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THQ remains in need of its hit, but it’s not dead yet

Monday, 16 January 2012 08:42 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Despite a swirl of rumour as to THQ’s overall health, now is not the time to lose sight of long term goals. The publisher may have had an incontrovertible off-year, but it hasn’t bought the farm just yet.

This is not a portrait of a company on its last legs. THQ may well deliver bad news in its February financial briefing, but that doesn’t necessarily equate to complete disaster. Hits can be made, and mistakes are fine provided you know when to stop making them.

Over the weekend, IGDA’s Kevin Dent broke a rumour that THQ had cancelled its entire 2014 line-up, put its assets on the market and offered itself to the highest bidder – essentially, that the company was bailing out.

For the few hours that THQ prevaricated, the talk spread like nerd flu at Comic Con, and the vaguely-worded statement which finally surfaced hasn’t gone far enough to dispel all doubt about the firm’s future. Although the publisher pooh-poohed the cancellations, it failed to firmly deny the possibility of a sale or the transfer of properties; and “no decision” about Dark Millennium Online is hardly reassuring.

The concern manifest over the past few hours has been diluted, but as anyone with more than a passing interest in the trade will already know, fear for THQ was a near-constant theme throughout 2011.

THQ entered the year with high hopes. In 2010, it had enjoyed the release of two well-received new properties – Darksiders and Metro 2033 – and squeezed Wii’s drying third-party market with its uDraw peripheral.

Its twelve-month release schedule looked promising and varied: a follow-up the much loved indie de Blob; a bold experimental business model with MX vs ATV Alive’s budget release and DLC focus; re-invention of its WWE-licensed releases; Saints Row: The Third, which turned out to be the answer to a prayer for open-world adventure we didn’t even perceive until it was fulfilled; three core shooters, with the latest in the well-liked Red Faction series; the plain good fun Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine; and an aggressive push for a share in the modern combat category with new IP Homefront.

None of this turned out as well as expected. The brilliant and lovingly crafted de Blob 2 arguably flopped, resulting in the closure of developer Bluetongue. MX vs ATV was canned, and its dev team likewise let go, while Red Faction felt the headsman’s axe after poor sales of Armageddon. Saints Row: The Third failed to set the charts alight as much as we would have liked (and believe it deserved). Homefront, while managing to shift over 1 million units in its first week, received “mixed” reviews.

The publisher posted a net loss of $38.4 million in the first quarter, $92.4 million in the second – both worse results than 2010 – and has downgraded its sales forecasts for the third quarter.

At the start of 2011, THQ’s shares were poised at the highest they would reach in the past 52 weeks – around $6.50. That’s not a huge number, and while it’s unfair to compare THQ to Activision (52 week high $14.10) or EA ($26.13), it’s safe to say the publisher wasn’t living up to comparably-positioned companies like Ubisoft ($12.50) and Take-Two ($17.58). Trading did not improve over the course of the year, and following a surge around the release of Saints Row: The Third, it continued declining to hit a new low at just 65 cents. Even with the NPD’s confirmation of an extremely poor fourth quarter for retail and general financial depression still very much active, that seems dire. Last year, it’s clear, was not THQ’s best.

Never gonna give you up

THQ’s major problem remains that it is not in possession of a true triple-A IP. For a publisher to remain in the big leagues today, it needs a Call of Duty, Battlefield, Elder Scrolls, Assassin’s Creed or GTA. The market knows this. It was in the wake of Homefront’s critical flop – something which tends to scare investors off the possibility of a franchise, even when sales figures are promising – that clouds really began to darken THQ’s horizon. The worries were voiced widely enough that we were moved to defend the publisher, citing THQ core head Danny Bilson’s long game – a strong and growing portfolio of properties and a multi-year roadmap to financial success.

THQ share prices, past 52 weeks.
Chart courtesy of MarketWatch.

Given the magnitude of triple-A development in the 2010′s, you have to take a long view; one bad year in the lifetime of a publisher doesn’t mean it’s on the rocks. Just ask EA, which has bounced back from the edge of disaster to arguably overtake rival Activision Blizzard. Bilson’s plan is centred on finding properties that work as “event” releases, and THQ has shown it’s committed to building a solid portfolio by enacting three strategies in its core gaming division.

First, it gives the sellers plenty of time to grow. Darksiders II will release a good two-and-a-half years after the first game, with Metro: Last Light expected to launch after a similar incubation period. That’s hardly stripmine annualisation.

Second, it’s not adverse to casting dead wood aside. Not every property has the grunt to power a franchise, and, for example, Red Faction’s core premise clearly didn’t hold players’ attention. Letting the series lie (for now) with the carefully crafted but ultimately unpopular Armageddon is a better fate than cutting costs and throwing good money after bad.

MX vs ATV Alive also epitomises one of THQ’s strengths; a willingness to experiment. The budget-release was an acknowledged risk, a trial of a possible strategy for coping with the digital transition, and it fell through. Another clever scheme, downloadable ties-ins for major releases, was also trialled and dropped. In both cases, THQ took a calculated gamble, then cut its losses; that’s a far from stupid approach.

What these three tenets demonstrate is the company’s commitment to games – not just to rapid turnover of profit. Bilson knows he must find THQ’s true hit, and it won’t come from content-churning. Of course THQ wants and needs to make money, but Bilson, its prime mover and shaker, has said over and over again that its his love of games that motivates him. He’s not looking for quick cash. He wants the kind of buck that comes back repeatedly based on years of good experiences with a brand that can be trusted. That trust takes time to develop, and the product that powers it needs to be carefully nurtured.

We’re entering the fourth year of Bilson’s captaincy of THQ’s core games division, and eyeing a 2012 release schedule punctuated by UFC Undisputed 3; Darksiders II; Metro: Last Light; Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III; WWE Brawl; and South Park: The Game – not to mention any titles the company may announce on shorter PR cycles. Beyond that, there’s the ever-elusive Warhammer 40,000: Dark Millennium Online (assuming the ambitious venture is still alive); Tomonobu Itagaki’s Devil’s Third; and Guillermo del Toro’s inSANE trilogy – plus further, slow-baked iterations of current properties.

This is not a portrait of a company on its last legs. THQ may well deliver bad news in its February financial briefing, but that doesn’t necessarily equate to complete disaster. Hits can be made, and mistakes are fine provided you know when to stop making them.

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39 Comments

  1. aseddon130

    i wouldnt say they are dead and buried, they showed promise with WWE 12 as they knew to change up wrestling, and WWE All Stars was a fantastic game as was Saint’s Row The Third.

    If you look at their upcoming games they should be pretty good sellers. Just do a Saints Row game for the launch of the new consoles and they’ll be absolutely fine and If they do good with WWE 13, the DLC for SR3 and have Homefront 2 do well under Crytek UK, then they could bring it all back.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Talkar

    If they had just released a Red Faction game instead of that armageddon thingy, they woud have been fine IMO. Armageddon had a good singleplayer, sure. But it was no where near Red Faction standards. It actually got butchered more than Beth butchered the Fallout franchise with Fallout 3.

    Saints Row: The Third, i really enjoy. I think it is great with a sandbox game, where nothing you do is meant seriously.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Patrick Garratt

    I really like THQ games. I seriously believe they’re some of the most inventive out there. But they badly need a big ticket. If you look at the performance of the top games last year – Skyrim, CoD, BF3, etc – they just have nothing equatable. Skyrim quickly brought in $650 million? That’s what they need. The problem is that it’s hard to see what’s going to do it for them.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Talkar

    Red Faction was a really good franchise, if they had just focused on keeping Armageddon true to the previous installments, i do believe it could have brought in a lot of money for them..

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Patrick Garratt

    Yeah, Red Faction was a shame. Their slate this year is great, though, and will all sell well into the millions. Yes, they need a super-thing, but having a slate full of slightly-less-super-things will certainly work in the mid-term.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. The_Red

    This part really broke my heart: “The brilliant and lovingly crafted de Blob 2 arguably flopped” I knew about it and it is true, yet it still pains me to see such a great platformer fail like that commercially :(

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Joe Musashi

    I’ve grown rather fond of THQ. Given their reputation in the 16-bit days of producing pure licensed garbage the publisher has really turned it around. To me they always seem to just be on the verge of a breakthrough hit but never quite breaking through. Whether it’s Homefront or Darksiders or even the Warhammer games. They don’t seem bolshy or bullish like some publishers and they’ve got interesting people on stuff like Guillermo del Toro and that ex Ubisoft designer chap.

    JM

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Erthazus

    Their super thing is WARHAMMER 40K: Dark Millenium Online.

    It’s obvious. If they are going to make it to the 2013 year they can have a MMO killer.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. viralshag

    I have a feeling we won’t even see a release of 40K:DM. If we do it will be released by someone else and delayed by about another year or two.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. Patrick Garratt

    I suspect the investment is too great. You’re looking at between $100-$200 million. EA did it with Star Wars, but Warhammer? I doubt there’s smoke without fire here.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. silkvg247

    What about a Saint’s Row MMO? :)

    APB is the only “sandbox” mmo out there, and it’s crap. The driving and shooting are terribad.

    Imagine Saint’s Row the Third but in a giant online hub with more than one city, with “gangs” (guilds) battling it out for control of each area.

    Droppable loot would mainly be cosmetic stuff, sky’s the limit on that one really. I’m thinking hundreds, nay, thousands of clothing options for starters. THQ could even get some branded gear in there and get some revenue from sponsors – then there’s micro transactions, something a game like this would surely profit from; Why yes I will pay two bucks for the silver starred rainbow dildo. etc.

    There’s a chasm to be filled for a proper sandbox MMO. I would rather it be saints row than GTA any day of the week.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. viralshag

    There’s definitely some truth in what #11 said.

    @10, I don’t think the time and money EA spent on SWTOR can be a benchmark for what’s needed to produce an MMO of good quality to be honest. I’m not even sure what they spent all that money on really. It’s not a bad game by a long shot but it’s far from breaking the mould.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. RandomTiger

    I gather while Red Faction Guerrilla got enough sales to justify a sequel but they needed to transform it into a big seller. It would be fascinating to know if the direction change for Armageddon came internally or externally to drive and score a AAA to match other publishers.

    From out here it looks like attempting to tap into Dead Space 2 and similar markets which is ironic since Dead Space 1 didn’t sell as well as *EA wanted*, but they stuck with it and delivered a sequel which wouldn’t alienate fans.

    1. Release good solid game with interesting mechanics
    2. Release a sequel without those mechanics
    3. Make a TV movie and XBLA game
    4. ?
    5. Profit

    #13 3 years ago
  14. Patrick Garratt

    @12 – I think it’s becoming increasingly obvious that TOR is one of the last MMOs of its type. I’ll be interested to see if Titan follows the WoW model, or if it’s something new. Star Wars was one of the only franchises that made it possible for EA to justify spending that amount of money. It must have cost an absolute fortune; hundreds of people worked on it, they produced a few hundred hours of content, they had to build the infrastructure to supports millions of people at launch, and *still* people are moaning about the endgame. At least they have a huge Star Wars fan-base to buy it, so there’s every chance it’ll work.

    I just don’t see how THQ can risk making that investment in a property like Warhammer. If they’re strapped for cash, it’d be the first thing to go, simply because it’s the biggest risk. I think you’re right in that you don’t have to spend $150 million to make a decent MMO, but do you have to spend that much to compete with WoW? I reckon you do.

    #14 3 years ago
  15. Erthazus

    Warhammer is huge Pat.

    When WOW launched, it was also a big investment for Blizzard and outside of Warcraft RTS there was no fanbase.

    Warhammer has huge install base with RTS gamers, roleplaying community and etc. Warhammer 40K is larger than you think.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. viralshag

    @14, To be honest their approach to end-game content was a little surprising to me. I made 50 yesterday afternoon and after hitting it I said to my guildies “great, what instances can I do to start getting some gear?” To which I was told I need to start grinding dailies for about a week…

    As someone who wants to spec for healing – questing at that level as a healer sucks ass. I don’t really want to run around healing my companion. So I have had to go back to DPS in order to get some decent gear to heal in.

    I think it’s an MMOs downfall to think you have to “compete with WoW” these days. I think it’s safe to say that game has a customer base unto itself. If by “compete” you mean following WoW standards – which at this stage is pretty dire compared to other games on the market – then you won’t be that great because the only thing that will do WoW as well WoW, is WoW itself.

    TOR has changed some things up and they’re probably the best parts about the game. Unfortunately, anything innovative and interesting is suffocated by the traditional aspects of an MMO.

    #16 3 years ago
  17. Patrick Garratt

    @15 – Yeah, but it’s not huge in the same way Star Wars is huge. You’re right that WoW launched off the back of a big RTS fanbase, but WoW really was a game of its time. It was just one of those things that worked beyond all expectation, a bit like Harry Potter. The Old Republic is Star Wars WoW, and WoW’s it’s main competition. It’s not a new concept, and it’s a mature, saturated market. It has to really sledgehammer it to succeed, and it needs a massive franchise like Star Wars.

    Could DMO really, *really* have a good chance of standing up with millions of players against WoW and TOR? I reckon that’s a chance they can’t take. Maybe it was a different story when WoW first launched, but we’ve all seen countless MMOs come and go since then, and nothing’s ever come close to standing up to WoW in terms of raw numbers. It’s one of the most dangerous genres for publishers, simply because of the cost.

    I dunno. Maybe they haven’t canned it. Doesn’t look very hopeful, though.

    #17 3 years ago
  18. viralshag

    @15, I think the Warhammer fan base is huge, in general. But in terms of the digital fan base I think the numbers reduce quite significantly.

    I can’t see the fans of Warhammer flock to an MMO of the same brand, unlike with SW.

    #18 3 years ago
  19. absolutezero

    Its depressing to think that success now equates to “selling millions and millions and fucking millions”, not you know being critically liked and selling quite alot.

    If they just down-sized and concetrated and what makes THQ different from the others and not attempt to just make copy-cat big budget nonsense they would be able to carve out a nice little niche. Bring Relic to the fore-front and get right behind them, help out Volition and buckle down.

    Start dropping the awful Spongebob and its ilk games that negatively affects audience perception, stop trying to create new gimmicks like the UDraw (which has then been copied itself by Ubi so I guess that say something about it).

    Remember THQ originally helped the first ever Stalker see the light of day, de Blob is an amazing little title aswell. I just have a feeling that THQ has too much spread too thin, its not the size of EA, or Acti or even Ubisoft, so there should not really been multiple teams working and being paid to make phone versions.

    From my own playing of GW titles and talking to other massive Warhammer fans all over the net most of them appear to simply want a game akin to Magic the Gathering but for their own game. An Action/MMO while allowing a fair amount of fanservice will just always lack that special lack of strategy that even the DoW games lack.

    #19 3 years ago
  20. ManuOtaku

    I will buy for sure UFC Undisputed 3; Darksiders II; Metro: Last Light; WWE Brawl; and South Park game, just to support THQ, i did love darksiders and metro, and wwe 12 and superstars are really good games i did enjoy, and to say iam really interested in a souht park game that resembles a lot of paper mario will be an understatement, also a big plus is that is been developed by obsidian, man it will be a good game IMHO.

    And i also like to add that iam sad that the blob franchise didtn sold that great, i did love those games on wii, pretty good if you ask me

    #20 3 years ago
  21. silkvg247

    I was thinking a bit more about the SRMMO idea. It would be epic.

    Instead of boring PvP instances you could queue for:

    Standard DM
    Team DM
    Tank DM – Cause carnage to get points, bonus for taking down other player’s tanks.
    Mayhem – Same as curernt game mode, with varying weps, but PvP
    Races – But with “fun” random vehicle selection. Golf cart race, anyone?

    There could be coop games too..

    “Whored” mode – players battle to survive, like the current game mode but much, much bigger.
    Genki – Again like the current version but on steroids.

    All the above could be I dunno, 16 player or something, with a screoboard at the end giving out PvP rep points used to buy special PvP vanity gear – but SR3 OTT style – e.g. a dominatrix outfit with massive shoulders or something.

    And with it being sandbox, there’s always open world PvP going on as well, real gang vs. gang warfare.

    There’d be no level ups – just rep. PvP rep and social rep (for coop and PvE). Both kinds of points would be used for diff costumes and whatnot. Bragging rights.

    I do think weapons should be standard / bought with in game cash from shops / available to all players otherwise microtransaction model would fail. Though the graphical looks of weapons could be bought (e.g. the rainbow dildo). Also unlockable weapons, which anyone can get to (eventually). Like a whip. ;)

    The more I think about it, more this game would be like sex.

    Microtransaction vehicles and vanity items would sell truckloads if they were priced cheap. Also tthink about the gang idea – people would pay to pimp out their crib and gang “look” if it were priced reasonably.

    A cheap subscription model could award bonus rep points amongst other perks, and would give THQ constant cashflow.

    The possibilities are endless. I don’t see how it could fail. Plus they’re maybe half way there with the current SR3 engine..

    #21 3 years ago
  22. Patrick Garratt

    Nutter :)

    #22 3 years ago
  23. DSB

    I think it’s pretty obvious that THQ sucks at proofing their projects before they sign off on them.

    I couldn’t believe that something as stupid as Homefront could make it into anyone’s line-up, especially considering what’s getting shelved across the industry these days.

    They had some of the best strategy guys in the business working at Relic, but they’ve squandered them on a crippled arena/RTS with Dawn of War II, and of course the failed Company of Heroes MMO.

    Red Faction just follows the same pattern in my opinion. Instead of ensuring traction on the sequel to Guerilla, they basically killed the franchise by trying to make it a monster shooter. Why would you ever do that?

    Metro, MMA and Saints Row are the best properties they have around these days, but I don’t think they can run a company on those. Metro deserves more attention than it’s getting, but the Russian setting is probably too niche.

    If they can sell Darksiders fair enough, but you’re looking at a nicely skinned Zelda clone. If they made their own game out of that universe, I think it could be a monster.

    To me it just seems like they either don’t care, or they aren’t smart enough to keep up.

    #23 3 years ago
  24. freedoms_stain

    @23, I dunno man, Homefront looked interesting to me until I played it, then it was clearly a bag of shite (and when they did the free weekend on Steam months later and it was an identical bag of shite).

    #24 3 years ago
  25. mingtons ghost

    More importantly, why is that space marine wearing a wedding dress

    #25 3 years ago
  26. Erthazus

    @25, because he is from the inquisition.

    #26 3 years ago
  27. DSB

    @24 I don’t know, it made my bullshit detector spike from day 1.

    North Korea invades the US? Why not Cuba? Why not Burma?

    It had a sort of “CoD” vibe to it in some videos, and that made me think it might make it, but the idea is just fundamentally dumb. It needs a rethink.

    Red Dawn wasn’t a good movie and it won’t make a good game, unless it’s Freedom Fighters maybe.

    I once had a drink called Red Dawn, that was pretty good!

    #27 3 years ago
  28. Erthazus

    “North Korea invades the US? Why not Cuba? Why not Burma?”

    Because without US it will be the same niche as Metro series and it won’t sell more than 300.000 copies.
    Also, North Korea does not like US and they have 1106000 active troops to this day.
    Game was about the future possibility of the attack. There was no CoD vibe. Homefront is just it’s own thing.

    #28 3 years ago
  29. YoungZer0

    “Game was about the future possibility of the attack. There was no CoD vibe. Homefront is just it’s own thing.”

    Did you play it? It was CoD in cheap.

    #29 3 years ago
  30. DSB

    @28 One million troops, who aren’t allowed to go anywhere unless they have a comrade with them, to avoid defection.

    One million troops whose families are starving thanks to the regime.

    One million troops facing down 600,000 of some of the worlds best professional soldiers in the South Korean army, with 3 million in reserve, whose families aren’t starving, and who aren’t about to go jumping over the worlds most heavily fortified border area just to reach North Korea.

    Saddam Hussein had “one of the worlds biggest armies” as well. It took about a month to annihilate those using only a third of their “strength”.

    The North Korean army would be defeated faster than the Iranian one. The only threat posed is nukes. They don’t even have rice to throw at the enemy.

    Numbers are numbers. They don’t mean very much if they aren’t prepared, equipped or willing to fight.

    #30 3 years ago
  31. Erthazus

    @29, game itself was a CoD Rip off. I said that the idea behind it (NK attacks US) was it’s own thing. Homefront is trash and everyone know it.

    @DSB, first of all.

    “One million troops whose families are starving thanks to the regime.”

    that does not say anything when Soviet union since it’s creation had a gigantic army whose families were starving.

    Second, “One million troops facing down 600,000 of some of the worlds best professional soldiers in the South Korean army, with 3 million in reserve”

    some of the worlds what? Who said that they are the best and who said that North Korea don’t have Reserve personnel? It’s just around 8 million just for example. You can read it in the wiki.

    “Saddam Hussein had “one of the worlds biggest armies” as well”

    Is this your fantasy again? There was almost no army at all and you can read in the wiki about it again. 300000 troops with soviet 30 year old hardware and zero Air Force is not an army.

    “The North Korean army would be defeated faster than the Iranian one. ”

    If that was true, someone would destroy them long time ago, especially South Korea. Not to mention that you don’t know what can happen if war with NK could start.

    “They don’t mean very much if they aren’t prepared, equipped or willing to fight.”

    Who said that they are not prepared and not equipped?
    They have it’s own hardware and their regime is pretty much helping them making new hardware for it’s country. I’m not saying that it is the best in the world, but they are equipped. They are buying MiG’s and they have decent Air Force. They have an army to attack.

    Homefront is a fiction and i have no idea where is a problem with that setting. Idea failed with crappy developers. Crytek is doing the job now and im sure they can make it right more or less.

    #31 3 years ago
  32. Ireland Michael

    The people lamenting the fact that its almost impossible for a gaming company to stay afloat without selling millions and millions of copies of their games are also the people begging for a new generation of hardware sooner rather than later.

    You know what happens when that happens? Development costs go up. What cost 250,000 six years ago costs about 5,000,000 now, all because of the advancement of the technology and people’s ever growing demands and expectations regarding graphical fidelity in their games.

    And this is why “casual gaming” is becoming so damn popular – twice the money for ten times less the cost. It’s not about laziness. Its about keeping your company afloat in an industry that will potentially spit you out after one poor selling game.

    Consumers have proven time and again, with the likes of the iPhone, DS, Wii and 3DS (after a slow start) that they don’t care about the power under the hood. They just want some fun. If you don’t cater to this audience, your company might as well already be dead.

    And no, it won’t kill core gaming.

    #32 3 years ago
  33. DSB

    @31 I see you still haven’t read up on military fact.

    I’m not gonna school you on these things, you’re just gonna have to read about them yourself. You don’t have to take my word for it, just read the analysis of any military analyst out there. There’s no ambiguity on the matter.

    I’d highly recommend studying the South Korean army. They were legendary in Vietnam, and aside from a lack of actual experience over the years, there’s no sign of that having changed.

    The Soviet army would also have been annihilated in conventional warfare. This really isn’t news to anyone. Throughout the Cold War, western military analysts consistently overrated the Soviet military’s capabilities, in part thanks to the Soviet regimes expertise in counter-espionage, creating an imaginary force that would never have stood a chance in conventional warfare, at least since the Brezhnev regime. As Afghanistan showed, their command and control failed in even the smallest operations, with Soviet troops firing on and killing eachother.

    The idea behind Homefront is a lot further from reality than CoD ever gets, and CoD is pretty damn far to begin with. No super power has ever been invaded by a starving banana republic. That’s not gonna change within 30 years, and I would think that most people would know that.

    #33 3 years ago
  34. ManuOtaku

    #32 I agree with you and i think the same, very spot on really.

    #34 3 years ago
  35. AHA-Lambda

    @32 – damn spot on =)

    I appreciate the optimism of the article but i can not agree with it. I can’t see thq lasting the year if the rumours are true. As pat has said they have no blockbuster IP with saints row being the closest but just not enough to offset the BIG losses they’ve made.

    Also many of the IP mentioned in the article are just not good examples to bring up:
    Darksiders? that game lost money
    space marine? that game lost money
    homefront? barely broke even if i remember correctly
    devil’s third?? that is EXACTLY the type of game but screams AAA bomba all over it the exact type of game that just SHOULDN’T have such a big budget.

    Also while we’re at it THQ INSIST on announcing games way too early.
    Homefront 2?
    Insane?
    devil’s third?
    WH40K MMO?
    patrice desilet project?
    turtle rock project?
    these games are all years out so why announce them?

    IMO the company should have stayed their focus on licenced crap (at least it makes money) and focus their core efforts for pc with games like CoH and DoW. They are much cheaper too make and their life sales are much longer due to digital distribution.

    #35 3 years ago
  36. GrimRita

    Bloody hell, I knew it was cold this morning but I had no idea hell just froze over! The reason? Me agreeing with Ireland Michael for once! :)

    THQ have such a diverse range of games, some of which I just love. Dawn of War 3 is needed but please for the love of god, return to the original format that I spent hundreds of hours playing and extra cash spent on expansions.

    #36 3 years ago
  37. Ireland Michael

    @36 I agree. I find Homefront just happens to be a stinker amongst a genuinely great portfolio of games. Pity that stinker probably made them more money than any of the other games. Not the best message to give the industry.

    I do think THQ needs to start putting some more attention into the mobile and social market. It’s a proven model.

    #37 3 years ago
  38. DSB

    I think a lot of their actions hint at a company that has lost touch.

    They have a great hand in the Dawn of War and Company of Heroes games, but instead of really applying that momentum they just churn out expansions. Fair enough, but not impressive.

    Then they take that hand and bet it all on competitive and arena RTS. Who ever asked for that? I know that Company of Heroes had a multiplayer component, but I don’t know anyone who was obsessed with it.

    And even if you have an idea that competitive RTS is the new shit, why would you bet both of your strategy franchises on that?

    Instead of giving people something different, they choose to make the dumbest possible “military” shooter with Homefront. Why would you suddenly want to take on EA and CoD while they’re already splitting the market between them?

    Of course then you have Red Faction Armageddon which took an unimpressive game and made it absolutely terrible, instead of improving on it.

    I know a lot of people love Darksiders, but to me it feels pretty hollow. I like the setting, but it’s a clone in every sense of the word. I think there’s a definite limit to how far you can take a game that doesn’t own it’s own gameplay.

    THQ has done a lot of stuff on the PC, and yet they pretty much pull a Ubisoft by backing GFWL for all of their releases. On top of that, they pursue one of the most aggressive campaigns of junk DLC, in Dawn of War II’s case costing even more than another two copies of the game itself.

    To me it’s like a big neon sign going “Yeah, we got nothin’”. And it never had to be that way, it’s purely down to their own lack of sense.

    #38 3 years ago
  39. IL DUCE

    @11 the problem with APB was that it didn’t come to consoles

    And Saints Row is waaaaaay to niche to be a big ticket for them…and I called it that Saints Row wouldn’t be very successful even with it’s decent review…the game tries way too hard to be funny and over the top

    I really dig Metro: Last Light since its the closest thing to a S.T.A.L.K.E.R. type vibe on consoles…and I would definitely love to see what Crytek can do with Homefront 2, which may be their big ticket since more often than not, a big ticket game is an FPS or something huge like GTA or Elder Scrolls which are the best of their genre…

    InSane may be cool, but it will definitely be a niche game and I would love to see what the TurleRock FPS will be since that could be their big ticket as well depending on what it ends up being…

    #39 3 years ago

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    In this J-Stars Victory VS+ trailer, we see – uhh. Well. We certainly see some things. Look y’all, I was a massive weaboo in high school, but that was back in the dark ages when we had to take out Manga Entertainment VHS tapes from dingy little specialist rental joints that were literally underground, and […]

  • Please just watch this terrific trailer for Toren

    Toren is the kind of game I dream about when I drift off to sleep at night. This indie puzzle adventure strikes a spark in my little soul in the same way as Ico and Tequila Works’ Rime do. Mysterious, almost ethereal fantasy setting – check. Chance to actually walk around in that setting – […]

  • Play classic MS-DOS games on your own tweets

    In today’s episode of “what will they think of next”, someone’s figured out how to post playable versions of classic games in tweets. For some time now, Twitter has allowed you to embed various forms of media in tweets, most noticeably YouTube videos, simply by pasting a URL into the compose field. Turns out this […]

  • VR: Unreal Engine to add HTC Vive support

    The biggest digital PC game distributor and the most popular game development engine have both backed VR. It’s going to happen. An upcoming Unreal Engine 4 update will expand the development suite’s support to the HTC Vive, Valve’s VR headset. In this glorious new future where work on one of the most important engines in […]

  • WWE 2K15 PC supports modding

    WWE 2K15 may be the series’ PC debut, but it’s already getting into the spirit of the platform. WWE 2K15 does indeed support mods on PC, 2K’s Marcus Stephenson has confirmed. @ElementGamesTV you can. Now buy. — Marcus Stephenson (@stephensonmc) April 28, 2015 As Destructoid points out, this opens the door to all sorts of […]

  • Overkill’s The Walking Dead coming to PC, PS4 and Xbox One in 2016

    Overkill’s The Walking Dead is one step closer to your grasping little paws. Overkill’s The Walking Dead will be published by 505 Games, Overkill parent Starbreeze has announced. 505 also published Payday 2, Overkill’s previous title, so the two companies have established a working relationship. In a press release, the publisher said the co-op title […]

  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 pre-orders net Advanced Warfare DLC

    Buy Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 for later, enjoy bonus Advanced Warfare content now. Blacks Ops 3 is being supported by a rather cunning pre-order incentive even more likely to get you to lay your cash down sooner than you might otherwise. Gamespot reports a Black Ops 3 pre-order will receive a couple of […]

  • Steam Game Ban system lets developers determine who to block

    Steam users can now be blocked from individual games by their developers. Steam has always supported multiplayer bans for disruptive users, but a newly-implemented system allows developers to ban users from individual games using their own anti-cheat systems. Game Bans are enforced by Valve, but are enacted at the developer’s request and discretion. This change […]

  • Far Cry 4 devs matching Red Cross donations up to $100K to aid Nepal earthquake victims

    Far Cry 4 developer Ubisoft Montreal will match any pledges made to The Red Cross up to $100,000 to aid Nepal after the 7.8 earthquake struck the area in and around Kathmandu in Nepal. According to Ubisoft: “Having spent the last few years working on Far Cry 4, a game heavily inspired by Nepal and […]

  • Tales of Zestiria retail listing notes September release date, PS4 version

    Tales of Zestiria is coming west in northern autumn, and while it’s confirmed as a PlayStation 3 release, a Dutch retailer has it listed as coming to PS4 as well. Of course, listing it for PS4 could also be a typo, not that I would personally know about that sort of thing, really. However, according […]