THQ is reporting that sales were off 38% and this translates into a $30+ million dollar loss for the software publisher. This time last year the company was toasting the fact that the UFC franchise had sold so well; and this year it is a different story.
The company had pinned much of their hopes on replicating the same success that they had last time out with UFC Undisputed 2009. This time around, however, UFC Undisputed 2010 didn’t deliver the kind of numbers that the publisher expected. Our sources tell us that the sales of the 2010 installment could be as little as 2.7 million copies sold.
Sources tell us that while the company says that they captured the core audience for the title with the 2010 release, it just didn’t capture the impulse buys this time around that the title received last time out, and this translated into lower than expected sales. Not only was THQ caught out by the unexpected slow sales of UFC 2010, retailers also were, with many of them heavily discounting the title earlier than expected in an attempt to try to stimulate sales.
UFC 2010 was not the only title that didn’t do as well as expected; Red Faction: Guerilla didn’t exactly sell as well as was predicted. THQ has a number of high-profile titles on the slate for 2011, but those will not come soon enough. In the meantime, THQ will tighten its belt and continue to push its investment in the online space, as well as upcoming titles for Microsoft Kinect and Sony PlayStation Move, in addition to planned development for the Nintendo 3DS.
In the longer term, sources tell us that THQ is still dedicated to the UFC franchise, but will be a bit more guarded in their sales numbers next time out. In the meanwhile, the company is already planning to turn up the volume with their next release, as they are feeling pressure from an upcoming Electronic Arts MMA title to be released later this year. Still, some sources are suggesting that the company might choose not to release yearly UFC titles, but instead go to a less aggressive, every-other-year release schedule.