THQ Inc. and partner Zuffa LLC, which owns and operates the Ultimate Fighting Championship franchise, said that they have agreed to transfer the licensing rights to publish videogames based on the mixed martial arts franchise to rival publisher Electronic Arts Inc.
The Agoura Hills company, which has been closing studios and laying off staff in an effort to refocus its video game business, said late Monday that it would continue publishing existing UFC console and mobile titles through the end of March, although Electronic Arts of Redwood City will take over the rights to develop new games immediately.
THQ will receive a cash payment, but other terms of the deal were not disclosed. Zuffa of Las Vegas produces more than 12 UFC live pay-per-view events each year and franchises the property in a variety of media.
“THQ’s more focused strategy moving forward meant that transferring the license to EA made sense to all parties,” said THQ Chief Executive Brian Farrell in a statement.
THQ shares were up 3 cents, or 4 percent, to 75 cents in midday trading on the Nasdaq.