Rubin – THQ needs its own Skyrim, Red Dead Redemption

Saturday, 9th June 2012 14:48 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Jason Rubin, newly appointed president of THQ, has said despite Saints Row: The Third selling over 4 million units worldwide and the generally positive review scores, he thinks THQ and Volition can do better.

Speaking with Polygon, Rubin believes SR:T should have sold as well as Skyrim or Red Dead Redemption.

“Why couldn’t that be a Red Dead Redemption or a Skyrim?” he said. “I look at that title and I say, ‘Who cares what it is and why it got to be what it is? From that team we can make something that isn’t embarrassing.”

Rubin clarified he wasn’t embarrassed of the team or the game per se, just that he thinks the team is capable of more.

Elaborating a bit more, Rubin didn’t say there wasn’t room at the company any more for games featuring “a purple dildo,” but such juvenile humor needs to fit into the game created.

“It works for South Park, but I’m not sure it does elsewhere,” he said. “I don’t think (Volition) chose to do what they did because they had all of the options available to them. It was the environment at the time. I know I can change that.”

As far as THQ’s other IPs in the works were concerned, Rubin said there are an “appropriate number of teams and people,” at the company to work on Guillermo del Toro’s inSane, and while he finds Darksiders 2 “very interesting,” he thinks he can get the team to “make other very interesting games.”

The firm will also talk about Patrice Desilets’ game “when we’re ready.”

For now, Rubin’s plan is to reinvigorate THQ by concentrating on “a small slate of titles and making sure we have the money to back them so the developers don’t have to rush,” he said.

“I really don’t care how we got here. This is where we are and I think the company is in a strong position.”



  1. Sini

    we want rubin to stfu and spend more marketing on metro

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Razor

    Hmm, seems to me that Polygon made a right mess of reporting what Rubin was trying to say.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Stephany Nunneley

    Not everything has to be the videogame equivalent of the Mona Lisa.

    Personally, I liked SR3, a lot. I found myself laughing out loud 70%$ of the time. It’s absurd. It knows it is absurd. And allows the player to be absurd, because in real life if you smacked someone in the face with the purple martial aide outside the bedroom, you would go to jail. There is a place for silly, outrageous, fun games that appeal to your juvenile side.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Stephany Nunneley

    @2 Yeah, I had to be sure I read between the lines carefully on that. It’s being taken out of context everywhere – thus you will notice the editor’s note in the original post through the link.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. TMRNetShark

    Saints Row The Third was a great game and he is sneezing at 4 million copies sold!? The only reason Skyrim/GTA/CoD sell so well is because their previous games were good/amazing and the next game has more of the same/improvements.

    Some will argue that CoD is not a good game… maybe. A 10+ million copy game like CoD has to be doing something right for it to sell (like how THQ’s Rubin wants his games to do).

    #5 3 years ago
  6. Ireland Michael

    Unfortunately, four million sold in this industry nowadays leaves you with little more than a bit of pocket change at the end. And it’s only going to get worse in the next generation. More power = more graphical expectations = more cost.

    Saints Row 3 was a great game in many respects, but there was so much padding in it at times that it was ludicrous, and sucked a lot of the enjoyment out of it at times.

    Good luck finding the budget to match Red Dead Redemption though, Rubin.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. KAP


    With that said Steph Saints Rows of the world doesnt bring in the the finance THQ needs to stay afloat, ok well barely. Don’t misunderstand me though there is nothing wrong with the SR franchise but they need to make an IP that levetates THQ to a higher bar at where they are now… When you think THQ you think…. well Saints Row and Darksiders.
    Yes they do have other IPs of course but nothing on the scale of what other devs have at this current time.

    They need more IPs with a more broad appeal. Jason Rubin launched NaughtyDog to where they are today so why not THQ.

    I believe he’ll do it. More surprisingly though that hes come back to the gaming industry… thats really surprising.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Beta

    I personally cannot stand Call of Duty, But I think it sells well by name alone these days as opposed to reviews and content.

    I adored SR3 but I can see what Rubin’s trying to say (I hope XD), THQ don’t really have a massively successful franchise do they? Not compared to the big hitters anyway.

    But by focusing on a smaller number of titles they can hopefully boost up the quality and critical acclaim and with some decent marketing translate this into higher sales.

    And also, focus on actually marketing Metro this time please THQ.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. Stephany Nunneley

    @7 Oh I get what he is saying and I agree with him. I was just touching on some of the reviews of it calling the game juvenile silliness. Sure it was and there is a market for it just like there is a market for movies like Project X (not that they are of the same caliber or anything). Variety is the spice of life etc is all I was trying to say. ;)

    #9 3 years ago
  10. YoungZer0

    I definitely see a better chance for THQ if they publish something new and different instead of a CoD Rip-Off.

    A game RDR/Skyrim-like game in a futuristic setting would be amazing (Prey 2 could be that game, but there is still room for more).

    #10 3 years ago
  11. KAP


    Funny you mentioned that Project X was awesome… It actually reminded me how old I;m actually getting.. I said to my wife while watchng it, I miss those party days and she really replied “….really?”


    #11 3 years ago
  12. Edo

    I absolutely agree,why hasn’t anyone made(at least that I know of)an open world futuristic/sci-fi game is something that I really don’t understand.I mean the only reason I can think of is that the developers are too afraid to take chances and I sincerely hope that Prey 2 is still alive and that it will end up with the original concept when and if it gets released eventually.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. The_Red

    Just focus your money and marketing efforts on South Park RPG and Metro Last Light and you can have 2 decent hits on your hands.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. Hunam

    To be honest, if it wasn’t for the insane over the top stupidity of SR3 I wouldn’t have picked it up. SR1 was ok, and SR2 was just dull, but SR3 was unique and funny as fuck. Stupid and juvenile sure but it’s a shot of fun that gaming really needed last year.

    #14 3 years ago
  15. Ali Hayas

    4 millions sales are enough. Stop trying to make it look grim. We see sequels from US devs with original games selling only a little over a million.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. jonahfalcon

    I think Skyrim could have used more giant purple dildo weapons.

    #16 3 years ago
  17. DSB

    Trying to compete in the ultra-AAA race is exactly why THQ are in this shit to begin with. Saying that they just need to try harder, is like saying they need to dig a deeper hole.

    They need to get back to where they were. Quality IPs that might not be worldbreakers, but will always have a strong core audience.

    #17 3 years ago
  18. Old MacDonald

    I hope he isn’t planning on fecking up one of THQ’s biggest successes (and one of the freshest AAA-franchises in the business)? Because it kind of sounds that way to me.

    Edit: Oh, the “journalist” who wrote the article at The Verge is Brian Crecente. Can’t really trust that then.

    #18 3 years ago
  19. Cobra951

    Am I reading this right? Is one of the first acts by the new president of THQ to diss his own successful dev team?

    #19 3 years ago
  20. Freek

    He’s not giving Volition nearly enough credit there. It is really hard to make a funny video game, really really really hard. Especially the kind of pop culture refrencing, foul mouthed humor SR deals in.
    It could have verry easely gone wrong and headed down the unfunny road that Duke Nukem Forever ended up in.
    And also having an encredibly well designed and super fun open world gameplay as it’s foundation is also extremly impressive.
    It is just as good and has just as much reason for existing as Red Dead and Skyrim.

    And no, THQ does not need to go back where it was. They don’t do license fodder anymore for the same reason that EA stopped doing it: there is no more market for that.
    You used to be able to make a ton of money from cheaply made license games, that is no long the case. The consumer has gotten smarter and is demanding more. Publishers got the message via dropping sales numbers and got out of the licensing buisiness.

    #20 3 years ago

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