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THQ’s new boss hopes to give studios more resources

Thursday, 7th June 2012 23:20 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Jason Rubin, co-founder of Naughty Dog and new president of THQ, believes the publisher has the potential to produce a massive hit, if its development teams are given a freer rein.

Rubin told Gamasutra that Saints Row: The Third is just one example of a good game that could have been great.

“I don’t want to linger in the past, but they were not given the appropriate resources. They were not allowed to have a long-term enough approach to making games from a planning and decision-making process standpoint,” he said.

“What I plan to do here is give teams the ability to compete.”

The executive said that with better support, Saints Row: The Third could have been a breakaway hit.

“The engine itself is capable of doing something great. [Saints Row] is capable of being a Red Dead Redemption, but not given the proper assets, not given a deadline that was long enough, they’ve ended up with a game that was extremely popular,” he said.

“With Red Dead Redemption, the guys had enough money to do visuals, gameplay and story. In Saints Row, they had to pick a subset of that, but I think that team has the capability to do everything.”

Interestingly, Rubin said that giving studios larger budgets and more breathing room means they get more done for less.

“The most important thing is to make great titles. If they know they’re going to be able to, they believe, and I believe those titles will find an audience one way or another,” he said.

“If I can prove to them I’m going to make their lives easier, they’re fine with that. They can shut out all that other crap. If you set people up right, they will succeed.”

Rubin said THQ is in a good position financially, which is welcome news indeed, but also said he plans to be quite conservative with spending until he can build a “buffer” of money. And when it does, don’t expect any more investments in fripperies like uDraw.

“We’re only going to have one pillar, and that’s core. I think there’s been much talk of social and mobile killing the core business – I don’t put much merit in that,” he said.

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4 Comments

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  1. Talkar

    It doesn’t just come down to the money. It also comes down to which software development methodologies they’re using. Are they using scrum, extreme programming, unified process or something else i haven’t heard of? Are they trying to find the best one, or are they stuck in the old ways?

    #1 2 years ago
  2. The_Red

    Considering that Saints Row the Third is already a superb game that didn’t sell as much as it deserved, I’m not sure what Mr Rubin is talking about.

    Of course these are encouraging words and I really hope to see them give proper resources to teams behind South Park RPG, Metro Last Light and InSane.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. NeoSquall

    @2 My thoughts indeed.
    I’d like to know what he thinks would have made SR3 an even better game?

    Graphics are on par with the actual gen and useful in conveying the crazy fun background.
    Gameplay is an extreme improvement on past titles of the franchise, better movements, better animations, better driving mechanics.
    The story isn’t VGA award stuff, but it serves its purpose in amusing the player long enough.

    What else is needed?
    More like what can Volition improve upon in SR4?

    #3 2 years ago
  4. DSB

    @3 A bigger city, a longer story, more characters?

    That’s just three things off the top of my head.

    He’s probably also talking about the backend. It was a good game, and 4 million is more than I expected, but THQ have sucked at selling their games for a pretty long time.

    Metro should’ve done better too, it’s a great shooter.

    #4 2 years ago