THQ’s Worries Worsen

The history of videogames is littered with examples of big players being brought to their knees by schemes and crazy gizmos that didn’t quite work out. Remember the Gizmondo? Or the Nintendo Virtual Boy?

In recent years, THQ banked on the uDraw graphics tablet being a huge success for the Wii, but the plan failed rather horribly. 1.4million units sitting in a warehouse and not in the grubby mitts of preschool Picassos later, and they were watching the best part of $100 million disappearing down the loo. This was followed by a number of studio closures and some pretty spectacular stock price freefalling that has left people speculating on when they were going to throw in the towel.

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This week saw the release of the company’s second quarter results for the year, and there’s still no sign of a smiley face gold star for them. The official line from CEO Brian Farrell has been bullish optimism about the company’s chances, but then in the next breath pushing back the releases of the three titles for 2013 because they’re not going to be ready when they thought they were.

This slate includes the sort-of anticipated South Park: The Stick of Truth. So, on one hand we have “working diligently to resolve those challenges” and then “…a need for additional capital”. To translate: “the development teams are threatening to eat the marketing people unless we pay them in something other than uDraw tablets, please send help, we’ve got some lovely IP you can have for next to nothing”.

Expect the large vultures circling around their LA headquarters to fly a little closer – rubbing their tummies and licking their lips – in the coming days.

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20 Comments

  1. Apart from wrestling series & ruining one of my ps2 fav shooter red faction, what else has THQ actually made? Also ain’t they doing that metro game or is it someone else

    • Saints Row for one, which imo the SR3 was better than GTA IV. They also have Darksiders, but whether we will see more of those might be somewhat debatable.

    • They should make a real sequel to the original Red Faction series AND Red Faction: Guerilla 2.
      You can say what you want but RFG was the most fun I’ve had in an open world game on the PS3.

      • I agree on the sequel to RF:G as that was an awesome game, but can’t comment on the original couple of games as i never played them.

        Unfortunately it’ll never happen though, as they canned Red Faction after the abomination that was Armageddon.

      • I’m still hoping for a revival. If they won’t make another game they should at least sell off the franchise including all the assets.

    • Darksiders, Metro 2033, Company of Heroes, South Park: The Stick of Truth, Saints Row, WWE, Homefront, Warhammer 40k.

      • pretty sure the MX Vs ATV series is theirs too, which im a fan of.

      • what about Far Cry 3?

      • Ubisoft owns the Far Cry franchise.

  2. An easy way to see how much trub they are in is to go here http://www.bloomberg.com/quote/THQI:US/chart – and set the graph to 5yrs.

    Oops.

    • Thats just tempted me to buy shares in THQ.

      • I’m buying Pumpkin futures. They’ve been growing all of October – by Christmas I’m gonna have a fortune.

    • Holy crap its like watching a thrown ball come to rest sideways.

  3. Do hope they’ll be okay. Have always had something from THQ to enjoy and even when the franchises/IPs weren’t for me I could tell they were still good, solid games for others to froth over.

  4. Both Darksiders and Space Marine are games with some merit. Darksider’s artistic direction and Zelda-lite gameplay was especially worthy of praise, although the recent departure of Joe Madureira from Vigil Games undoubtedly undermines the value of the IP.

    I was disappointed with how little use THQ got out of the Warhammer licenses, Space Marine was definitely one of the best W40K games in recent memory and sold in decent numbers (although precise figures were never released) but there was heaps of potential in the franchise and the foundations the first game laid down.

    A shame then.

    • I just couldn’t make it far enough through the game without the repetitive scream of “SPAAACE MAREEEN!!!!!” abnnoying me and leading to me switching off.
      its a small thing that I probably should have looked over and found a good game, but I just couldn’t

      • I shout that at my girlfriend sometimes…

        It niggles her too.

      • Haha! The mental image of me shouting “SPAAACE MARINE!!” at my fiancé randomly actually made me laugh out loud. It wouldn’t be that far fetched either, if I was more invested in the franchise…

      • I also occassionally shout ‘WAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUGH!’ at her… It’s especially funny if she’s carrying a cup of tea or a tray at the time…

  5. Unless they sort themselves out by either letting go a few studios or selling some IPs, they will end up closing as they’ve not released a game that was a major title. The only game i can think of that they’ve released this year is WWE13. Just do RFG2 and they will get a lot of sales as RF:G was excellent. Or sell it to another publisher, not EA or Activision as i don’t trust them to develop another FPS Red Faction.

    They need to get some new IPS as they have nothing for the rest of the year and may have nothing for next year if everything gets delayed. Or try and get bought by Sony or MS or Ninty or Take 2.

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