THQ Closes 2 Studios,Realigns The Rest, Fires 200 People, Drops Kids And Movie-Based Titles, Kills MX vs ATV Franchise
Whew, that was lot of stuff to fit in the title, how did I do? THQ has announced a strategic realignment of its internal studio development teams to better align resources with the company’s future portfolio of interactive entertainment. THQ is in the process of transitioning its portfolio away from licensed kids titles and movie-based entertainment properties for consoles and has also decided not to actively pursue further development of the MX vs. ATV franchise at this time. As a result, the company announced the closure of two studios in Australia, and the elimination of a development team at the company’s Phoenix location. The company is maintaining its Quality Assurance team in Phoenix.
THQ’s five internal development studios are focused on key initiatives and franchises: THQ Montreal, creating an unannounced new IP with a team led by industry veteran, Patrice Désilets; Volition, Inc., developing the highly anticipated upcoming game Saints Row: The Third, and inSANE in collaboration with renowned film director Guillermo del Toro; Relic Entertainment, creators of Company of Heroes and the upcoming Warhammer 40,000®: Space Marine; Vigil Games, developing Darksiders II and next year’s MMO Warhammer 40,000: Dark Millennium Online; and THQ San Diego, developers of WWE All Stars and creating best-in-class fighting games.
Today’s actions will result in a personnel reduction of approximately 200 people. All affected employees are eligible to apply for open positions within the company globally. The company has recently outlined its four-pillar digital strategy: 1) create a digital ecosystem around key console title launches such as the scheduled November 15, 2011 release of Saints Row: The Third, which includes plans for a robust DLC schedule, online Season Pass, and in-game store for consumables; 2) create a critical mass of users on social media platforms such as Facebook and mobile platforms, including iOS and Android, using THQ-owned or branded content, such as the upcoming fall release of Margaritaville Online, based on Jimmy Buffett’s popular brand; 3) create an ongoing digital revenue stream with the launch of the company’s MMO, Warhammer 40,000: Dark Millennium Online; and 4) continue to drive digital end-user sales through existing channels as well as through the upcoming re-launch of THQ.com.