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THQ shares drop by almost 50% amid bankruptcy fears

Tuesday, 6th November 2012 17:37 GMT By Dave Cook

THQ posted its financial report last night, suggesting that all was not well at the Californian publisher. Aside from stating losses of $21 million, the company also announced delays of Company of Heroes 2, Metro: Last Light and South Park. The move has made investors nervous.

Reuters reports that THQ’s stock has plummeted due to the ‘let down’ of Darksiders 2, reports of proposed lay-offs and the hiring of financial firm Centreview Partners in an attempt to dig the company back from the brink.

The site states that today’s share drop of 46% marks THQ’s biggest single-day loss in years, and comes as the publisher has ceased to accept any further questions on its current financial situation.

Part of the issue – the site explains – comes from the failure of Vigil Game’s sequel Darksiders 2 to turn a profit. It has sold 1.4 million units since launch, but needed at least 2 million to break even. The shortcomings, along with a wealth of other issues has resulted in THQ’s stock falling to $1.59 per share at the time of writing.

Meanwhile, Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter has predicted that THQ will see sale or bankruptcy as a result of its loss, stating “Should its financial position continue to deteriorate, we expect THQ to raise financing through an equity sale that could lead to dilution of existing shareholders.

“We expect creditors to be asked to renegotiate terms at a discount; if they are unwilling, bankruptcy is possible. Although THQ has been able to lower its cost structure through layoffs and a streamlined release slate in order to temporarily improve profitability, it is unlikely to return to profitability unless its revenues once again begin to grow.”

What do you make of THQ’s financial situation? Can it be saved? Let us know what you think below.

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28 Comments

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  1. wowtgp

    I think THQ has lost the battle now.Do you think they can survive?

    #1 2 years ago
  2. ManuOtaku

    Daarksiders 2 just improve everything compare with darksiders, i started playing it the past weekend on my ps3, and it is a great game overall, and they add the loot incentive to make a round product more rounder product, well words cannot said what iam feeling right now reading this news about THQ, i hope this doenst mean no more darksiders and the collapse of this publisher, they have great interesting IP,s, i like all their games, and i wait with great anticipation the south park game.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Dragon246

    They are potentially looking for a partner to bail them out. I hope they can stay alive, but if they cant, I just don’t want EA or Acti to buy them.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Night Hunter

    They just can’t catch a break, can they?

    #4 2 years ago
  5. SplatteredHouse

    @2: I’m surprised at the amount of comments I have seen today blaming and kicking Darksiders 2. What more did people want from Vigil? :( The most irritating, though, is that many of the comments will be from people raring to sign the enrollment form in a couple of weeks, that had scant interest in DS to begin with…

    @3: problem there is that investors need something to invest in. They expect/anticipate a return. I just saw a piece from a Pachter report on them where he said “You cannot save your way to prosperity.” and “We do not believe THQ is investable for most institutions.”

    #5 2 years ago
  6. DeyDoDoughDontDeyDough

    This makes me very sad.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Dragon246

    @5
    The IPs.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. jacobvandy

    @7 And the development studios themselves. HOWEVER, neither of those are reasons for people to come and throw money at the problem in order to save THQ, the publisher. They’d rather let them be crushed under all that debt, then come around later to pick up the pieces for pennies on the dollar. Good news for gamers is that all the big games currently in the works there will most likely come out unscathed, but the bad news for gamers is that’ll be one less major publisher out there. The EA, Activision, Ubisofts, etc. are in great positions to absorb some Company of Heroes or Vigil Games or whatever else.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Hunam

    There goes my hopes of Homeworld 3.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Dragon246

    @8
    “Good news for gamers is that all the big games currently in the works there will most likely come out unscathed”
    We don’t know that now with certainty.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. silkvg247

    Just goes to shows that genuinely good IP and solid gameplay experiences aren’t the way to make money any more.

    Roll on COD6 and FIFA 2013. The future of gaming apparently.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. Phoenixblight

    @11

    THat has nothing to do with it. It just shows bad mangement create horrible consequences. You need good business sense along with a great team of developers. THQ only has a handful of developers and they are mediocre at best as far as sells and games go. THQ just thought it was a good idea to buy a shit load of studios and throw what money they had at them and just wait for the money to come in.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. Ali

    What’s the point of surviving if it only means more useless struggle. They are just in a very bad situation and it appears that their last man standing plans aren’t really working.

    If only they were hit in a year where they have a Saint’s Row game ready, they could have survived but I am not really sure now. That’s sad actually, I have always been a fan of THQ.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. OlderGamer

    @silk +1

    #14 2 years ago
  15. MegaGeek1

    What a bummer year 2012 has been for me personally. First 38 studios goes tits up and it looks like we will never see another Kingdom of Amalur game (which I loved), then Joe Mad peaces out from Vigil (one of the big reasons I even took notice of DS) and THQ looks like it will go bankrupt. I dont care who buys these IPs, a good game is a good game.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. jacobvandy

    @10 The ones that they’ve been hyping up already — including Company of Heroes 2, Metro Last Light, South Park, and maybe even Saints Row 4 (which has grown from an expansion pack for The Third) — uh, yeah, that IS pretty much a certainty. Those are so close to done that, even if THQ closed up shop tomorrow, it would be super easy for someone else to buy and publish them.

    It would be a similar situation to what happened with True Crime: Hong Kong AKA Sleeping Dogs, except they probably wouldn’t even have to put in the effort of switching intellectual property. They would likely have further delays, sure, but near-complete AAA games based on established franchises, for CHEAP, are way too juicy to pass up in this free market.

    Hell, if worst comes to worst, say nobody wants to pick up and push out COH 2 because it’s a PC-only RTS, I could see Relic doing a Kickstarter drive and raising a million bucks or two so that they could finish it up themselves.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. Dodg3r

    It’s really a shame. I liked Darksiders 2 for the most part. So Darksiders 3 +4 probably won’t happen, which means the whole series ends with a cliffhanger :/

    #17 2 years ago
  18. AmiralPatate

    Homefront failed miserably (which in my opinion is the only thing Homefront deserves) after they put so much money into it. uDraw was also a massive, costly failure. They dropped their franchises one after the other, like Red Faction or UFC. Darksiders II is just another failure.

    Their one big franchise left is Saints Row, and it’s nowhere near GTA in term of sales. They are screwed.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. Khan979

    It really will be a shame if they close up and no other company picks them up. I really enjoyed several of their games ( Metro, Darksiders 1+2, SR the third). Darksiders would be the most missed for me and one heck of a story not to be finished.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. LuLshuck

    I see bethesda publishing metro

    #20 2 years ago
  21. Telepathic.Geometry

    @11: Yeah, gaming mainstream is going to become the all, and the little gems are just gonna disappear, or take a massive dive in quality, because the userbase apparently isn’t there. I’d have thought that there was at least 2 million gamers brought up in the Zelda era who’d have bought this game, at least!

    #21 2 years ago
  22. El_MUERkO

    I dream of Relic leaving THQ and Kickstarting a Homeworld sequel.

    #22 2 years ago
  23. Hunam

    @22

    Except to do that, they’d probably still have to let go of most of their staff. 3 Mill wont keep a studio of that size going for too long alone.

    #23 2 years ago
  24. Digital Bamboo

    What a kick in the dick. I’m extremely interested in playing Darksiders 1 & 2, just haven’t got around to picking them up yet.

    Company of Heroes is at the top of my list for wanted PC games, & I’m defiantly planning on buying the South Park game.

    What a bloodthirsty industry, only the great whites survive.

    #24 2 years ago
  25. roadkill

    @11 I always said that those gamers are going to destroying the industry. Looks like I was right.. This is only the beginning.

    #25 2 years ago
  26. silkvg247

    I wonder if we could change this somehow? We being a collective gaming community. I mean if we were to somehow make a “save THQ” campaign across the magic interweb encouraging people to buy THQ games would it make a difference? Are they too far down the pipe now?

    I really don’t wanna see these guys go. Sure the managers have made shitty decisions but the designers/developers are the guys making those great games. Surely everyone here is a fan of at least one THQ franchise. For me it’s Warhammer, Saint’s Row and Darksiders. Also looking forwards to South park TSOT.

    #26 2 years ago
  27. DrDamn

    @25
    Them and those nasty pirates eh?

    #27 2 years ago
  28. roadkill

    @27 I’m not so sure about those pirates anymore.

    #28 2 years ago