THQ may not release UFC Undisputed annually

From Pastapadre:

Recently THQ blamed Red Dead Redemption for the relatively poor sales of UFC Undisputed 2010 when compared to the breakout hit of UFC 2009. Thankfully it now appears that they recognize there was a lot more to why the game faltered than just competition for dollars in the marketplace. While they don’t cite the quality of the game being an issue (actually referencing its 85 metacritic) what they seem to have realized is an annual UFC game may not be justifiable.

“We’re considering a longer development cycle—15, 18, 21 months, rather than annually.” (after releasing UFC Undisputed 2011)

When the initial sales numbers came out my ultimate conclusion was that UFC may be much better off as a bi-annual series. EA Sports has gone that direction with some franchises including Fight Night and the upcoming EA Sports MMA. It just didn’t seem likely THQ would go that direction considering similar complaints have been made over the years about the company’s WWE franchise. They have not only have continued to churn them out yearly but are now going to release a different licensed WWE game every six months.

“We put another 20-30 new fighters into the product this year, which brought the roster up. But you know, if you wanted to play as the top fighters, they were all in the 2009 product too. So it’s a little bit more difficult to give that clear reason to buy the 2010 edition. It might just be, for that less engaged consumer – the hit buyer – they’re just happy with 2009. Now, when we get to 2011 – and I know what’s in that – it’s going to be fantastic. People are going to want to buy it, and that’s the step forward. But annualization is tough.”

There are definitely a number of factors that went into the severe sales drop for UFC Undisputed 2010. Just one of them that I threw out there was how important roster turnover in yearly sports franchises may be and that UFC could not really be a beneficiary of that on a year-to-year basis. It appears that the company actually recognizes that as playing a big part and it is encouraging that they may stretch out the time in between each iteration. They have the ability to do so since there is no “season” and they can release a new version at any time throughout the year.


Posted from my mma underground iPhone app

Makes sense. There needs to be some incredible changes if they expect people to keep buying the game. Unfortunately, there's only so much you can change in a game like this before you are essentially re-selling the same product over and over, which it seems is basically what they did this time.

hey yeah that sound like a plan, it gives them more time to make it better. they can really get to work on it.

I like that. I still play 2010 even though I get kicked out in the middle of the match half the time. The most frustrating game I've ever played. Love/Hate relationship.

Good move... this way they aren't constricted by a timeline. Timeslines are the demise of too many games.

Best news yet.

They need to release one every two years, put out a roster update in the off year for 5-8 dollars.

 People, they could spend 5yrs on this game and it wouldn't make a bit of difference.

They aren't and never will be sound fighting game designers. They don't have strong experience in playing them, dealing with the genre and don't even understand the basics of frame data for a fighting game.

The concern is with making the game pretty [in still shots] and accessible to the casual market. Not in actual gameplay quality.

I actually dig 2010 way more. The clinch system and striking defense make 2009 feel weird if you play them back to back.

I wish more developers thought like this instead of being money hungry assholes.

The best thing for THQ and the UFC would be for EA to buy out the UFC contract/title.

THQ should recognize they a subpar developer, and releasing mediocre products yearly just won't fly, not even with the videogame starved mma crowd. Stop reusing code and ideas from the Dreamcast UFC game, take care of all the bugs before even thinking of releasing another game and, please, don't compare yourselves with EA Sports.

UFC 2010 didn't sell because it was shit and everbody knew it since they had already played UFC 2009. And lol at wikipedia listing UFC 2011 as future release. Not anymore, thank god.

 ^ UFC 2011 will be released

thing is THQ needs the money that putting out a UFC game every year will bring... they aren't in the best shape financially and are going with fewer, bigger titles as a strategy.... having the ufc come out every 2 years won't be good for their bottom line

taxidriver - UFC 2010 didn't sell because it was shit and everbody knew it since

THere is a difference between "did not sell" and "did not sell as much as the wildly successful debut".

UFC 2010 still sold something in the range of 2,500,000 copies.  A lot of developers would kill for a franchise that could produce those kind of numbers on it's second go around.  They sold less than they expected because their expectations were ridiculous, not because the game was a total flop.

shitty game made by shitty developers.

"UFC 2010 still sold something in the range of 2,500,000 copies"

no, they shipped that many copies... shit is languishing on shelves, some retailers already deeply discounting it to get it off the shelves...

there is an old saying in the record biz. shipped platinum, returned double platinum... that may be the case here...

Almost every website and magazine gave UFC 2010 a rating in the 8-9 range, so the idea that it didn't sell because it "sucked" is not particularly plausible.

The first game was even better haha. Hopefully EA's game will be better then how it looks.

as of late july the game had sold:

PS3 Sales – 547,037
XBox360 Sales – 603,206

so about 1.1 million units