, and NASCAR” in the young male demographic.
Kelly Flock, executive vice president of worldwide publishing at THQ said, “The UFC brand has seen tremendous growth in recent years with wild popularity among the core gaming demographic. This relationship serves as an extraordinary addition to THQ’s world-class license portfolio as we continue to expand our competitive sports offering.”
The UFC organization produces approximately 10 live pay-per-view events annually that are distributed through cable and satellite providers. UFC has been used as a game licence before, but generally by low-cost publishers like Crave and Global Star.
With the talk last year of a splitting of camps between THQ and the WWE over publishing disputes in Japan, the signing of this deal is interesting as it could be a signifier that THQ are getting a new franchise on their books to cover for the possible lose of the WWE license.