We've covered a lot of the angles of the UFC's surprise acquisition of Strikeforce, but there's a big one we have not covered. The implications on the video game business. The UFC has partnered with the smaller THQ to publish UFC Undisputed which was a huge hit in 2009. They re-upped for an exclusive contract running until 2018, despite the surprising flop of UFC Undisputed 2010.
EA Games, left out of the party, partnered with Strikeforce. Video games site Kotaku talks about what will likely happen now:
The acquisition could mean only one MMA video game going forward.
Last year's EA Sports MMA was licensed by Strikeforce, using its rules, many of its fighters, and venues where major Strikeforce cards have been fought. The two had a hand-in-glove promotional relationship leading up to the game's release, including bouts fought during E3 under Electronic Arts' sponsorship.
Though EA Sports MMA did not perform to analysts' sales expectations, a producer vowed in November that the publisher would make a sequel. That may be off now; UFC President Dana White has made no secret of his contempt for EA Sports. Further, the UFC and THQ, publisher of the UFC Undisputed Series, have an exclusive partnership lasting through 2018.
If EA Sports does drop its MMA line, I wonder what will happen to the video game likeness rights of those fighters, like Fedor Emelianenko and Randy Couture who signed with EA.