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Guillermo del Toro InSANE trilogy shelved: THQ Q1

Monday, 6th August 2012 23:35 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Guillermo del Toro’s InSANE trilogy has been shelved, it’s been announced as part of a generally positive first quarter THQ report.

At a glance

Guillermo del Toro’s inSANE trilogy, a collaboration between the famed director and THQ, shelved with all IP rights returned.

Mobile and casual development shelved.

Quarterly revenues of $133.7 million, a YOY decrease.

Quarterly income of $15.4 million, a YOY increase.

PC revenue stream significantly improved.

No changes to release schedule.

Four more unannounced games teased.

Cancellations

Speaking to investors in a post-release conference call, newly incumbent president Jason Rubin broke the bad news of the inSANE trilogy’s cancellation.

“We have decided not to pursue further pre-production on Insane, and have returned all of our IP rights to Guillermo del Toro. By cancelling these explorations outside of our core business, we feel we can improve focus on our core game portfolio, which remains unchanged.”

It’s not clear how far along the first game’s production was; no assets were ever released to the public, and both del Toro and developer Volition have been working on other projects. In late 2011, del Toro said the first game was probably two or three years away, and described what sounded like a pre-production set up.

This is the second high profile collaboration cancelled in as many conference calls; last quarter, THQ dropped Tomonubu Itagaki’s Devil’s Third.

THQ also broke with industry trend to cancel mobile and social games; a breakdown of the company’s revenue streams showed “wireless” bringing in just 1.1% of all sales, a small year on year increase from 0.5% in 2011.

“We have also stopped development for certain areas that are not productive for our new strategy. Consistent with this vision, THQ has made a few changes to previously announced projects. First, we made the determination not to pursue any casual Facebook games,” Rubin said.

Positive results

Happily, it wasn’t all doom and gloom. THQ posted a healthy result with net sales of $133.7 million, of which $13.4 million was accounted for by digital streams. Although that’s a significant year-on-year decrease from the 195.2 million of Q1 FY2012, the publisher managed a much better profit threshold of $15.4 million, up from a loss of $38.4 million the year before.

Interestingly, THQ gave a break down of its revenue by platform. The Xbox 360 remains its best performer at 36.3%, but the PlayStation 3 isn’t far behind at 25.6% and perhaps most interestingly, the PC came in third at 17%, a huge jump on the 6.9% of the year before.

The Wii and DS both dropped, to 8.3% and 9% respectively, with the PS2 and PSP remained steady and inconsquential at 0.7% and 1.7% respectively.

In a press release, CEO Brian Farrell made much of THQ’s management shift.

“We have made significant progress reshaping the company. With the changes implemented over the last several months, we are in a much better position today to deliver on our pipeline of games, beginning with Darksiders II, which launches next week in North America,” he said.

THQ schedule FY2013

Darksiders 2 – August 2012

WWE 13 – October 2012

Company of Heroes 2 – Q4 FY13 (Q1 2013)

Metro: Last Light – Q4 FY13 (Q1 2013)

South Park: The Stick of Truth – March 2013

“We are also pleased to have new management on board at THQ, led by President Jason Rubin, who brings tremendous experience to the company and has a proven track record of bringing multi- million unit sellers to market; Jason Kay, a fifteen-year media and entertainment industry veteran, as Chief Strategy Officer; and Ron Moravek, a seasoned creative development executive who has co- founded and led several technology businesses, including one of our most successful studios, Relic Entertainment, as EVP, Production. Jason Rubin and his new team bring an entrepreneurial approach to our game slate as we seek to maximize the value of our intellectual properties and evolve our business in the face of our increasingly digital future.”

The publisher also crowed over its upcoming release slate, as listed in the side bar, noting that despite not fronting a booth this year, it scored 29 awards and 67 nominations at E3 2012.

In terms of future development, Rubin specifically mentioned unannounced games from Turtle Rock Studios, Collision and the Montreal team under Patrice Désilets in addition to Crytek’s Homefront 2.

“Beyond our announced titles, in the last 60 days, all 4 of our internal studios began working on new titles that represent the type of product we believe will make THQ successful in the future,” he added.

Breaking news

24 Comments

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  1. Phoenixblight

    Who didn’t see this coming?

    The company can barely keep interest with their known franchises, let alone a new ip.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. marijnlems

    ME! I didn’t see this coming GOD DAMN IT! I hope that, like Devil’s Third, the inSANE IP gets picked up by some other publisher; Guillermo del Toro working on a horror game trilogy always sounded amazing (not saying that any great film director can make great games, but Del Toro is a gamer himself).

    #2 2 years ago
  3. freedoms_stain

    Why shit-can Insane? With the company’s future in doubt a game releasing in 2014 isn’t a worthwhile investment?

    #3 2 years ago
  4. marijnlems

    Correction: Devil’s Third hasn’t found a publisher; Valhalla Games is going to self-publish.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Ireland Michael

    “Mobile and casual development shelved.”

    Yeah, shelve the fastest growing, most cost-efficient and profitable market in the business. That’ll help your company.

    What a bunch of idiots.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Dark

    Bad news ..
    but lets not over react here , we didn’t know anything about the game.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. AHA-Lambda

    @3 – because they may not last that long?

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Phoenixblight

    @2

    This is not like Devils third which had its own studio developing the game and THQ was the publisher. InSANE was all developed and done in house meaning THQ owns the rights to the game. Del Toro will be fine with making his movies.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. silkvg247

    We should rally together to save THQ. Maybe a campaign to get as many folks as possible to buy a steam copy of SR3, Dawn of War 2 or Metro 2033.

    THQ make awesome games and it’s a loss for us all (well, most of us) if they die.

    Also it’d be epic for the PC platform to suddenly top their charts.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Phoenixblight

    @9

    Why not Darksiders 2 that comes out next week?

    #10 2 years ago
  11. silkvg247

    @10 Sure, that works too. :)

    Got my copy preordered directly thru THQ store.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. Phoenixblight

    @11

    Steam for me they offer the same thing without that “extended download service” for 6$.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. DSB

    I think one aspect people are missing here is due dilligence.

    Does THQ really want to sign for a brand new AAA IP when they don’t actually have money to spend, and could lose the company if it bombs?

    I think that’s a pretty easy decision to make.

    When it comes to mobile, I don’t see why you’d ever want to bet the company on it. EA has literally spent billions, to secure a revenue stream of maybe 250 million a year. They won’t break even until 5 years from now. Not exactly a winning strategy.

    THQ really doesn’t have the luxury of throwing money away. Either they start picking winners or they die.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. silkvg247

    @12 I don’t think it’s the same as the steam one. It’s a little more expensive than steam, but it includes upcoming DLC2 and DLC3 (not just DLC1) as well as a copy of metro. Also the extra weapons are different between the two versions; I don’t know which is “better” though.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. Phoenixblight

    @14

    Thats just a matter of opinion but the fact I don’t need to pay for insuring that I can download the game whenever I want is a plus. As for the other DLC I can just wait for a sale to happen or I may just buy the season pass at another point assuming the DLCs gets good reviews.

    I am saving 15$ going to steam which is most of the cost of the season pass. I could care less about the DLC weapons those will be released to the public at a later point if Darksiders 2 is anything like Saints Row 3 with its DLC business model.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. Ireland Michael

    @13 The difference is that THQ already has its own in-house groups experienced in those fields, whilst EA are just throwing around money left, right and centre to drag other talent into their company.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. silkvg247

    @15 fair enough, I wasn’t arguing over which was better anyway! :)

    Over here it only costs £5 more than on steam, and I made that back by selling the spare copy of metro.. so basically.. free DLC for me! yay!

    #17 2 years ago
  18. Phoenixblight

    @17

    What really sold me to steam was the fact I didn’t have to pay more in order to download the game whenever I need to.

    “fair enough, I wasn’t arguing over which was better anyway! ”

    I knew you weren’t. I was just giving my 2 cents.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. DSB

    @16 Are they succesful though?

    To me the whole mobile hunt is a bit like having a major publisher go “We’re going to conquer the indie scene! We want the Minecraft money!” while not understanding the slightest bit about what makes it work, or why you can’t just throw money at it to succeed.

    It’s a high speed, low drag part of the industry, where being big and blowing up budgets can be a serious liability. Maybe I’m too conservative there, but I just don’t see the play.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. TD_Monstrous69

    And now the THQ doomsday clock has moved up to 4 minutes to midnight.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. Brenna Hillier

    Updated with a bit I missed on the first pass – there are four more unannounced games in production.

    #21 2 years ago
  22. Da Man

    What a tragedy.

    Now dropping Devil’s Third on the other hand..

    #22 2 years ago
  23. OrbitMonkey

    Oh noes a game that no one has seen, made by a guy who’s never made one before has been dropped!! Eh, so what?

    #23 2 years ago
  24. Edo

    Yup,called it…anyways,I’m just glad that those PC numbers are more than 100% up.

    #24 2 years ago