They even list a number of causes for a slow pickup to this year's UFC title: Red Dead Redemption, the economy, VAT, iPad, the World Cup...
Yeah UFC Undisputed 2010 was really against alright - it seems the whole world conspired to keep the fighting franchise down and out - if you go by THQ's words. "We've had Red Dead Redemption released one week before us and that sucked, to-date, probably three quarters of a million units from the market," said THQ marketing head Jon Rooke.
"The economy is still in decline - we haven't come out of recession yet, with VAT set to go up and the government looking for 40 per cent budget cuts... people are nervous about spending." Even Apple and FIFA wronged the underdog fighting brand.
"There was that macro-setting, plus we were around the World Cup, which takes out a lot of consumer spending as well. You could even put into there the iPad launch as being on the same weekend - so a lot of things are coming on to it," continued Rooke.
Despite all the hurdles though THQ solidly believe in UFC. "We know from 2009 that the brand has massive long legs," he said. "Last Christmas we were still selling a lot of units across Europe per week, a good seven or eight months after the game came out."
"We're seeing the sales for 2010 settle down to a good, steady pace and we're working that stock through the channels with our partners - and we've got a lot of stuff to come from UFC as well."
"We've got great brand awareness among that UFC consumer, and we know they're going to come to the brand - we know they're going to come to purchase. But it was just that a number of factors - predominantly Red Dead Redemption sucked so much cash out of the market." A huge open-world cowboy action romp - who could duel that?
"When Red Dead had shipped about 5 million we'd shipped about 2.6 million units of UFC globally - so it's still a massively successful game... just that the expectations might have been that little bit more. You have to step back a bit and recognise that."
"We're absolutely not walking away from the brand - we've got a long term commitment to it as we've shown with things like UFC Trainer, and it won't be long before we start talking about UFC 2011, I'm sure..." added THQ's Rooke.
Do you have a copy of THQ's UFC franchise, or did you go cowboy?
THQ committed to UFC brand long term, "has massive long legs"
03 August 2010 | By Simon Priest