Red Dead rustles sales from UFC Undisputed

THQ’s UK director of marketing, Jon Rooke, blames the May release of Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption for UFC Undisputed 2010’s less-than-spectacular sales figures. Rooke claims that, though this year’s Undisputed was eagerly snatched up by UFC and MMA fans, the game failed to reach the wide audience reached by the 2009 release.

Apparently both mixed-martial-art simulators and gritty open-world westerns appeal to the same crowd—and I suppose both of their packages do practically have a layer of testosterone and dirt sandwiched between the plastic wrap and the case—because, as Rooke claims, the low sales are “largely down to Red Dead Redemption. Rockstar have probably taken a fair amount of our market share. They shipped 5m units, taking a lot of consumer dollars.”

The company had a “perfect storm” with last year’s UFC release, as it only had to contend with the release of the highly-acclaimed but less widely-appealing Infamous. This year, they’ve only managed to ship 2.6 million units, less than half of what 2009 Undisputed managed. One can’t help but wonder if, maybe, the game is selling less than 2009 because that last installment only came out a year ago. Scratch that, that’s never hurt sports games in the past.

Still, 2.6 million isn’t anything to complain about, and Rooke remains optimistic, saying “we’ve got a long tail with that product…we absolutely believe we will deliver our initial sales expectations for UFC and the 2010 edition has been a phenomenal success.”