Electronic Arts snagged the license for the Ultimate Fighting Championship before THQ tanked -- and now THQ is alleging that this is the result of unfair behind-the-scenes dealing.
According to a filing in the United States District Court for Delaware, THQ alleges that after the company discussed a potential purchase of the franchise with EA, EA went behind its back and instigated trouble with Zuffa, the owner of the UFC brand.
THQ says that two weeks after EA broke off negotiations for the UFC license in December 2011, it received a letter from Zuffa expressing dissatisfaction with THQ's proposed marketing expenditure for the next game in the franchise -- information that had only been shared with EA at that point.
Zuffa ended up breaking its contract with THQ, giving the publisher a $10 million payout for its trouble; THQ contends that the license was worth at least $20 million at the time. However, thanks to the difficult position it was in, it had "no choice" but to enter into an agreement with Zuffa.
EA ended up nabbing
the UFC license in June of 2012, six months before THQ ultimately filed for bankruptcy
THQ is also alleging that the transfer of the license was fraudulent under California bankruptcy law, as it was insolvent at the time this transfer took place. It's seeking to recover the license -- and also hoping to capture EA's profits from the UFC franchise, too.
that neither THQ nor EA are so far willing to comment on the case. The full complaint is available