Interview from ign.com:
IGN: This isn't the first time THQ has handled a mixed-martial arts game. What does this mean for THQ? What makes this announcement and this decision so important?
Kelly Flock: The previous games we did were picked up from Japan, and they were based on Pride FC. These games are a different story. What's happened since then is that the popularity of the UFC has really kicked into gear. It's amazingly popular right now. We saw the numbers, how it was taking off, how our demographic was interested, and we felt like it was time to bring it back to the interactive arena. The response from people we know about it all think this is a great move.
IGN: Wrestling and fighting games are always the toughest to make because they require tight, smart mechanics. What makes you believe that you can create a title that relies on the hardest aspects of both sports and pull it off in a single game?
Flock: It's true. The graphic side is tough to handle. We're already heavily into research and development on the game, and with our experience in the wrestling arena, we should have a winner on our hands.
IGN: Who is developing it?
Flock: Who is the developer? We can't say yet. We can't reveal anything about that just yet. That announcement is for another time. But we're well aware of this difficulty to made this game work out, especially the mechanics, and Zuffa, LLC was also aware of this when they picked us to publish their game.
IGN: What kind of access will THQ have to all of the UFC fighters?
Flock: We'll have access to both past and present fighters, giving us quite a bit of athletes with whom to work. This UFC game will be structured with current talent, UFC locations, and the Octagon. Not to be coy here, but we do have a lot more to announce, just not at this time.
IGN: Your announcement includes next-gen systems, PCs, handhelds, and wireless games. Does it make sense to bring a UFC game to the PC and handhelds?
Flock: Sure it does. We do really well with PC games in Europe and you know how strong our history with handhelds is. To be honest, it's hard to tell right now how all the games on the various systems will work, but we'll make it happen. We'll create the right games for the right systems.
IGN: How popular will UFC be in countries other than the U.S.?
Flock Right now, the UFC's strength is in North America, but when we bring it to market this UFC game will have more of a global presence.
IGN: What are the two or three most important elements of your announcement?
Flock: It's a huge announcement because most of the active videogame publishers were after the license. But Zuffa selected us. That's the biggest element of our announcement. The reason THQ got the license was because we were the ones most passionate about it. We have a big presence in the category and we have a couple people internally at THQ who really get it. We really understand the property, its value. We know how to launch these kinds of games, and we have the ability to execute. That's why Zuffa picked us; that's why it's important.
IGN: Will this be an annual game?
Flock: That's our expectation. UFC lends itself to an annual update, so we expect to have annual iterations of the game with new features, updated and upgraded graphics and gameplay, the whole deal.
IGN: In your opinion, what will the ESRB rate it? The sport of UFC is brutal and bloody. People get their faces beaten in, suffer broken noses, and break bones all the time. Are you going to try and recreate the game in a realistic fashion?
Flock: We don't know what the rating is because we haven't submitted it to the ESRB, but rest assured, we won't hold back any punches. We're going to give gamers a really great recreation of the UFC experience in a videogame, and if the ESRB deems this an M game, so be it. That's not really a concern of ours. We want to make a great game first and foremost.