THQ, which went out of business and was liquidated by the spring, still exists in enough of a form to sue the UFC and Electronic Arts, to whom THQ sold the UFC video game license in 2012.
A complaint filed a week ago in federal court, reported today by Polygon, alleges, that EA and Zuffa collaborated to force THQ to sell off the license to EA. More specifically, THQ says that EA was privy to internal THQ financial information, going back to 2011 when the two publishers discussed a potential acquisition by EA.
In December 2011, Zuffa, the UFC's parent company, notified THQ it wanted to terminate its deal, which brought three UFC games to Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 from 2009 to 2012. Zuffa wanted out because of THQ's financial difficulties. But THQ, in the lawsuit, alleges that EA "informed Zuffa of THQ's perilous financial condition and expressed interest in acquiring the UFC franchise directly from Zuffa, causing Zuffa to threaten termination of the UFC license."
The lawsuit says Zuffa paid THQ $10 million to terminate the agreement; THQ thinks the license actually is worth double that. The suit also alleges that EA's sharing of confidential THQ financial info with Zuffa amounts to "tortious interference," which, if you've seen 1999's Oscar-nominated The Insider, you know is a really, really bad thing.
EA isn't tucking tail like CBS did. The company called THQ's claims meritless in a statement to Polygon. The suit seeks to cancel the $1.96 million bankruptcy claim Zuffa has against THQ and also demands any profits EA makes from its forthcoming UFC series, due for release by the end of next spring on Xbox One and PlayStation 4.