Low UFC Sales Hit THQ Where it Hurts

Logan Westbrook

Transform, Roll Out, Etc
Feb 21, 2008
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Low UFC Sales Hit THQ Where it Hurts

Disappointing sales of UFC 2010 Undisputed has punched THQ right in the paybook.

THQ has been forced to readjust its financial projections for the year following poor sales of its next-gen MMA fighter UFC 2010 Undisputed [http://www.amazon.com/UFC-Undisputed-2010-Xbox-360/dp/B0030CV356/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=videogames&qid=1276517583&sr=8-1]. The publisher has knocked a hefty $35 million off its quarterly net sales forecast and around $60 million for the year.

"UFC Undisputed 2010 is a high quality game," said THQ president and CEO Brian Farrell. "Pre-orders were up 50 per cent over last year and we saw strong retail and consumer demand for the title coming into launch, resulting in shipments of 2.6m units to date."

"Unfortunately, total sell through to date has been below our expectations and prior-year results. We will continue to drive demand through a strong marketing campaign and by working with our partners at the UFC, including the upcoming July 4th UFC 116 event featuring our cover athlete, Brock Lesnar ... While we are disappointed with this financial update, we continue to execute on our plan of bringing quality games to market. Our primary goal in fiscal 2011 was to position THQ for growth in fiscal 2012 and beyond."

UFC 2010 Undisputed is the first game to feature an "online pass": single-use codes that allow access to online multiplayer, a move that has proven unpopular in some quarters. It's naive to think that this alone caused the disappointing sales - especially considering the size of the numbers - but doubts over the games trade-in value will almost certainly will have had an effect.

Source: MVC [http://www.mcvuk.com/news/39462/Low-UFC-sales-cause-financial-rethink]


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Delusibeta

Reachin' out...
Mar 7, 2010
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Well, I hope EA takes note and doesn't follow THQ in locking off online for second hand copies without paying $10.
 

JEBWrench

New member
Apr 23, 2009
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*scratching head*

Sports games don't have much trade-in value to begin with. What's an online pass going to do to change it?

"Damn. There goes that fifteen cents."
 

Onyx Oblivion

Borderlands Addict. Again.
Sep 9, 2008
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Well, yes. I do believe there are factors other than the multiplayer code at work here...I mean, the mass market tends to not care about, or even notice, such things. And if they do, they don't notice until it's too late.

That said, the online code for UFC is in "Top Downloads" for 360, while also maintaining a never-seen 1-2 star rating on the "User Rating" meter. Because the lowest you can rate is one star. So, the people buying it hate it, but still buy it anyway.
 

Logan Westbrook

Transform, Roll Out, Etc
Feb 21, 2008
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Onyx Oblivion said:
Well, yes. I do believe there are factors other than the multiplayer code at work here...I mean, the mass market tends to not care about, or even notice, such things. And if they do, they don't notice until it's too late.

That said, the online code for UFC is in "Top Downloads" for 360, while also maintaining a never-seen 1-2 star rating on the "User Rating" meter. Because the lowest you can rate is one star. So, the people buying it hate it, but still buy it anyway.
Amazing, makes me think of the people who moaned and bitched about MW2 mappacks being too expensive but buying it anyways.

I had a girl on my friendlist begging everyone to buy the Resurgence mappack for her because apparently she will love you very much for it. It's pathetic and so sick I got rid of her right away. If you are into gaming and love a game THAT much, go buy it yourself.
 

Altorin

Jack of No Trades
May 16, 2008
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Onyx Oblivion said:
Well, yes. I do believe there are factors other than the multiplayer code at work here...I mean, the mass market tends to not care about, or even notice, such things. And if they do, they don't notice until it's too late.

That said, the online code for UFC is in "Top Downloads" for 360, while also maintaining a never-seen 1-2 star rating on the "User Rating" meter. Because the lowest you can rate is one star. So, the people buying it hate it, but still buy it anyway.
thats telling

seriously,online pass is a bad idea.. it reeks too much of bad DLC..

Extra Content people, Those Project 10 Dollar deals need to be extra content, not clearly unlocking shit that should have been included (and is included in new copies of the game).

Online Pass seems to have found a line.. we'll see how EA deals with it.
 

MorteSphere

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Jul 8, 2009
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Maybe they'll stop making shitty sports games.

EDIT: I hope EA's sports game duplicates begin to fail as well. I can't stand this shit existing.
 

Hawgh

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Dec 24, 2007
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Good, poor sales on sport games should mean larger market shares for everything else.
 

Jared

The British Paladin
Jul 14, 2009
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Well, im not surprised...I dont think much of it myself, and, it dosnt seem like gaming community doesd either.

Only people ive actually seen buy this game are like 15 year olds...
 

Therumancer

Citation Needed
Nov 28, 2007
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I honestly think a lot of this had to do with their DRM schemes. It's not just resale value, but the principle of the thing, and both THQ and Ubisoft are currently not well loved by the fans. A lot of people probably figured rather than cancelling their pre-order they'd just not bother and then transfer the $5-$10 to another game when they finally went to pick something up.

However, that's only part of the equasion. I think part of it also has to do with THQ's greed, going by what their saying and how they are saying it.

Today a lot of companies don't care about simply making a profit, or even a decent one. Rather they operate based on projected profits, and don't count anything below a certain amount of projected growth as a success. Profits being computed by their nature after the expense of a project.

What THQ seems to be saying is that the sales for this game do not match their projections, so they are trying to claim this as a loss, when they have still made millions in profits. "OMG, we didn't fill up TWO scrooge Mcduck money bins, and only got one, when we decided we should have two! Let's consider this a loss!".

Typically trying to claim "losses" this way based on projections is done so a company can justify other actions they play on taking: like layoffs to avoid paying people. Companies oftentimes project high, use this warped logic, and then use it to justify actions they want to take down the pipe saying "we've been losing money for several quarters now" or whatever when they weren't actually losing money by any rational definition, simply not making as many millions in profits as the fat cats at the top of the food chain might have liked.

I think it's a combination of these two factors. Truthfully, if I was a THQ employee right now I'd start quietly looking for another job.
 

LordSphinx

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Apr 14, 2009
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UFC Undisputed is a great game. I think however that it was too soon for a sequel, even though it was considered a vast improvement on the first one. And to those making stupid comments like "Maybe they'll stop making shitty sports games.", play the game first before vomiting your misderected anger. In the last two years, THQ went from a shovelware company to making excellent games like Red Faction, Saints Row 2 and Darksiders. I'm saddened that it doesn't pay out as much as they expected, as I had never bought a single game from them before this turnaround.
 

Jamash

Top Todger
Jun 25, 2008
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Even though I'm a big MMA fan, I didn't buy this game for a few reasons.

Firstly I'm still playing UFC 2009 and this one came out too quickly after the previous game, so I've no desire to buy a slightly improved(?) version of a game I already have.

Another reason I didn't buy it is I'm not very interested in the UFC brand or it's fighters, in fact it's a turn off for me. I bought UFC 2009 because it was the only MMA game available this generation, but now that I have that I don't really want another UFC game, although I will be getting EA's MMA game since it has more fighters and gameplay features I'm interested in.
 

dekkarax

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Apr 3, 2008
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Hawgh said:
Good, poor sales on sport games should mean larger market shares for everything else.
That doesn't make any sense. If someone does not buy a sports game it doesn't mean they'll buy a different game. In fact, I'd reckon that it would be bad in the long run, as sports games are usually some of the first games people play.
 
Apr 28, 2008
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While I really want to say this is because everyone told THQ to go fuck themselves because of that code, I'm sure there are more reasons at work here.

Most likely the case of greed, as Therumancer stated above. I'm sure this game sold better than most sports games, its just it didn't sell as insanely as they had hoped, and they hoped it would sell an insane amount of copies.

Still, if they're going to call it a "loss", then I'm going to give them a "reason", it was because of your multiplayer code. Thats why I didn't buy it.
 

Hawgh

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Dec 24, 2007
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dekkarax said:
Hawgh said:
Good, poor sales on sport games should mean larger market shares for everything else.
That doesn't make any sense. If someone does not buy a sports game it doesn't mean they'll buy a different game. In fact, I'd reckon that it would be bad in the long run, as sports games are usually some of the first games people play.
Ok, if counting sales and games by total number, rather than as consisting of parts of a whole, this is true. However, if one looks as the market shares of game types as parts of say, a circle diagram, filling in each of them with percentile notation, one would achieve a situation where as one aspect decreases in value, the others must necessarily increase, in order to maintain the constant total of 100% representation.

So while there'd probably be no spillover from dissatisfied sports fans, market analysis would still indicate other game genres to be comparatively more lucrative.

I have personally never met or heard of someone who started out with sports games, and then moved on to explore the many joys of video gaming as a whole, never. They stay there, with the odd stray picking up an FPS (which is likely marketed directly to them anyway) or two.
 

Nemu

In my hand I hold a key...
Oct 14, 2009
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Jamash said:
Even though I'm a big MMA fan, I didn't buy this game for a few reasons.
Ditto.

While, I'm not a BIG fan of sports games in general, there are some I'll play (EA'S NHL, Madden and FIFA games specifically). That being said, the problem isn't necessarily the game play/design, it's quite possible that MMA just doesn't translate well--or that while there is a huge fan base for the sport, a LOT of the fans of MMA (and I hate myself for saying this) are girls who like watching guys beat the crap out of each other. They don't care about video games, they want to see the REAL GSP with his shirt off.

I just think, at it's most basic level: MMA is HUGE, but because it's got such a diverse fan base, the creators just overestimated how many MMA fans are also gaming nerds. Most likely, the money's only going to be in rentals.

Hawgh said:
I have personally never met or heard of someone who started out with sports games, and then moved on to explore the many joys of video gaming as a whole, never. They stay there, with the odd stray picking up an FPS (which is likely marketed directly to them anyway) or two.
That could really be said for most genres, tho. I have friends who ONLY play FPS, personally I'm (9 times out of 10) an RPG player, other friends will get baked and play WII Sports for a weekend. I just think that the market of "MMA fans who are also gamers" was WAY overestimated by EA and Dana White. lol
 

AceAngel

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May 12, 2010
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They expected to sell these type of games in the bucket-loads, which was a big mistake. First rule or projection on games is that if it's a sport game, always calculate the lower-tier cash-in, nothing more.
 

Logan Westbrook

Transform, Roll Out, Etc
Feb 21, 2008
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Logan Westbrook said:
It's naive to think that this alone caused the disappointing sales - especially considering the size of the numbers - but doubts over the games trade-in value will almost certainly will have had an effect.
Good point. As much as these greedy developers like to ***** and blame used game sales for cutting into their profits, what happens to their precious profits when people STOP buying the game because they can't get rid of it when they find out it's a lemon (or beat it or whatever else they're doing with games)?
 

Logan Westbrook

Transform, Roll Out, Etc
Feb 21, 2008
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Want to know whats funny....THQ said that they would outbeat Fight Night in everyway...now they must feel like total pricks...which they were to begin with. I also agree that the online lock-in thing, was a terrible idea, so bad, that its over the board of the Virtual Boy...