THQ sold its exclusive UFC licence to EA because UFC Undisputed 3 failed to break even, THQ management have admitted to analyst Michael Pachter.

The game’s break-even point was two million copies sold, a figure it failed to reach despite ranking third in game sales in the US during February.

Confusingly, THQ also stated that Undisputed 3, which released for Xbox 360 and PlayStation that same month, sold better than expected, so perhaps a business model overhaul is also required from the troubled studio.

The transfer of the UFC licence resulted in an unspecified number of layoffs at THQ's San Diego studio.

Low-cost triple-A titles, such as Obsidian Entertainment's South Park: The Stick of Truth, will be the studio’s new focus. That project's break-even point is also 2 million units, although THQ have predicted it will sell in far greater numbers.

THQ also planned on entering the free-to-play market, and would give that model a big push during the next console cycle.