Take-Two CEO Predicts THQ’s Imminent Demise

It’s always a little bit peculiar when one company’s boss talks about another company’s prospects but Take-Two CEO, Strauss Zelnick, has gone further than I think we’ve ever seen in the past.

THQ won’t be around in six months.

Zelnick’s words came during a talk at the MIT Business in Gaming conference yesterday and were first picked up on by the fine fellows at Joystiq. During the talk, Zelnick admitted that Take-Two’s financials weren’t exactly rosy, showing a year-on-year decline. But he insisted that the difference between his company and THQ was that his strategy of focussing on quality would pay off in the long run.

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According to Zelnick, THQ’s reliance on licensed properties was strangling their profitability thanks to repeatedly renegotiated deals narrowing their margins. He acknowledged THQ’s attempt at a drive towards first party IP a few years ago but also pointed out how that hadn’t gone well for them.

Strategy didn’t work and the execution was bad. To put it another way: the food was no good and the portions were small.

THQ has since responded by saying “Obviously, Mr. Zelnick’s perception of THQ is outdated and inaccurate. His comments are irresponsible and false. Perhaps he would be better off commenting on his own business.”

Sticking to your own business is certainly good advice but aside from the wonderful (and successful) Saints Row The Third, THQ’s first party IP in recent years kind of lends weight to Zelnick’s words. The Red Faction franchise took a big step backwards and Homeland and MX vs ATV were critical and financial failures, by all accounts. Perhaps 2012, with Darksiders II will be their year to put out some exceptional games based on their own IP and prove Zelnick, and many others, wrong.

Source: Joystiq and Joystiq again

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25 Comments

  1. Sorry but I look at my game collection and I see several THQ games, Homefront – great idea but not enough polish
    Saints Row 3 – my first in the series as I disregarded it as a cheap GTA knock off and despite being right it’s still a lot of fun
    WWE ’12 – or as someone said “those wrestling games” sorry but I and a lot of wrestling fans (im 28 and still like wrestling so sue me) buy these games year on year and for me WWE ’12 has been one of the best yet but they do need to sort out the Online features!

    I can’t see THQ falling down just yet, if they do I’ll be quite upset.

  2. I wound THQ’s statement amusing. When you’re a publically traded company you have to pretend everything is fine even when it isn’t :3.

    I think THQ had potential, but after they nuked Blue Tongue i lost all hope in the new CEO and any interest in the developer.

  3. I hate to see any games company go under so I hope this isn’t true. They have made some good games over the years and it would seem that they just need to rethink their strategy

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