THQ Back In The Business Of Losing Money, May Drop Annual UFC Games

After a long, money and talent-bleeding period, publisher THQ had a pretty damn good last year. The Darksiders and Red Faction maker thanked UFC Undisputed and Red Faction for that. This year is not off to the same great start.

THQ lost $30.1 million USD this past quarter, thanks to slower sales of this year's UFC beat 'em up and a lack of a big Red Faction release. THQ chief exec Brian Farrell blamed "the competitive window" in which UFC Undisputed 2010 was released for its failure to "capture the broader gaming population."

To wit, Farrell and crew say they're planning on slowing down the UFC Undisputed cycle, possibly moving away from a 12-month-long development churn. "We're considering a longer development cycle—15, 18, 21 months, rather than annually," Farrell said during an investor call, indicating that it was still in the planning stages on how best to approach UFC Undisputed 2011. The video game maker says it plans to work "with the UFC to make sure that we're aligned with their plans as well."

That said, THQ will still have a UFC title on the cards for its next fiscal year, which ends March 2012. "The question is timing," Farrell said. "That depends on the scope of the game, the window and how we want to release the game."

THQ still has two Ultimate Fighting Championship licensed games planned for this year, with UFC Undisputed 2010 for the PSP hitting in September and UFC Fitness Trainer for Kinect and PlayStation Move hitting later. It also has Red Faction: Armageddon on its plate for March 2011, so this year could eventually turn around.