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UFC 2009 makes analysts bullish on THQ

While there was little the UFC could do to save Setanta from the mess it’s currently in (BBC News didn’t even list the fight promotion as one of the network’s key offerings), their pull might be enough to drag THQ through the economic downturn:

“We are increasingly more optimistic on [THQ’s] near term financial prospects as our focus shifts from near term liquidity concerns to their upcoming game pipeline where buzz is beginning to build,” Mike Hickey with Janco Partners said in a research note on Wednesday.

“Management continues to rebuild credibility through execution on planned cost cutting, increased financial transparency and recent / upcoming product releases including UFC 2009: Undisputed that meaningfully exceeded our initial expectations.”

THQ posted losses of $431 million for fiscal 2009 on slow sales of games, performance that led the publisher to cut 24 percent of its workforce, or 600 jobs. THQ recently said it is on track in cutting $220 million in costs.

It’s fucking crazy to think a game company can post a half-billion dollar loss on a single year and still survive. You’d figure nearly five freakin’ hundred million dollars should be enough to bankrupt most gaming company, but with stocks already going back up based on the UFC game’s sales and a sequel in the pipe for next summer, it looks like THQ has managed to step away from the cliff.