As part of a “strategic realignment”, THQ has announced it will close two entire studios and let go one further dev team, as well as closing down the MX vs. ATV franchise.
“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,” a press release stated.
“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.”
The two unfortunate Australian studios are de Blob 2 developer Blue Tongue Entertainment and the Brisbane-based THQ Studio Australia, responsible for licensed titles like Megamind and Avatar: The Last Airbender. MV vs ATV was the province of THQ Studio Phoenix.
200 employees will be axed as part of the restructuring although THQ noted all are eligible to apply for positions elsewhere in the company.
“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,” president and CEO Brian Farrell said.
“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.
“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.
“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 changes leave THQ with five core-focussed internal studios.
THQ Montreal is working on a new, unannounced IP under the guidance of former Assassin’s Creed lead Patrice Désilets. Having recently dropped Red Faction, Volition Inc is now focussed on Saints Row The Third and Guillermo del Toro’s inSANE.
Relic Entertainment remains focused on Company of Heroes Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine. Vigil has Darksiders II and MMO Warhammer 40,000: Dark Millennium Online. Finally, THQ San Diego is behind the company’s WWE and fighting games.
In June, THQ announced it would close Homefront developer Kaos Studios and UK-based downloadable studio THQ Digital Warrington.