THQ Sues Over Licensing Agreement, Demands All Profits From EA’s UFC Game
THQ might be a shell of its former publishing glory, but the corporation still exists. It’s sole purpose is to see the remaining assets divested and as many creditors repaid as possible through the remainder of the bankruptcy.
That entity has filed a lawsuit against EA and UFC owner Zuffa, Inc. over the settlement of THQ’s licensing agreement. The suit alleges that EA had intimate knowledge of THQ’s financial position due to exploration of a buyout.
As we know, EA declined to purchase THQ, but not before receiving proprietary financial information. The THQ suit alleges that EA then conspired with Zuffa to free the license, which EA would then offer more for.
Zuffa paid THQ $10 million to settle the license ($1.9 million of which is still unpaid with the former sitting on the creditor list). THQ alleges tortious interference, claiming that EA solicited Zuffa and enabled a lower-than-reasonable settlement fee.
THQ also accuses EA and Zuffa of fraud, demanding that the license (or equivalent value plus interest, which THQ deems to be approximately $20 million) be restored to THQ, that Zuffa’s claim as a creditor be annulled, and that EA act as trustee of the license. The latter would mean that EA’s profits from its own UFC game (coming in 2014) would belong to THQ.
We contacted EA for comment. “We believe these claims are without merit,” a representative told us.
THQ will have to prove collusion in order for its suit to find purchase. It seems late to be pursuing this action, and it leaves me wondering if those left running the company during its death throes have recently found out something that can be used as legitimate evidence.
the author Mike Futter