THQ Closes Homefront Studio

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THQ Closes Homefront Studio

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Homefront developer Kaos Studios has been closed down by THQ while the studio formerly known as Juice Games is also reportedly on the chopping block.

It was all the way back in January that staffers at New York-based Kaos Studios began sweating about a possible move to THQ's swanky new facility in Montreal. THQ Vice President Danny Bilson said a couple months later that success with Homefront could go a long way toward keeping the studio alive, claiming the publisher was "trying to do what's best for everyone." But in spite of the fact that the latter-day Red Dawn shooter that came out earlier this year sold more than one million copies in its first ten days of release, Kaos is officially no more.

"THQ continues its strategy of aligning the best industry talent with the company's marquee franchises," the company said in a statement. "The Montreal studio will take over product development and overall creative management for the Homefront franchise. The Montreal studio actively collaborated with Kaos on Homefront."

One million copies may not be much when compared to the runaway success of the Call of Duty franchise but as an unknown quantity from a mid-level publisher, it's nothing to sneeze at. While unquestionably flawed, it was successful enough to warrant a sequel; just not from Kaos, apparently. THQ added that it is "actively hiring" for its operations in Montreal, Vancouver and Austin, and that former Kaos employees will be offered a chance to interview for jobs in those studios.

In other news, THQ has also issued notice to the 46 employees at Digital Warrington, the studio formerly known as Juice Games, that they too have fallen victim to the "strategic realignment." The developer's first full game since being rebranded, the XBLA/PSN arcade title Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team, was announced on June 2.

When a studio can push over a million units less than two weeks after launch and end up shut down for its efforts, is it any wonder that most major-publisher releases these days are such derivative crapola? Best wishes for the future to everyone at Kaos and Digital Warrington.

Sources: Gamasutra, Develop

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Awwww man, THQ. You guys trying to get me to hate you, too?

Don't you guys ever mess with Volition, you hear me?

Their four and a half hours of fame are over.

Shame to hear. Best of luck to the people let go.

Andy Chalk:

When a studio can push over a million units less than two weeks after launch and end up shut down for its efforts, is it any wonder that most major-publisher releases these days are such derivative crapola?

Perhaps if you push 1 million units and still fail its a sign that your business practices are flawed in some way.

Games are costing more and more to make, but what is that money being put towards? Games seem to keep getting shorter, less complex, and less original. Yet the price to make them keeps rising.

What the fuck are they spending that money on?

Andy Chalk:

When a studio can push over a million units less than two weeks after launch and end up shut down for its efforts, is it any wonder that most major-publisher releases these days are such derivative crapola? Best wishes for the future to everyone at Kaos and Digital Warrington.

Whilst I won't disagree with the sentiments at the end, and wish to add my own, is this not actually a good move for THQ?

Sales aren't everything. Homefront didn't get critical success, and I wonder how the post-release sales were. Kaos have released two games to date, neither of which achieved any lasting success, financially or critically. It's almost certainly THQ cutting the fat before it weighs them down.

Here's to hoping that the staff of Kaos and Digital Warrington can find work elsewhere.

Irridium:
Shame to hear. Best of luck to the people let go.

Andy Chalk:

When a studio can push over a million units less than two weeks after launch and end up shut down for its efforts, is it any wonder that most major-publisher releases these days are such derivative crapola?

Perhaps if you push 1 million units and still fail its a sign that your business practices are flawed in some way.

Games are costing more and more to make, but what is that money being put towards? Games seem to keep getting shorter, less complex, and less original. Yet the price to make them keeps rising.

What the fuck are they spending that money on?

Exactly! Game quality goes down while costs go up. Something is seriously wrong with this industry, and publishers are walking away with heaps of cash to keep buying up studios then destroying them with little consideration once the product is released and new cash flow is established.

I once aspired to be involved in making games, but not anymore given how terrible the industry seems to be, constantly fearing for job security isn't a nice way to live.

They have my sympathy.

However, it is not hard to see why. If I'm not mistaken, it has 71-70 for the Xbox and Playstation versions on Metacritic. The game was lambasted for being short as well.

Oh, well, here's to hoping my favorite developer doesn't go under. *Crosses fingers* Please let Dungeon Siege 3 be good.

the game sold more then a million copies, and they still count that as a fail? WTF?! I'm really confused at THQs strategy at the moment, more so then Activisions.

This is epic fail. I feel for Kaos. The fact is, they moved a lot of units. As an illustration of how retarded it is that they have been closed down, everyone is off the wall excited about Dark Souls, while Demon's Souls sold only 400k units.

They had 2 big shots with making a great game and ended up making the same game twice, Frontlines and Homefront are very similar, Homefront is like a refined version of Frontlines.

I kind of lost hope that this studio would bring something new to the table and apparently so did THQ. I wouldnt close them but I would get rid of them.

Baresark:
This is epic fail. I feel for Kaos. The fact is, they moved a lot of units. As an illustration of how retarded it is that they have been closed down, everyone is off the wall excited about Dark Souls, while Demon's Souls sold only 400k units.

Course, Homefront was competing with Call of Duty, whether they liked it or not, and if they didn't beat Call of Duty, or at least steal part of their audience, then as far as the suits are concerned, the whole project was a failure.

Demon's Souls on the other hand was a completely off the wall fluke. As far as triple A titles go, it's in a complete genre of its own, with its near masochistic level of difficulty. For such a niche title, one without any existing fanbase to begin with, and with such an original, unexamined style of gameplay, 400k is a massive number of sales.

Yeah it sold a lot, but was short and CRAP. I for one wouldnt even consider their next game. So good riddance.

Maybe it's because Homefront was a pile of sodden cereal boxes held together with spit. But that's just my opinion.

josemlopes:
They had 2 big shots with making a great game and ended up making the same game twice, Frontlines and Homefront are very similar, Homefront is like a refined version of Frontlines.

I kind of lost hope that this studio would bring something new to the table and apparently so did THQ. I wouldnt close them but I would get rid of them.

Wow, even when losing jobs people still will bring their hate to the table. People losing their jobs is a bad thing no matter what your opinion is toward them.

I'm relly sad by this news, homefront may have not been a excellent game but at least they great ideas and original concepts. My feelings go out to the developers who lost their jobs.

THQ: No, really! We're one of the big publishers! Look, we're closing down one of our game studios for no adequately explored reason! The other publishers do that, don't they?

Random Kaos Employee: What?! Look, I know that Homefront wasn't exactly the "Call of Duty" killing juggernaut that you guys wanted, but it still sold a million copies. That's still something, right?

THQ: Get out, goddammit! *throws a desk lamp*

Now, I don't know about the rest of you, but lately we've been seeing a lot of what I'm interpreting as somewhat childish "small name, big ego" behavior from THQ, and frankly we've long passed the point in which it was amusing.

Well, good news THQ! You wanted to be a big boy like EA, and now you are a big boy like EA in the "we shut down studios" department. Congratulations, I guess...

I will never forgive THQ for killing Iron Lore and the 2 Titan Quest expansion packs.

THOSE BASTARDS!!!

Saucycardog:

josemlopes:
They had 2 big shots with making a great game and ended up making the same game twice, Frontlines and Homefront are very similar, Homefront is like a refined version of Frontlines.

I kind of lost hope that this studio would bring something new to the table and apparently so did THQ. I wouldnt close them but I would get rid of them.

Wow, even when losing jobs people still will bring their hate to the table. People losing their jobs is a bad thing no matter what your opinion is toward them.

I'm relly sad by this news, homefront may have not been a excellent game but at least they great ideas and original concepts. My feelings go out to the developers who lost their jobs.

What original ideas? seriously.
The opinions are towards their product not them. I can still be glad there wont be that particular team making a game again.

Meanwhile, THQ announces their 49 millionth WWE wrestling title, WWE OverMilked SteroidFest MMXI.

Seriously, fuck THQ.

I was hoping that they'd make a sequal that was better then the original.

I feel bad for them, first their game does bad, then they get shut down.

Vanguard1219:
THQ: No, really! We're one of the big publishers! Look, we're closing down one of our game studios for no adequately explored reason! The other publishers do that, don't they?

Ha!

I can just see a group of businessmen very concerned that Activision and EA are far more unpopular than they are, and what can they do to 'fix' this.

bombadilillo:

Saucycardog:

josemlopes:
They had 2 big shots with making a great game and ended up making the same game twice, Frontlines and Homefront are very similar, Homefront is like a refined version of Frontlines.

I kind of lost hope that this studio would bring something new to the table and apparently so did THQ. I wouldnt close them but I would get rid of them.

Wow, even when losing jobs people still will bring their hate to the table. People losing their jobs is a bad thing no matter what your opinion is toward them.

I'm relly sad by this news, homefront may have not been a excellent game but at least they great ideas and original concepts. My feelings go out to the developers who lost their jobs.

What original ideas? seriously.
The opinions are towards their product not them. I can still be glad there wont be that particular team making a game again.

You may not like their game, but that doesn't mean that their company should be shut down and employees unable to pay the bills. Think of things from a different view other than just yours.

Who cares? It isn't like they actually made any games worth playing.

Irridium:
Shame to hear. Best of luck to the people let go.

Andy Chalk:

When a studio can push over a million units less than two weeks after launch and end up shut down for its efforts, is it any wonder that most major-publisher releases these days are such derivative crapola?

Perhaps if you push 1 million units and still fail its a sign that your business practices are flawed in some way.

Games are costing more and more to make, but what is that money being put towards? Games seem to keep getting shorter, less complex, and less original. Yet the price to make them keeps rising.

What the fuck are they spending that money on?

I would have thought it was better graphics, advertisement and hiring big name voice actors- stuff like that.

Saucycardog:

bombadilillo:

Saucycardog:
Wow, even when losing jobs people still will bring their hate to the table. People losing their jobs is a bad thing no matter what your opinion is toward them.

I'm relly sad by this news, homefront may have not been a excellent game but at least they great ideas and original concepts. My feelings go out to the developers who lost their jobs.

What original ideas? seriously.
The opinions are towards their product not them. I can still be glad there wont be that particular team making a game again.

You may not like their game, but that doesn't mean that their company should be shut down and employees unable to pay the bills. Think of things from a different view other than just yours.

Wait what? Yes it does. If you're a game studio that makes bad games, of course you should be shut down. What do you expect to happen to a carmaker that makes bad cars?

They needed to sell 2M to simple make it even. At least that's the chitchat in the industry.

Irridium:
Shame to hear. Best of luck to the people let go.

Andy Chalk:

When a studio can push over a million units less than two weeks after launch and end up shut down for its efforts, is it any wonder that most major-publisher releases these days are such derivative crapola?

Perhaps if you push 1 million units and still fail its a sign that your business practices are flawed in some way.

Games are costing more and more to make, but what is that money being put towards? Games seem to keep getting shorter, less complex, and less original. Yet the price to make them keeps rising.

What the fuck are they spending that money on?

High resolution textures, which is the main problem with pushing for higher graphical technology, because it will always take longer during development to do such things.

Our very own shamus young had a very good article on it a few years back.

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/columns/experienced-points/6069-Death-to-Good-Graphics

WHICH IS WHY WE DON'T NEED A NEW CONSOLE GENERATION (this is an issue that comes up a lot)

YawningAngel:

Saucycardog:

bombadilillo:

What original ideas? seriously.
The opinions are towards their product not them. I can still be glad there wont be that particular team making a game again.

You may not like their game, but that doesn't mean that their company should be shut down and employees unable to pay the bills. Think of things from a different view other than just yours.

Wait what? Yes it does. If you're a game studio that makes bad games, of course you should be shut down. What do you expect to happen to a carmaker that makes bad cars?

Thank you. Additionally, being sad about them getting fired is fine. But saying that that magicly makes their product worthy is wrong. How do you expect games to ever improve if every pos that comes out gets a free pass?

Still waiting for those original ideas josemlopes.

Irridium:
Shame to hear. Best of luck to the people let go.

Andy Chalk:

When a studio can push over a million units less than two weeks after launch and end up shut down for its efforts, is it any wonder that most major-publisher releases these days are such derivative crapola?

Perhaps if you push 1 million units and still fail its a sign that your business practices are flawed in some way.

Games are costing more and more to make, but what is that money being put towards? Games seem to keep getting shorter, less complex, and less original. Yet the price to make them keeps rising.

What the fuck are they spending that money on?

Pretty graphics that, in Homefront, really weren't all that pretty.

But really, THQ? Game quality aside, at least the idea was somewhat original. What, you want a CoD killer? NOT GONNA HAPPEN!! There's only one franchise that even has a slight shot at killing CoD, and that isn't going to happen (Battlefield)

Honestly, this was a stupid move. I'd imagine Kaos Studios, with better management, could have created something pretty good. As it stands, Homefront seems to have been quite profitable. Bastards...

The conversation probably went something like this:

Vanguard1219:
THQ: No, really! We're one of the big publishers! Look, we're closing down one of our game studios for no adequately explored reason! The other publishers do that, don't they?

Random Kaos Employee: What?! Look, I know that Homefront wasn't exactly the "Call of Duty" killing juggernaut that you guys wanted, but it still sold a million copies. That's still something, right?

THQ: Get out, goddammit! *throws a desk lamp*

Now, I don't know about the rest of you, but lately we've been seeing a lot of what I'm interpreting as somewhat childish "small name, big ego" behavior from THQ, and frankly we've long passed the point in which it was amusing.

Well I believe that a heavy metal band Nailbomb produced an album in the 90s, which has a title quite suited to this situation;

'Proud to Commit Commerical Suicide'

A bit overkill, but nevertheless a mistake in my opinion. Unless the studio has made a loss of many, many millions, I'd love to see how they remotely justify this. I wonder where all those Kaos and Digital Warrington employees will go THQ? Possibly to companies not called THQ?
Sure, if a studio isn't doing well, then that's a problem, but shutting them down sounds a really stupid/extreme idea, especially since you're losing talent who will likely join or form rival companies.

Anyway, best wishes to the staff at both places; I hope you don't end up as more depressing employment statistics.

YawningAngel:

Saucycardog:

bombadilillo:

What original ideas? seriously.
The opinions are towards their product not them. I can still be glad there wont be that particular team making a game again.

You may not like their game, but that doesn't mean that their company should be shut down and employees unable to pay the bills. Think of things from a different view other than just yours.

Wait what? Yes it does. If you're a game studio that makes bad games, of course you should be shut down. What do you expect to happen to a carmaker that makes bad cars?

Yeah but it is your opinion that they make bad games, not everyone elses. Like my last post stated; it is your view that you think they make bad games, not everyone elses.

Saucycardog:

YawningAngel:

Saucycardog:
You may not like their game, but that doesn't mean that their company should be shut down and employees unable to pay the bills. Think of things from a different view other than just yours.

Wait what? Yes it does. If you're a game studio that makes bad games, of course you should be shut down. What do you expect to happen to a carmaker that makes bad cars?

Yeah but it is your opinion that they make bad games, not everyone elses. Like my last post stated; it is your view that you think they make bad games, not everyone elses.

Not at all, THQ obviously agree with me.

Saucycardog:

YawningAngel:

Saucycardog:
You may not like their game, but that doesn't mean that their company should be shut down and employees unable to pay the bills. Think of things from a different view other than just yours.

Wait what? Yes it does. If you're a game studio that makes bad games, of course you should be shut down. What do you expect to happen to a carmaker that makes bad cars?

Yeah but it is your opinion that they make bad games, not everyone elses. Like my last post stated; it is your view that you think they make bad games, not everyone elses.

Um, well they got closed after mixed reviews and a backlash at the very short length. So its more then just a couple opinions. The game wasnt good enough. It wasnt good. So whatever you thought about it, they got closed. Wheres you arguement now? "Oh some people liked it, so why they close?" It was a bad.

Still waiting for those original ideas the game had...

Saucycardog:

josemlopes:
They had 2 big shots with making a great game and ended up making the same game twice, Frontlines and Homefront are very similar, Homefront is like a refined version of Frontlines.

I kind of lost hope that this studio would bring something new to the table and apparently so did THQ. I wouldnt close them but I would get rid of them.

Wow, even when losing jobs people still will bring their hate to the table. People losing their jobs is a bad thing no matter what your opinion is toward them.

I'm relly sad by this news, homefront may have not been a excellent game but at least they great ideas and original concepts. My feelings go out to the developers who lost their jobs.

I dont hate Kaos, and closing the studio is definitely harsh, although I will continue with my opinion of not wanting to have further connections with them.
Although one thing that I would have had explored was having them create a PSN/XBLA game to let them do something diferent for once. If they proved themselfs worthy then they could have another try at a big budget project.

But that is only what I would do.

YawningAngel:
Not at all, THQ obviously agree with me.

Your being an obvious troll now. I'm done talking to you.

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