THQ dead in six months says Take-Two boss

thq dead in six months says take two boss

THQ didn’t start off 2012 on the right foot. Despite the critical and commercial success of Saints Row the Third at the end of 2011, the company announced in February that it saw a net loss of nearly $56 million in its third fiscal quarter and $80 million in total revenue during the quarter that game released. The uDraw tablet and games for Wii and other consoles sold so poorly that the company had to kill off the entire product line. THQ then said it would axe 240 jobs.

Dire times. Perhaps so dire that the company won’t be around by the end of 2012. Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick certainly sees it that way.

According to a Joystiq report on Zelnick’s talk at the MIT Business in Gaming conference on Thursday, the executive said, “THQ won’t be around in six months.”

The problem according to Zelnick is THQ’s reliance on licensed software. “THQ’s strategy was licensed properties, first and foremost. License stuff from other people, whether it’s UFC or WWE or a motion picture property, and make a game sound that,” said Zelnick. “And [Take-Two’s] approach, since we took over the company, is 100 percent owned intellectual property. The most important difference is quality. Take-Two has the highest quality ratings among third-party publishers, according to Metacritic and most people in the industry. Quality really, really, really matters. THQ has had some good games, but their quality levels aren’t even remotely… quality hasn’t measured up.”

In fairness to THQ, it invested heavily in original intellectual properties over the past few years, publishing cult hits like Darksiders and Metro 2033, sequels like Red Faction: Guerilla and Saints Row the Third, and what it hoped would become new AAA franchises like Homefront. These games have often sold well but not nearly so well as THQ’s shareholders would like. Homeland actually sold 2.6 million copies within its first two months on shelves, but THQ still shut down creators Kaos Studios in June 2011 to conserve costs and further consolidate its development operations. By August 2011 the company had also shut down its studios in Australia and Arizona, killing off the Red Faction and MX vs. ATV franchises in the process.

These cuts clearly haven’t been enough to bolster the company considering its financial results after the fourth quarter.

Zelnick apologized for his comments on Thursday, telling Game Informer, “While discussing our strategy I spoke out of turn about someone else’s. It was inappropriate and I regret it.”

If THQ does shut down, that puts the future of anticipated sequels like Darksiders II and Metro: Last Light in question. It also means that hugely lucrative licenses like WWE and UFC will be up for grabs. With that stable of properties, THQ may find salvation in acquisition.


Joker in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is freezing some Nintendo Switch units

There have been reports that Joker in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is causing Nintendo Switch units to freeze. Even with the glitch, players may still try him out, amid rumors that Persona 5 will soon arrive to the console.

These awesome free-to-play games might be even better than the ones you paid for

Believe it or not, free-to-play games have evolved into engaging, enjoyable experiences. Here are a few of our favorites that you can play right now, including Warframe and the perennially popular League of Legends.

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.

This list of PlayStation 4 exclusives puts its competitors to shame

The PlayStation 4's game library and incredible selection of exclusive games could make anyone with an Xbox One or Nintendo Switch think twice. Here's our list of the latest and greatest PS4 exclusives.

The best of the last generation: Our 50 favorite Xbox 360 games

The Xbox 360 thrived during a generation where games were plentiful. Here's our list of the best Xbox 360 games of all time, including all game genres and even a few special indie hits.

Get over here and learn the proper way to deal a Fatal blow in Mortal Kombat 11

Mortal Kombat 11 introduces the Fatal Blow system, which gives players with low health the chance to shift a fight back in their favor. Here is how to perform a Fatal Blow, and how to defend against one.

Google’s Stadia is the future of gaming, and that’s bad news for our planet

Google’s upcoming Stadia cloud gaming service, and its competitors, are ready to change the way gamers play, but in doing so they may kick off a new wave of data center growth – with unfortunate consequences for the environment.

25 awesome indie games you should definitely be playing right now

These days, some of the best video games are made by independent studios. Here are 25 of the best indie games, whether you prefer grueling dungeon crawlers or otherworldly, meditative adventures.

Retailer may have leaked The Last of Us Part 2 release date

A Slovakian retailer published a listing for The Last of Us Part 2, including a potential 2019 release date and box art. This leak comes shortly after an announcement that filming for the lead actors is complete.
Smart Home

These are the 13 best games to play on your new Google Home

Google Home is a handy device, but did you know you can play games with it? There are a ton to play, and we tested them all. Here are some of favorites that you can play on your Google Home device.

A beginner’s guide to flawless victory in Mortal Kombat 11

Mortal Kombat 11 is a complex fighting game with several systems to learn, but with our beginner's guide and a bit of practice, you can be finishing enemies off with a Fatality in no time.

Cyberpunk 2077 dev speaks on gameplay and Witcher 3 Easter eggs

A Spanish publication had the opportunity to pick the brain of Cyberpunk 2077's quest director at CD Projekt Red and he speaks on gameplay changes, player choice, and how the team approaches Easter eggs across games.
Product Review

Gloriously gory and fantastically fluid: Mortal Kombat 11 is the best one yet

Mortal Kombatt 11 reinforces NetherRealm Studios’ status as the greatest western fighting developer on the planet, building on what made Mortal Kombat X so great while adding in a few new tricks.

Asus launches a fleet of ROG gaming laptops with 240Hz screens and 9th-gen CPUs

Asus launched updates to nearly every gaming laptop line they have, ranging from the high-end Zephyrus to the budget-level TUF Gaming. The naming schemes might be hard to parse, but there are some impressive options in Asus' new lineup.