Despite the stellar sales of its predecessor, THQ and Yuke's' UFC Undisputed 2010 is selling "slower than anticipated," even as UFC pay-per-view television events are performing well, according to Lazard Capital Markets analyst Colin Sebastian.
In a research note released today, Sebastian said the game is "tracking below our expectations at retail," and pointed out that online retailer Amazon discounted the game $20 to $39 after only a week on sale.
As a result, the analyst expects decreased reorders from retailers, and Lazard Capital Markets is decreasing its first fiscal quarter revenue estimates for THQ by $4 million, down to $193 million -- considerably below market expectations of $203 million.
Sebastian noted that factors directly related to Undisputed don't explain the game's poor showing: it has a strong reputation based on the reception of UFC Undisputed 2009, which exceeded 3.5 million units; it has extremely positive reviews, with an average Metacritic score of 85; and UFC itself is doing well. Thus, he postulates that other recent releases like Rockstar San Diego's Red Dead Redemption could be "adding some competitive pressure."
Nonetheless, Sebastian expects THQ to grow in the coming years, thanks to franchises like Volition's Saints Row, Vigil's Darksiders, Relic's Space Marine, and the Dreamworks movie game license.