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

Thursday, 5 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.”