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Former THQ president says the firm had “every chance to survive had it not made massive mistakes”

Thursday, 31st January 2013 16:40 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Former THQ president Jason Rubin has said the firm has “every chance to survive had it not made massive mistakes.”

Speaking with MCV, Rubin said it was “incorrect” to surmise that the firm’s ultimate demise could be attributed to changes within the industry. Instead, Rubin pointed out some of the mistakes he feels THQ made, starting with uDraw.

“The incredible losses attached to uDraw, massive wasted capital in the unpublished MMO that was cancelled, [and] sticking with children’s and casual titles far after mobile and tablets had killed the business, [and] bad, late, or otherwise inferior titles like Homefront, and a generally haphazard and inefficient approach to deal making,” he said.

“There are certainly things to be said about challenges in the mid-tier triple-A publishing business, but I don’t think that conflating it with THQ’s experience is helpful. I think that luck plays a role in success and failure, but THQ’s decisions and execution were the major reason for its failure.

“It would be a cop-out to say that bad luck was the predominant force. Could Homefront have caught a nerve and sold 10 million copies? It’s possible I guess, but probably not without better production. And it’s hard to attribute a cancelled MMO to bad luck. That was simply a bad decision in a sea of bad decisions.”

Rubin went on to say he was “extremely pleased” Crytek hired many of the core team member at Vigil.

“As I have said elsewhere, I consider it a failure on my part that I was not able to save the whole team,” he said. “I made many calls to potential buyers, effectively begging them to take a look at Vigil during the process, but there were no takers.

“I think that is a result of timing, and confusion over Darksiders’ quality and sales rather than an indication of the value of the team. I am very happy for [studio boss] Dave Adams and the team and wish them the best.”

You can read the full interview through the link.

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12 Comments

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  1. loki

    massive mistakes – crap games with pc ports

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Hirmetrium

    So, DMO was DEFINATELY cancelled. That explains much. Could of made the goddamn decision sooner.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Ali

    I respect Jason Rubin and I think he was one of the best industry president. I firmly believe that THQ went down in a much better way than many others with Midway jumping to my mind.

    But I don’t think Homefront would have ever reached 10 million copies sold even if the production quality was 20x better and we had that level of quality from much better and more known IPs that struggled to reach 2 millions.

    Maybe if they allowed ya to play through the Korean side and had a prequel level where Kim Jong Il makes an appearance … LOL

    #3 2 years ago
  4. DSB

    I think that’s been pretty obvious from the beginning. THQ killed THQ.

    Ironically I think a lot of other publishers are in a similar situation. They’re all run by the same old cliques, based on the same outdated ideas, overseen by lame duck boards, with no real ambition in what they’re doing. And their companies are sliding as a result.

    The difference is that their mistakes are small but consistent rather than unique and catastrophic, and so their companies can sustain the beating they recieve.

    I think the next generation is going to take it’s toll. That’s pretty much a rule for any new generation, but I don’t think the industry has been in such a shoddy state in a very long time. Most if not all progress has been squandered.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Ali

    I kinda see your point but on the other hand from a very different angle, the smaller European devs/publishers have started to land on the consoles in a more aggressive way than you think. And they are smaller and pretty much lack the resources the bigger studios have.

    I really hope the cost ain’t gonna be that bigger for next gen otherwise, I can see a lot of companies going down.

    Speaking of THQ, I agree their way of treating their licenses was bad especially with WWE. But they were bold and brought on great IPs like Metro 2033 and Darksiders. Their first take on current gen Red Faction wasn’t bad. Saints Rows series was hugely successful. Their Company of Heroes was also a great PC exclusive. They were developing new IPs.

    Sorry, but it was one of the better companies.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Yoshi

    Gotta respect him for admitting to mistakes and also realising some if his own mistakes… it certainly makes a difference compared to most presidents “Ohh no wasn’t my faulty obviously nothing to do with me”.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. wishdokta

    I wonder if Rubin knew what he stepped into joining THQ.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Ireland Michael

    Kind of a redundant statement isn’t it though?

    Bit like saying the plants would have grown if only they moved somewhere with more rain.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Samoan Spider

    20/20 hindsight

    #9 2 years ago
  10. NeoSquall

    @7 I bet he knew that and hoped he could change something, but when CEO Brian Farrell and his buddies won’t let you change shit, or just fire them, poor Jason found himself hands tied in the bowels of the T(HQ)itanic.

    Anyway, I’m still pining for a goog 40K MMO :(

    #10 2 years ago
  11. ManuOtaku

    I think THQ might done some mistakes, like uDraw and the MMO, that could hinder they chances overall, but in my mind the most worrying sign is their good games didnt sell that good, and you have not room to manouver when this happens, Red faction, darksiders 1 &2, metro,etc didnt sold that well, even saint rows only the second one and third saw modest numbers compare with other big franchises, therefore i think their games while being good with good scores overall, didnt reach gamers for whatever reason, also maybe there was a lot of the high cost of development in this, which might lead to another thing for other developers, how can you make a triple A game profitable under such enviroment, next gen will be even higher, i dont know if the raw power mentality will take a bite of this industry in the near future.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. GrimRita

    Sinking money into an MMO was probably one of those mistakes. HUGE money sink and no guarantee of success – just ask EA.

    #12 2 years ago