THQ denies mass shelving rumour, highlights Q4 sales

Sunday, 15th January 2012 20:20 GMT By Staff

Rumours of THQ’s demise have been greatly exaggerated, the publisher has maintained, flatly denying cancellations of its 2014 line-up.

“THQ has not cancelled its 2014 line-up, and has not made any decisions regarding the planned MMO,” THQ’s Australian PR arm wrote in a statement.

“As part of the ongoing review of our business, we have made decisions to ensure that the company is strategically addressing the most attractive markets. As we have previously announced, we have dramatically reduced our commitment to the kids’ boxed games sector which leads to a significantly more focused release schedule moving forward. Our slate for calendar 2012 and beyond is focused on high-quality core games and continues to build our digital platform and business. We are excited for our pipeline of original and high-quality content along with our relationships with some of the best talent in the industry.

“Additionally, we are thrilled with the great performance of Saints Row: The Third, which on a like for like period in North America has tripled in sell-through from Saints Row 2. In addition, WWE ’12’s worldwide sell-through sales are up almost 40% year-over-year for the same sales period with fewer platforms. According to NPD, for the month of December and the 2011 year, THQ was the #5 publisher overall, #4 third party, with reported sell through growing over 18% in a market that was down almost 6%. And coming up next, we have two great titles for the first half of the year including UFC Undisputed 3 and Darksiders 2.”

Troubling whispers
Over the weekend, IGDA mobile SIG head Kevin Dent rumoured on Twitter that THQ had dropped its entire 2014 line-up, including “the Game Workshops MMO,” Vigil’s Dark Millenium Online.

In addition, it’s being claimed the publisher is offering itself for sale to “Asian firms” in order to increase its value.

Dent added that “word is spreading that THQ has returned IP to Disney AFTER paying the advance, with no refund.”

The rumours built on growing concerns over THQ’s waning financial performance. Over the past year, the company closed five development teams, and made a number of staff cuts. Red Faction and MX vs ATV Alive were both shelved during 201 after disappointing sales. However, it also poured resources into a new studio in Montreal, headhunting top local talent.

THQ development teams were among the first to receive Wii U kits, and several launch titles were expected; it also holds the UFC and WWE licenses, and saw success – now waning – with its Wii tablet add-on, uDraw.

The publisher has five major studios and at least ten games in the works, including Darksiders 2 and Metro: Last Light scheduled for northern summer; a publishing deal for Obsidian’s South Park: The Game, Guillermo del Toro’s inSane trilogy, and Tomonobu Itagaki’s Devil’s Third, as well as the highly anticipated Dark Millenium Online.

GamesIndustry cites anonymous sources for word that the Vigil-developed MMORPG is for sale.

THQ’s market capitalisation – the total dollar value of its publicly available shares – is $45.41 million. It is likely any offer to purchase the publisher would be much higher than that, resulting in a significant pay out to current investors – so expect interest in THQ stock to increase if a sale is on the cards.

At time of writing, THQ shares are on a slight rise at 67 cents in after hours trading. On Tuesday, THQ saw a spike to 80 cents per share – possibly on the back of insider rumours of a sale – but hit a 52 week low at 65 cents on Friday.

The company’s highest share price over the last year was $6.53 in early February 2011, but apart from a small bump in late October and early November, around the release of Saints Row: The Third, the company’s trade value has been on a steady decline in the 12 months since.



  1. Maximum Payne

    Just don’t touch Relic and my Metro.
    Well Darksiders is ok and Homefront 2 by Crytek is maybe going to be solid.And yea there is also Del Toro’s Insane.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Phoenixblight


    THis includes all of THQ studios not just the corp. I was wondering why THQ was hiring interns and temps by the boat load for Darksiders 2 looks like they are cramming as much as possible so that it does release.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Freek

    So if this is true, they just spent two years building up allot of great IP only to kill everything and sell what’s left.
    What wonderfull drugs are they on and where can I get some?

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Johnny Cullen

    @1 Think it’s safe to say Darksiders and Metro will be safe for this year. It’s after those that will be the big concern.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. DSB

    Pat, Johnny, Nathan, Stephany and Brenna – Why on earth haven’t you been looking into this sooner?

    I’ve been saying this for what feels like the better part of a year.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. monty12345

    aslong as i can get a saints row 4, then i dont give a shite.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Phoenixblight


    THats business, Midway did the same thing right until they went bankrupt.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Patrick Garratt

    We report stuff that happens, dude. Well, most of the time.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. DSB

    I just feel like it’s been the biggest story that hasn’t been told for a good while now. They were worth next to nothing going into 2011, and they were worth 10% of that before they got through the year.

    I don’t understand how nobody wanted that story. Is it about not kicking a guy while he’s down? :P

    #9 3 years ago
  10. Patrick Garratt

    @9 – I was told to watch it late last year, but dismissed it, if I’m being honest. My loss. You should be a games journalist ;)

    #10 3 years ago
  11. DSB

    @10 Hey, I take offence to that :P

    Still, they’re a public company, they’re gonna have to inform investors real soon if things are coming to a head.

    Maybe you should buy a share and get that message? It’s only 0.66 cents!

    #11 3 years ago
  12. Patrick Garratt

    Yeah. The rumour alone will affect the share price. I assume they’ll have to say something in the next day.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. aseddon130

    I’ll put £10 on Warner Interactive on buying Saints Row off them!

    #13 3 years ago
  14. Runcle

    #13 Rockstar might buy Saints row and do a Pokemon style GTA: Deep Grey Edition and a GTA: Super Awesome G-litChY rainboes EdiTion.

    #14 3 years ago
  15. Erthazus

    Sad thing about this is that Warhammer: 40K Dark Millenium is in development and it can be a huge SUCCESS.
    It’s the game that have a potential to be a next WOW in terms of revenue or at least it can be very profitable.

    It’s a sad day to be honest. I liked THQ for what they were doing. Saints row: the third was enjoyable.

    Metro 2034 should be a fantastic experience. Darksiders 2 should be a fixed Darksiders 1, not to mention that Crytek can do something great with Homefront 2. Del Toro’s Insane can be something really special and don’t forget about classic GW strategy games.

    I hope that everything will be fine.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. Brenna Hillier

    I’ve updated with a little information on THQ’s market value.

    #16 3 years ago
  17. Phoenixblight

    I suspect that this will be much like Midway that a company will buy certain studios and then THQ will go bankrupt.

    #17 3 years ago
  18. DSB

    It’s definitely not good. THQ had a good hand, but they’ve pretty much squandered it. Studios like Relic and Volition are capable of so much more than they’ve been doing the last years, and I was amazed that they would bet on something like Homefront.

    Saints Row The Third and Metro are really the only the only games that have registered with me since the original Company of Heroes, and Metro is too niche. I was meaning to check out De Blob though.

    I don’t know how their financials look, but they must be in pretty bad shape, and you can’t spend money you don’t have making games, so it’s impossible to tell what will survive and what won’t. And that’s only if they find a buyer.

    I think the fact that none of the bigger publishers have bought them at this point bodes pretty poorly. They’re not exactly expensive.

    @17 Yup, I think that’s looking pretty likely. Of course I’m hoping that the better studios might buy themselves out.

    #18 3 years ago
  19. Phoenixblight


    No Activision can buy them up and have 10 more studios for their COD factory. =-P

    Relic, VOliation, Vigil are the only studios worth being bought up from THQ.

    #19 3 years ago
  20. The_Red

    Please… NOOO. Why? They’ve released some really great stuff over the last couple of years. de Blob 1-2,Darksiders, Saints Row 2-3 and Red Faction Guerilla are among my fave games of this gen. I really REALLY hope this is NOT true.

    #20 3 years ago
  21. Sorvin

    So does that mean if another company would want to take over THQ, they would only have to come up with 45 mill USD?

    #21 3 years ago
  22. Marx n Engels

    This is a big shock. 2012 is looking like a pretty strong year for THQ, and 2011 wasn’t that bad. Surprised their stock has just plummeted as much as it has.

    Last thing we need to see is more developers suffering.

    #22 3 years ago
  23. Hunam

    Maybe we should all whip round and buy the Homeworld IP from them.

    #23 3 years ago
  24. AHA-Lambda

    I was looking forward to InSANE :(

    I don’t really like THQ’s games but this still a big deal obv =/

    #24 3 years ago
  25. Edo

    I just hope that Metro:Last Light and Darksiders II will still be released.

    #25 3 years ago
  26. AHA-Lambda

    @25 – they’ll almost certainly come out its post 2012 that’s the big problem

    ok whose betting? :P
    i got money on warner bros buying a good chunk of the IP and maybe a studio or 2. hell Wb got their start in the business on the corpse of midway, this is practically the same situation.

    #26 3 years ago
  27. BULArmy

    That is really bad I was looking forward to Dark Millenium even though I am not such a big fan of 40k. I am really hyped for Metro:Last Light, the original is one of my favorite games. I was interested what will Crytek do with Homefront 2. And the most important what will happen with Relic and Vigil?

    #27 3 years ago
  28. reask

    Funny that as I am playing darksiders atm.
    Makes you wonder really, I mean what represents a good game?

    Hype? Marketing? I mean which is it.
    God if infinity ward or there ilk take this industry over we are all doomed as gamers.

    #28 3 years ago
  29. absolutezero

    Right we just need EA and Acti to die and take the rest of the industry down at the sametime and we can start over fresh again.

    #29 3 years ago
  30. Phoenixblight


    THQ failing was buying too many studios with little to no returns if they would have reduced their studios to VOlition, Relic and Vigil, they would have had a fighting chance.


    Keep dreaming.

    #30 3 years ago
  31. IL DUCE

    Yeah ive seen this coming for awhile as I’ve watched their stock price free fall all year…hopefully we see Turtle Rock’s FPS and inSane…Homefront 2 by Crytek could be interesting too …Metro Last Light I’m really looking forward But that game should be fine just hope the franchise continues unless 4A picks up the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. IP

    #31 3 years ago
  32. LOLshock94

    guess devil third didnt come to anyones mind :(

    #32 3 years ago
  33. absolutezero

    I do often daydream about what it would take to cause another full industry crash.

    #33 3 years ago
  34. IL DUCE

    @32 not enough info on the game to care yet…the footage from a while ago looked cool from what I remember

    #34 3 years ago
  35. Christopher Jack

    Shame… A majority of my games are made by THQ. This may sound odd, but I hope Nintendo buy them out, they can use them as their hardcore developers, it’d be enough for me to consider buying a Wii U, but I’d imagine they’d want to keep their innocent look, they could just keep the name different from Nintendo.

    Activision seems unlikely to buy much if anything, especially after they found out that they can run on just Blizzard & CoD.

    EA also seems pretty unlikely to buy much when they already have enough studios.

    Quite frankly I think their chances of being bought out in bulk are very slim.

    #35 3 years ago
  36. Johnny Cullen

    Brenna’s just updated it with a statement. Basically, 2014 slate isn’t canned.

    #36 3 years ago
  37. Christopher Jack

    Glad they’re able to put a positive spin to all these rumours.
    By the way, why haven’t we heard anything about Turtle Rock’s new game? I like Danny Bilson but he’s always too forwards with his announcements, declaring things for studios before they’re ready to show it, I guess it just shows how enthusiastic he is about his own games.

    #37 3 years ago
  38. Clupula

    I can see EA buying Insane and Devil’s Third. The others…I don’t see them going anywhere.

    #38 3 years ago
  39. triggerhappy

    Good, i need my Metro fix. Plus Dark Millenium is the first MMO ive ever been interested in.

    #39 3 years ago
  40. Freek

    Midway produced allot of garbage and kept on producing allot of garabage, even running MK into the ground. No surpise they had close down.

    THQ isn’t like that, Darksiders, the Gamesworkshop stuff, Saints Row, Insane, Devils Third, Homefront (to a lesser extent), Metro.
    They’re a quality publisher, them going bust would be surprising.

    #40 3 years ago
  41. aseddon130

    Saints Row has been sold out everywhere in stores around me, i work in Tesco and they only recently got a few copies back in stock. It’s selling really well in my eyes as is WWE 12 so they can’t be doing too badly. If you look at the likes of Warhammer 40k and Homefront being sold at sub £10 brand new, then you could say they aren’t doing too good. But yeah, they’re alright i reckon.

    #41 3 years ago

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