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EA picks up coveted UFC brand from THQ

Electronic Arts has entered into an exclusive multi-year agreement to publish games based on the UFC mixed martial arts league, with former publisher THQ receiving an undisclosed sum to end its agreement.
Electronic Arts has entered into an exclusive multi-year agreement with the UFC to publish video games based on its mixed martial arts league. The agreement follows a previous partnership with troubled publisher THQ, which has exclusively published UFC games since 2009. "We share UFC's passion for the sport," said EA Sports head Andrew Wilson in a statement on Monday. The quote is particularly interesting as, allegedly, a previous UFC-EA partnership attempt fell apart when the company told UFC president Dana White "You're not a real sport." The UFC franchise has been an important one for THQ. Sales of the last incarnation, UFC Undisputed 3, provided a bright spot in an otherwise dark quarter. As part of the transition, an undisclosed cash payment was provided to THQ to end its exclusive partnership. In a statement, THQ chairman and CEO Brian FArrell said that the transition "made sense to all parties," citing THQ's current strategy of focusing on its core IP. Gamasutra is reporting live from E3 all week long.

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