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EA Sports has managed to snag another major sports license. They've entered into a multi-year contract with Zuffa LLC to create several video games based on Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Rival publisher THQ previously had the exclusive rights to create UFC games on all platforms. Back in 2010, THQ extended their agreement with Zuffa through 2018. However, it sounds like THQ sold the license to EA.
"We’ve 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,” said THQ CEO Brian Farrell. "We’d like to thank the UFC for their great support and partnership and wish EA all the best moving forward."
The road to this agreement between EA and UFC was long and bumpy. Years back, UFC president Dana White supposedly approached EA about making a game and was turned down. They then went to THQ to make UFC 2009 Undisputed. That game's commercial success led EA to enter the MMA market with their own game, EA Sports MMA. That game is said to been a commercial flop, perhaps convincing EA of the need to attain the UFC license.
"We’d like to thank THQ for creating some of the most critically-acclaimed sports videogames of this console generation, and we’re excited to enter a new relationship with EA that will help us deepen our connection with fighting fans around the world," said UFC President Dana White. "There’s no one better at creating authentic sports videogames than EA SPORTS, and we’re excited to have a partner who shares our vision of deep, connected and multi-platform global game experiences."