THQ Closes THQ Brisbane, Phoenix, Blue Tongue (de Blob), 200 Layoffs, MXvsATV = Dead

#1
http://investor.thq.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=96376&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1594938&highlight=

two studios closed in Australia.

Gazunta said:
Just for reference, the two Australian studios are THQ Brisbane, and Blue Tongue.

Blue Tongue made de Blob :(
THQ Announces Internal Studios Realignment to Focus on Key Strategic Initiatives
Company Increases Emphasis on High Potential Categories; Reduces Focus on Kids and Movie-Based Licensed Titles for Consoles

AGOURA HILLS, Calif., Aug 09, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) --

THQ Inc., (NASDAQ:THQI) today 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(R): The Third,(TM) and inSANE(TM) in collaboration with renowned film director Guillermo del Toro; Relic Entertainment, creators of Company of Heroesand the upcoming Warhammer 40,000(R): Space Marine(TM) for PlayStation 3 computer entertainment system and the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system; Vigil Games, developing Darksiders(R) II and next year's MMO Warhammer 40,000: Dark Millennium Online(TM); 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.

"With this realignment, we are narrowing our focus to high-quality owned IP with broad appeal that can be leveraged across multiple platforms, and to work with the best talent in the industry. By right-sizing our internal development capacities for our console portfolio, our five internal studios are focused on delivering high-quality games with talented teams driving the execution of those titles to market," said Brian Farrell, President and CEO, THQ. "As we have outlined in our business strategies, we are making shifts to reduce movie-based and licensed kids' video games in our portfolio, which underscores our strategy to move away from games that will not generate strong profits in the future."

Farrell added, "We will continue to evaluate our capital and resources to concentrate on fast growing digital business initiatives such as social games, mobile and tablet-based digital entertainment."

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(TM), using THQ-owned or branded content, such as the upcoming fall release of Margaritaville(R) 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(TM) Online; and 4) continue to drive digital end-user sales through existing channels as well as through the upcoming re-launch of THQ.com.
 
#9
Gazunta said:
Just for reference, the two Australian studios are THQ Brisbane, and Blue Tongue.

Blue Tongue made de Blob :(
Oh what the f*ck. Jesus THQ, you really want to play with the big boys don't you :/
 
#10
Sucks to hear about the de Blob peeps. Loved de Blob 2 on the PS3 and it sucks that THQ in a way still can't catch a break. Most of their games aren't amazing but at the same time they aren't releasing utter trash every month.
 
#11
Freedom = $1.05 said:
Margaritaville online? aaaaaaaaaaahahahahahahaha
I saw this at E3 and wondered who would play it. Then one day at work I noticed a car with University of Margaritaville stickers and had my answer.

THQ has been shrinking constantly since 2005 or so, they're not gonna have much left at this rate.
 
#17
Blue Tongue noooooo.

de Blob 1 and 2 were great :(

It seems like these studios are being punished for the failure of THQs attempted blockbusters. Somehow I doubt a game like de Blob 2 was a bigger financial failure than the latest Red Faction monstrosity.

But it just seems like THQ are doubling down on the blockbuster strategy. I really doubt it's going to end well for them.
 
#21
Freedom = $1.05 said:
Margaritaville online? aaaaaaaaaaahahahahahahaha
The one funny thing about that project is that Cuz from EA Blackbox (the main dude on the Skate series) is handling that project. Don't know how he jumped from skateboarding games to a Jimmy Buffet IP but at least the dude is working.
 

D2M15

DAFFY DEUS EGGS
#23
legend166 said:
Somehow I doubt a game like de Blob 2 was a bigger financial failure than the latest Red Faction monstrosity.
Somehow I doubt de Blob 2 was a bigger financial outlay than poaching Patrice and his leads from Ubi.
 

cuyahoga

Dudebro, My Shit is Fucked Up So I Got to Shoot/Slice You II: It's Straight-Up Dawg Time
#27
It seems that THQ rounds of layoffs and restructuring more often than they release games.
 
#29
I think THQ puts out quality stuff, but they just don't have anything that's truly a breakthrough seller, aside from Saints Row and the WWE games. Saints Row can't carry the brand and the WWE games are selling like shit the past couple of years. Any profits from those is divided between Yukes and WWE, so that certainly doesn't help.

I really like THQ. Don't think any other studio would take a chance on something like Darksiders, and I'm glad they did. I was hoping Homefront would be good, but it looks like they spent more money on marketing than on the actual game. It was more rough around the edges than Frontlines from the same dev. Hopefully they can turn this boat around soon. They have a lot of good ideas with the different price levels, DLC introduction and the multi-media marketing. But none of that means anything worth a damn until they put out some quality stuff. Volition, Vigil and Relic are carrying them right now.
 
#33
Ceebs said:
I just hope Relic's future is not in jeopardy in the event that Space Marine bombs.
I get the feeling that the console team may be in trouble if that happens, but the RTS team seems to be a separate entity that's beating expectations currently.

Sinatar said:
As long as they don't touch Relic & Volition.
They did do some layoffs at Volition and kill off Red Faction, so I'm not sure what will happen to them long term.
 
#34
Nirolak said:
I get the feeling that the console team may be in trouble if that happens, but the RTS team seems to be a separate entity that's beating expectations currently.


They did do some layoffs at Volition and kill off Red Faction, so I'm not sure what will happen to them long term.
So if SR3 fails, Volition could die......?
 
#35
While it's sad to see legitimately good games like de Blob go out to pasture, mx vs atv has been a long time coming. Every time i see ANYTHING about the game it looks like a janky and un-fun mess of a game. Why bother playing that when you can play something like Grid or Dirt or any of the other off road racers that actually have some substance? Fuck, go buy pure for gods sake the game was great. You can probably find it for 10 dollars in the bargain bin, maybe even less. The sole attraction of the game is that you can show your red neck buddy that an atv is better than a mx? puhleeze

rant aside, yeah, sorry australia. I'm sure a couple years from now australia will be back to being a cool game developing nation with tons of attractive people milling about. Seriously, australia is full of fine ass white women, real talk.
 
#38
LiK said:
So if SR3 fails, Volition could die......?
I'll be honest, THQ has been teetering on bankruptcy for ages, and they've getting pretty close this point.

If Saints Row 3 fails, they'll be one foot in the grave.

That they've decided to quintuple down on AAA blockbusters with almost no established brands kind of blows my mind.
 

Totobeni

An blind dancing ho
#40
I guess Volition will be next in the list to close down, but not till the release of inSane.( unless they can thae project or give it to someone else)

Red Faction: Armageddon was bomba, Saints The Third has crazy suicidal release date and it will bomb nuke-style for sure ( most likely THQ will fire many of Saints Row team since the left over guys of RF team is insane team) THQ will gave the studio time till inSane bombs too and then close the book on Volition.
 
#41
So basically all THQ is going to be known for is Darksiders, Saints Row, and WWE? Quite the bland portfolio. The only game I'm interested in from THQ is Saints Row, unless THQ Montreal's game becomes something to look into.

Totobeni said:
Red Faction: Armageddon was bomba, Saints The Third has crazy suicidal release date and it will bomb nuke-style for sure ( most likely THQ will fire many of Saints Row team since the left over guys of RF team is insane team) THQ will gave the studio time till inSane bombs and then close the book on Volition.
Saints Row: The Third isn't releasing on a bad date. The only competition it has is Assassin's Creed: Revelations and Halo: CE Anniversary. All three of those games are going to be incredible, but not big enough to eat into each other's sales.
 

Data West

coaches in the WNBA
#43
LiK said:
So if SR3 fails, Volition could die......?
Volition is pretty much THQ's top dev at this pont. There's no way they let them die.

Domino Theory said:
So basically all THQ is going to be known for is Darksiders, Saints Row, and WWE? Quite the bland portfolio. The only game I'm interested in from THQ is Saints Row, unless THQ Montreal's game becomes something to look into.
When Itakagi is given time, he makes shit like Ninja Gaiden Black. Devil's Third could be huge. Also, they still have that 40K mmo in the works.
 
#44
Nirolak said:
I'll be honest, THQ has been teetering on bankruptcy for ages, and they've getting pretty close this point.

If Saints Row 3 fails, they'll be one foot in the grave.

That they've decided to quintuple down on AAA blockbusters with almost no established brands kind of blows my mind.
It's incredibly bizarre.
 
#45
So I just checked and THQ has $120 million in cash, $100 million in debt, and lost almost $40 million last quarter.

They're pretty close to the bottom of the barrel at this point. I wonder if someone will buy them.

Edit:

And their market cap is $137 million. I wonder if anyone wants their brands, since that's actually incredibly cheap.
 
#47
Nirolak said:
So I just checked and THQ has $120 million in cash, $100 million in debt, and lost almost $40 million last quarter.

They're pretty close to the bottom of the barrel at this point. I wonder if someone will buy them.
THQ doesn't exactly have a lot of assets. Its most viable IP is a license. There's no real reason anyone would buy them since their original IPs are all B-list.
 
#48
Nirolak said:
So I just checked and THQ has $120 million in cash, $100 million in debt, and lost almost $40 million last quarter.

They're pretty close to the bottom of the barrel at this point. I wonder if someone will buy them.

Edit:

And their market cap is $137 million. I wonder if anyone wants their brands, since that's actually incredibly cheap.
They're publishing Witcher 2 for 360 in EU right? Too bad that's delayed.
 

Totobeni

An blind dancing ho
#49
Domino Theory said:
So basically all THQ is going to be known for is Darksiders, Saints Row, and WWE? Quite the bland portfolio. The only game I'm interested in from THQ is Saints Row, unless THQ Montreal's game becomes something to look into.
Darksiders is not really big, same as Saints Row. WWE is their only seller.

Seeing how they popping their own balloons left and right I believe THQ is just want to focus on their partner program for the upcoming few years and close their studios now and maybe buy new studio when the time is better/next gen.



Domino Theory said:
Saints Row: The Third isn't releasing on a bad date. The only competition it has is Assassin's Creed: Revelations and Halo: CE Anniversary. All three of those games are going to be incredible, but not big enough to eat into each other's sales.
November games

Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception
Sonic Generations
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
Need For Speed: The Run
Assassin's Creed: Revelations
Halo Anniversary
Saints Row: The Third
Rayman Origin's
COD,Uncharted,Skyrim,AssCreed,Halo,Sonic

Saints Row 3 will get fucked like the best street whore in Thailand.
 
#50
Takao said:
THQ doesn't exactly have a lot of assets. Its most viable IP is a license. There's no real reason anyone would buy them since their original IPs are all B-list.
From an IP perspective, Saints Row would be the biggest incentive since the series is over 6 million copies.

Outside of that, you're basically buying the staff, which may or may not be an incentive depending on the publisher.

Relic would be a great grab for someone wanting to get into RTS games, but the question is which publisher wants to.

Vigil is an interesting choice for anyone who wants an MMO studio as well.

Volition has a lot of veterancy as well, so from that perspective, they're quite attractive.

I could see Warner picking up a fair share of the company like they did with Midway and were going to with Eidos.