Take-Two CEO: “THQ won’t be around in six months”

Thursday, 5th April 2012 21:13 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Speaking at the MIT Business in Gaming conference today, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick has predicted THQ would shutter in six month’s time.

According to Zelnick, the biggest mistake the firm made was with licensed properties, which he said cost companies more in the long run due to profit margins dropping over renegotiating the license every few years.

“THQ’s strategy was licensed properties, first and foremost,” he said during a “fireside chat” reported by Joystiq. “License stuff from other people, whether it’s UFC or WWE or a motion picture property, and make a game around that. Our approach, since we took over the company, is 100% owned intellectual property.”

When describing the difference between his firm and THQ, Zelnick said that while admittedly T2′s last financial report showed a year-over-year decline, the focus on quality pays off in the long run.

“The most important difference is quality,” he said. “Take-Two has the highest quality ratings among third-party publishers, according to Metacritic and most people in the industry. Quality really, really, really matters. THQ has had some good game, but their quality levels aren’t even remotely … the quality hasn’t measured up.

“[Changing company] strategy didn’t work [for THQ] and the execution was bad. To put it another way: the food was no good and the portions were small.

“THQ won’t be around in six months.”



  1. Anders

    He might be right, sorry to say. At least the worthwhile parts of the company (read: Volition) will be picked up.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Sam Clay

    I don’t want them to disappear in 6 months :(

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Dark

    Well no surprise there , THQ always release crappy games
    even darksiders was mediocre at best , and this is coming from a huge fan of that genre.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Joe Anderson

    He maybe right. Shame as I was hoping to see even more Darksiders games in the future. THQ has some great ip’s, shame about the titles which have let them down.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. DSB

    THQ weren’t the evilest publisher around, but they’ve thrown away more than they’ve created over the last decade.

    It used to be Dawn of War, Company of Heroes, Destroy All Humans, De Blob, Stalker. Instead you’re looking at uDraw, Homefront and Space Marine.

    And the games they got right, like Metro might be too niche to make a difference.

    Then there’s the fact that they just let it happen. I was talking about this for at least a year before it happened. Apparently not even their own leadership cared.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. LOLshock94

    fingers crossed, produced nothing but shit

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Yoshi

    Wait but they were making a Company of Heroes 2… wtf will happen to it!!! WTF WILL HAPPENNN!!!! *CRIES*

    #7 3 years ago
  8. The_Red

    That is cold!

    Seriously, I hope that’s untrue. What will happen to promising titles like InSane, Devil’s Third and South Park RPG? Not to mention DarkSiders 2 and Dawn of War 3.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. KrazyKraut

    This is what you get…
    This is what you get…
    This is what you get…
    When you mess with us.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. mojo

    THQuestionmark wount be missed.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. loki

    I hope other developers will realize that you need to invest in the game is not in the pc ports

    #11 3 years ago
  12. brotherhoodofthewolf

    @#5 leadership is paid too much to care

    #12 3 years ago
  13. Sini

    shame, darksiders and stalker were good.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. Dinasis

    Throwing in with the others hoping this doesn’t happen. I’d like to see Saints Row 4 as an early title next generation, but going back more to its Saints Row/2 roots, just so long as Pierce and Shaundi are still around as well as whomever Volition wants to carry forward from Saints Row: The Third.

    Ohh, and what the hell ever happened to chasing after Dex? Dex left Stilwater. The Saints left Stilwater. Opportunity, Volition, opportunity.

    #14 3 years ago
  15. CPC_RedDawn

    I will not be sad to see THQ go, however I will be said to see its development companies go. They do have some awesome talent on hand there.

    Homefront, was a decent game. It was not amazing by any standard of the imagination. It just lacked depth, the storyline was extremely weak even when compared to COD, plus it lasted around 3 and a 1/2 hours which is shorter than COD too.

    Metro 2033 was an awesome game and did not get the recognition it deserved. I hope someone picks up Last Light as its looking very good. Also STALKER 2, as the first STALKER is one of my all time fav games (but still it needed mods to make it better, not expand the game like mods do for Skyrim).

    Also, Homefront 2, which is being made by Crytek on Cryengine 3. I have a funny feeling that we will never see that game again. May be for the better, but still, in the hands of a new team it could of been better than the first.

    If Nintendo knew what was good for them, they would snap up THQ and all of its properties right now. As they have a major console release this year, and with the games already in development at THQ’s dev studios. That could add some much needed boost to the Wii U’s launch lineup.

    Imagine the Wii U launching with majority of THQ’s games as exclusives. Darksiders 2, Stalker, Homefront 2, Last Light. That would be awesome for that console, and the fact that Nintendo are trying to regain the core market as they already have the casual audience in the palm of their hand.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. TD_Monstrous69

    I really hope that THQ doesn’t shutter. Because they seem to have found their stride as far as advancing creatively is concerned. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem their creative advances were planned out very well financially. Though I hope something that does happen if THQ closes, Volition, Vigil, and Yukes find new homes with Take Two or someone else (along with the IP’s they worked on). Thinking back though, I’m starting to think it’s kinda shocking that it took this long for chatter of THQ trouble to start. Seeing as how the studio originally responsible for what was supposed to be THQ’s breakout franchise “HomeFront” (KAOS Studios) closed three months after the game released.

    #16 3 years ago
  17. Christopher Jack

    I hope he’s wrong, but if he were to be right, I hope that someone will quickly snap up Relic along with the W40K license & the Dawn of War trademark. Doesn’t help THQ that they’re in the middle of restructuring & have only started getting it right with their focus on AAA quality. THQ simply tried throwing crappy licensed & gimmicky titles through retail chains at full retail price hoping something done well, instead they need to go back the drawing board & work out what people want & what they’re capable of delivering.

    #17 3 years ago
  18. Dirk_Dexter

    Update: Game Informer has received the following statement from Zelnick regarding his recent comments:

    “While discussing our strategy I spoke out of turn about someone else’s. It was inappropriate and I regret it.”

    #18 3 years ago
  19. wilson576

    What Zelnick failed to mention is that T2 loses money or makes a small profit every quarter when there isn’t a Rockstar game on the horizon… No matter how good the IP’s T2 have, they seem to fail to manage it which is a constant problem for them since the beginning of this console generation.

    #19 3 years ago
  20. endgame

    Wait! Wait! Company of Heroes, Dawn of War, Darksiders, Space Marine, these were all good games. So what are you guys talking about? How can you say that THQ is publishing bad games when they have this line-up!?

    #20 3 years ago
  21. back_up

    sad i loved darksiders
    was eagerly waiting for new ip from Gulliermo del Toro
    PC gamers sucks they pirated darksiders and saints row3 and killed THQ

    #21 3 years ago
  22. Christopher Jack

    @20, 3/4 of what you listed were from a single developer.

    #22 3 years ago
  23. endgame

    @22 Yes. Those 3/4 are from Relic. I know that. But what is your point?

    #23 3 years ago
  24. silkvg247

    Saint’s Row would be a massive loss for the gaming world. There is no game like it.

    Darksiders is also fun, dunno why anyone would slate it.

    #24 3 years ago
  25. Gekidami

    Anyone remember these?:

    “THQ’s is a broad plan. Ignore the losses. There’s a long way to go 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.”

    Goes to show that sometimes what you see it what you get; A company haemorrhaging money and making cuts left and right is a company going down the drain.

    #25 3 years ago
  26. Erthazus

    I hope that Metro 2034 won’t be canned or it is going to be not really good.

    #26 3 years ago
  27. The_Red

    @22 True but this means they have a dev that makes great games. Also, it’s not alone:
    Another single dev: Saint’s Row 2, Saint’s Row the Third and Red Faction Guerilla.
    Another single dev: DarkSiders and Darksiders 2 (I know, this one is a bit thin but roll with me here :) ).

    Plus they have made deals with a lot of great independent devs. Tim Schafer’s studio, Itagaki’s studio and more.

    #27 3 years ago
  28. Sadismek

    If they’re going to cancel Metro 2034, I’m going to have an ugly, really ugly, reaction.

    #28 3 years ago

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