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Disappointing sales of UFC 2010 pummel THQ first-quarter earnings

August 9, 2010 |  3:38 pm

UFC Undisputed Cain Velasquez THQ Inc.'s earnings took a big beating in the first quarter as sales of its tent pole wrestling title, UFC Undisputed 2010, came in below expectations.

The Calabasas video game publisher said sales dropped 39% to $149.4 million in the quarter ended June 30, from $243.5 million a year ago. It posted a net loss of $30.1 million, or 44 cents a share, compared with a $6.4 million gain, or 9 cents a share, in 2009.

Last year, THQ sold 3.5 million copies of UFC Undisputed, compared with 2.7 million since launching this year's title on May 25. The company's revenue also got a big boost in 2009 from the first-quarter launch of Red Faction: Guerrilla, a shooting game that received rave reviews. The sequel, Red Faction: Armageddon, isn't due out until March 2011.

Asked by a stock analyst during a conference call Monday what the company will do to "revitalize" the UFC franchise, THQ Chief Executive Brian Farrell said THQ is considering longer intervals between releasing sequels.

Selling "2.7 million units in a single quarter is still a top franchise," Farrell said. "We think there's a lot of growth still to be had with the UFC franchise over the next several years."

-- Alex Pham

Image: UFC Undisputed 2010. Credit: THQ