EA, THQ Chiefs Politely Run MMA Video Game Smack

June 8, 2009

While both THQ and EA are relatively new to the MMA video game market, the two are are long running rivals in the video game industry. Execs for the two Goliaths did a polite job of running a little smack, to borrow a term from a Rome that entertains me, about the new battlefield in the MMA space, when speaking with The Financial Times Blog:

However, Brian Farrell, THQ’s chief executive, was bullish when I met him at E3. His company has just undergone a painful restructuring, but it is renowned for its fighting games, in particular the WWE wrestling franchise, which sold about 4.5m units for THQ last year.

“The license that we control – UFC – is the definitive leader in the category,” he said.

“We have the league, we have all the fighters, so EA seems a little late to the party. We’ve got a great competitive advantage and we use some of the tech that we’ve had for ten years for building wrestling games.”

I later put these advantages to John Riccitiello, EA chief executive, and he seemed undaunted.

“Most of the athletes in mixed martial arts are unaffiliated,” he said.

“Harking back to 1999, we didn’t have an NFL license and Acclaim did and we outsold them with a players’ license, and we quickly got an NFL license after that. Brian’s UFC game is already doing really well, but we feel that frankly there’s room for competition and we’re not afraid of it.”

While both were professional in their responses, the back and forth does portend of an interesting future for MMA fans as the two companies vie for the MMA video game market.

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