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.

Business

Apple loses battle to use Intel modems in Germany in latest clash with Qualcomm

Apple is following the Federal Trade Commission's lead and has sued Qualcomm for a massive $1 billion in the U.S., $145 million in China, and also in the U.K., claiming the company charged onerous royalties for its patented tech.
Gaming

Wage war on a budget with these fun and free first-person shooters

We all know about Halo and Call of Duty by now, but what about quality titles that won't cost you upward of $60? Check out our picks for the best free first-person shooter games from Paladins to Quake Champions.
Gaming

Take some time to reminisce with the 25 best Sega Genesis games of all time

Although the company has since fallen into obscurity, Sega was an indisputable titan throughout the '90s. That said, here are 25 best Sega Genesis games that helped define its fabled decade.
Gaming

The hottest Nintendo Switch games you can get right now

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now.
Gaming

Here's how you can play your favorite PC games with a Nintendo Switch controller

Nintendo's Switch controllers, including the Joy-Cons and the aptly titled Pro Controller, use Bluetooth, which makes them compatible with your PC. Here's how to start using them for PC gaming.
Gaming

Get creative and collect 15 coins with our Fortnite overtime challenges guide

The first Fortnite overtime challenges are now available. Use our guide to help you collect the hidden coins in the featured Creative mode islands and get closer to that free season eight battle pass.
Gaming

I'm canceling my backlog for Apex Legends. Be back never

Live service games like Fortnite and Apex Legends are eating up everyone's time, leaving other games out in the cold. While my backlog continues to grow, it seems the gaming industry is struggling to keep up as well.
Virtual Reality

Getting into VR is spendy. Which headset is truly worth your hard-earned cash?

Virtual reality has finally gone mainstream, but how do you find the best VR headset for you? Check out a few of our favorites, whether you want the best of the best or a budget alternative for your mobile device.
Gaming

Become a champion with our beginner's guide to Apex Legends

Jumping into Apex Legends for the first time? Need help becoming a champion? Our Apex Legends beginner's guide has 15 tips and tricks that will hopefully help your team make it into the champion's circle.
Gaming

Buy a new Switch console and get a $35 eShop gift card at some retailers

Multiple retailers are currently offering the Neon Blue and Red Nintendo Switch console with a free $35 eShop gift card. The system still costs the standard $300 and includes Joy-Con controllers and the dock.
Gaming

Thrive in the nuclear apocalypse with our Metro Exodus survival guide

Metro Exodus is a difficult shooter, especially if you're new to the series' blend of stealth, action, and scavenging. Here is what you need to know to survive the nuclear apocalypse.
Gaming

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in Destiny 2: Forsaken

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.
Gaming

How do the revised Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles stack up?

Microsoft's new Xbox One S and Sony's PlayStation 4 "Slim" have bucked the generational gaming console trend. But which of these stopgap systems is worth spending your paycheck on?
Gaming

Here's our Champion's guide to picking the best character in Apex Legends

Apex Legends' use of heroes with different abilities helps separate it from other battle royale games. To help you choose your legend, we've put together a legend guide detailing their abilities, strengths, and weaknesses.