THQ Refocusing on Core Gaming

 Pages 1 2 NEXT
 

THQ Refocusing on Core Gaming

image

THQ says its "updated business strategy" will take the company away from licensed games for kids and instead focus on core game franchises and digital initiatives.

It's been a rough half-decade for THQ. The reasons are many and varied but the bottom line is a share price that plummeted from over 36 dollars to under 70 cents - 70 cents! - and an angry letter from an alleged ex-employee asking the obvious question: why does the CEO of a company that's seen 98 percent of its value go up in smoke still have a job?

That letter came to light this morning and now, in what is a very interesting bit of timing [and I don't mean that ironically, I think it's genuinely interesting] THQ has announced a new business strategy to pull itself out of the doldrums. Licensed kids's games are out, Saints Row, UFC Undisputed and Warhammer 40,000 are in.

"THQ will be a more streamlined organization focused only on our strongest franchises," THQ President and CEO Brian Farrell, who's been around for the whole ugly show, said in a statement. "The success of Saints Row: The Third is an example of what our revised strategy and focus can achieve. We have now shipped 3.8 million units globally and are currently expecting to ship between five and six million units lifetime on this title. Additionally, our robust digital content offerings for this game have resulted in the highest digital revenue of any console title in our history."

THQ's five internal studios will focus on the publisher's "key franchises," including UFC Undisputed, Darksiders, Company of Heroes, inSANE, Saints Row and Warhammer 40,000, and it will also continue to work with "prominent external development talent" on both existing and new franchises. "THQ's goal is to optimize its portfolio for the current generation of consoles and to establish new franchises on the next generation of game devices," the company said. It also intends to "accelerate digital revenues by extending and supporting key console launches, and to create dedicated digital properties for emerging platforms."

Sounds good to me. Talk is cheap but THQ clearly needs to do something, and while most of this statement is about as corporately vague as you'd expect, the general idea of getting away from cheap, churned-out games based on whatever licenses it can get its hands on is a solid one. Besides, it's not like there's anywhere to go but up, right?

Permalink

As long as they don't bounce straight over to milking whatever they have it should be good. Saints Row the 42nd would be a bit stale.

Isn't "focus on their core titles" what everyone else has been doing since the crash loomed, what we've all been cursing them for, and what ultimately puts all of their eggs in one basket?

I mean, SR3 is nice, but most of the DLC is little short of the mods you used to have for Quake in the past.

The rest of the key franchises are either very specialised or overrun with competitiors. Perhaps a good idea would be to clean out the guys causing the problems mentioned earlier, then look at some of their minor titles - hock them out to a good indie company for a spinoff, and forge forward with fanbase upgrades.

Something as simple as getting the SR3 camera to be able to d/l proper size screenshots, port in new music stations or have Shaundi/Gat/Pierce dolls available like in the SR shop?

I mean, I'm not talking rocket surgery here...

deliberate

Share price from $36.00 to $0.70 huh?

That's pretty amazing. I don't know a damn thing about business finance, but I'm honestly surprised that they're still alive with figures like that.

Incidentally, isn't this the same company that, not so very long ago, was claiming to be one of the big boys of video game publishing. Not to put the boot in or anything...

The Udraw thing was such an epic failure that i literally cannot bring it up in my head without bursting out in laughter.

A peripheral for the Wii? Thats fine on its own, but making PS3 and 360 versions? Thats just exceedingly high ambitions and a gross underestimation of how many 7 year old children actually could sit still for 30 minuites with a digital Disney drawing book.

Maybe they can put that mess, and Homefront, behind them and move on to do something that would captivate my attention enough to buy something of thiers.

The_root_of_all_evil:

I mean, SR3 is nice, but most of the DLC is little short of the mods you used to have for Quake in the past.

Most of the DLC is stuff that would have been in Saints Row 2. This is pretty much why they lost me. They made a shallower game so they could attach DLC.

Less shovelware and more purple dildos!, also, I'd like to see a bit more of Company of Heroes, I mean, their Warhammer 40k games are sweet and all (the strategy ones, I haven't played Space Marine yet), but I'd like to see Company of Heroes get some love too.

Company of Heroes 2. Dawn of War 3. Homeworld 3.

Do it THQ. Give Relic the greenlight now. Also interesting to see Guilermo Del Toro's videogame up there. inSANE.

Eh, not sure how I feel about this. Yes, I like me some core games (actually, I lie: I LOVE me some core games. They are all I play), but games for families/children are in dire straights nowadays. Their are more M-Rated, ultra-violent, great core titles than ever (which is fantastic), but very few games for kids, which is a damn shame. I really wish more companies would think about the next generation of gamers instead of pandering to the older one and completely ignoring the new one. That is what got comix companies in trouble in the 90's, and I am fairly certain we don't want the games industry to go there...

Zachary Amaranth:

The_root_of_all_evil:

I mean, SR3 is nice, but most of the DLC is little short of the mods you used to have for Quake in the past.

Most of the DLC is stuff that would have been in Saints Row 2. This is pretty much why they lost me. They made a shallower game so they could attach DLC.

Pretty much. Once you start selling cheats I'd say you've strayed into ridiculous territory.

Seriously, selling cheats for $3, a gun and hat for $2, other DLC that include one outfit and gun for $2... on top of a season pass that's $20 (unless that pass includes these small DLC. But I think it's only for the bigger ones).

Yeah, see, this, this right here, this is why I, and other people, have been bitching and moaning about DLC. Because we knew this would happen.

Hmmm, well to be entirely honest I think THQ might be beyond saving.

To be honest I like a few of their properties, BUT at the same time I've noticed that they are cutting corners with the ones that are performing strongly. I understand they have problems, but I was rather unhappy with how "Dawn Of War II" pretty much re-hashed the same exact campaign for all of the factions you could play as for example. It also lacked any kind of open-ended play like in "Dark Crusade" or "Soulstorm". The "Space Marine" game they released seems like a fairly general shooter designed to pimp a lot of cosmetic DLC(I did not buy this one for that reason, but I did pay attention to it because of the 40k liscence). "Saint's Row 3" was a great game, but as many people have pointed out it was lacking in content compared to the second game, and again seems to be taking a "pay for everything" model
with the DLC.

I can't really point a finger at even the THQ titles I like, and say "you know, that was truely amazing" because even "Saint's Row 3" has the DLC business model and the huge shadow cast by SR2 looming over it.

Really THQ needs to seriously invest in it's games and release a lot of quality products with a ton of content right out of the box. I right now am somewhat wary of buying a "Saint's Row 4" because I felt it didn't match the last game in the series, and frankly the way it's being used so heavily as a platform to sell DLC... like half the game was chopped up to be sold seperatly, leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Of course a company in this shape (I was not aware of exactly how bad it was) isn't likely to do that, and really the shape of their few good games makes sense now that I see the big picture... THQ is trying to grab as much cash as it can, as cheaply as possible... and I'd imagine it's being used to gild some CEO parachutes.

It will be interesting to see what happens, but honestly I think THQ is going to probably head in a direction of turning it's big properties into DLC selling shovelware, especially with the same team on top. If THQ lines up some investors and a whole new senior team... well that might change things, but if we've gotten this far I don't think it's going to happen.

Irridium:

Zachary Amaranth:

The_root_of_all_evil:

I mean, SR3 is nice, but most of the DLC is little short of the mods you used to have for Quake in the past.

Most of the DLC is stuff that would have been in Saints Row 2. This is pretty much why they lost me. They made a shallower game so they could attach DLC.

Pretty much. Once you start selling cheats I'd say you've strayed into ridiculous territory.

Seriously, selling cheats for $3, a gun and hat for $2, other DLC that include one outfit and gun for $2... on top of a season pass that's $20 (unless that pass includes these small DLC. But I think it's only for the bigger ones).

Yeah, see, this, this right here, this is why I, and other people, have been bitching and moaning about DLC. Because we knew this would happen.

Yeah, because good companies like Valve don't charge an arm and a leg for petty stuff in their games! Hey, waitaminute...

BreakfastMan:

Irridium:

Zachary Amaranth:

Most of the DLC is stuff that would have been in Saints Row 2. This is pretty much why they lost me. They made a shallower game so they could attach DLC.

Pretty much. Once you start selling cheats I'd say you've strayed into ridiculous territory.

Seriously, selling cheats for $3, a gun and hat for $2, other DLC that include one outfit and gun for $2... on top of a season pass that's $20 (unless that pass includes these small DLC. But I think it's only for the bigger ones).

Yeah, see, this, this right here, this is why I, and other people, have been bitching and moaning about DLC. Because we knew this would happen.

Yeah, because good companies like Valve don't charge an arm and a leg for petty stuff in their games! Hey, waitaminute...

I don't recall Valve selling cheats...

There's also the fact that all the weapons/hats they're selling are stuff you can get for free by either playing for long enough or trading.

Their prices are goddamn insane though.

Irridium:
snipgasm.

Well, the Tomislav and Ubersaw could be considered a cheat... :)

As far as weapons and hats go, you can't really find most hats by playing long enough. You either have to trade for them or buy them. And you have to buy something to trade. So yeah...

BreakfastMan:

Irridium:
snipgasm.

Well, the Tomislav and Ubersaw could be considered a cheat... :)

As far as weapons and hats go, you can't really find most hats by playing long enough. You either have to trade for them or buy them. And you have to buy something to trade. So yeah...

Or you can use the TF2 Warehouse.

Pretty helpful if you want to get something but don't want to buy/deal with trading.

I wish they'd sit down and plan a good Red Faction game. They went from Open-world awesomeness (no, it wasn't perfect, but it was a step in the right direction) to linear hall-runner-Mehness. It appeared to want to copy the deadspace forumula to me. Nothing wrong with that, I just think they should have been more original and open with the game. I hate to see the Geo Mod collecting dust too... I have really enjoyed the RF series and loved it's tie-in with Saint's Row. And speaking of Saint's Row, Saint's Row 2 and Saint's Row: The Third were both amazing in my opinion. Playing them was a blast, unfortunately I haven't gotten to play the first Saint's Row. I guess all I can do is wait and hope they do something, but as far as I've read they've buried the RF series after Armageddon bombed.

Don't forget that they now have Patrice Désilets (Prince of Persia SoT, Assassin's Creed 1 and 2) working on a game in their Montreal's studio.

Less extraneous peripherals and hasty children's cartoon cash-ins, more Saints Row?

...You'd think they would have thought of this business plan before their stock price tanked. Or, before the release of the uDraw.

Then bring Red Faction back and turn it into a Mars-based Skyrim.
C'mon. I mean...That'd be..I mean....Just..like..Just..

Oh and could you make Saints Row good again?

i took this to mean

more DarkSiders
more 40K
and more Saints Row

i have no problem wit this, in fact, I'd like to see more games out there i actually want :D

Remake chaos gate or Space Hulk and you can have all of my money, THQ. Also Dow1 was teh sex.

I think this development pleases me.

Will Relic go down with them if they crash?
Course that's really all I care about.

Surely that's what they've been doing with the likes of Space Marine and Red Faction and Saints Row and Homefront? Seems pretty core to me. Were there major THQ releases that I missed? Was de Blob THQ? Come to think of it it might have been. Well okay that's one...

THEJORRRG:
Oh and could you make Saints Row good again?

WHAT YOU SAY? D:<

...Saints Row The Third was amazing. Anyone who thinks otherwise is, in all probability, a ghost. Are you a ghost...?

Andy Chalk:
"Additionally, our robust digital content offerings for this game have resulted in the highest digital revenue of any console title in our history."

Robust? Have you seen this shit? They're charging three whole fucking dollars for cheats. CHEATS!.

If there is one thing THQ is bad at, it's DLC. All of the quite frankly, horrendous DLC for SR3 compounded with the atrocious skin packs for Space Marine and DoWII makes me incredibly sceptical of any of their DLC.

Well, I found space marine pretty terrible. I'm more concerned about Relic Entertainment. But still, with a share slide like that, this company is beyond saving.

1. Get Relic to develop DOW3
2. Don't rush them
3. Study the way EA treats customers
4. Do the opposite of EA
5. Don't put any stupid DRM on DOW3
6. ?????
7. Profit.

Also Darksiders and space marine.

oh yay, just what this industry needs, less innovation.

Well the best case scenario of this means their top titles will get proper development attention and funding, worst case scenario they only start milking their top titles.

Just for the love of christ do it proper because you have awesome titles at your disposal and we will buy them.

Guys.

You realize they pretty much admitted that there's a new Company of Heroes-game in the making, right? It makes sense as they've really put in the effort to help the current CoH community with tournaments and the Sunday Night Fight-show, but still, why isn't anyone mentioning that there's probably a follow up to fucking CoH?

Let's just hope it's not like Opposing Fronts and Tales of Valor again.

How about stop making shitty games and THQ will do better. I loved Red Faction 1 and 2 but I'm not a lap dog thats going to hand over money for shit(Guerilla and Armageddon).

Ah licensed games, they seem so easy really a basic template for a game, only a few months work to put together and voila you get your money in.

Except that these days people are allot of savy, with less money even the lazy mothers who never check before they buy are..actually not buying up all those licensed games.

I am not saying that licensed games should dissapear but yeah it doesn't makes money. They are almost like selling knockoffs.. well.. lets be fair they are knockoffs. And people are getting more Savy if not only because they them self are learning this then that the parents or the kids are telling that "The game sucked"

So.. only going for the big hitters. Not a bad idea risky obviously because big hitters are also more expensive to make. YET at least you are not knocking off on a knock off! Might actually put some value back in the company!

Saints Row 3? Geesh.. I like it but I agree that I can see where it can grow stale. If a Saints Row the 7th comes out... it will be like a pack of chips that have stood open to long. I think 3 is on the tipping point, it has a few small things that might be already going stale but it has enough to offer to make it fresh as a whole. I do though feel that this is a tipping point this is probably as good as they can make it.

Dandark:
1. Get Relic to develop DOW3
2. Don't rush them
3. Study the way EA treats customers
4. Do the opposite of EA
5. Don't put any stupid DRM on DOW3
6. ?????
7. Profit.

Also Darksiders and space marine.

They are already making DOW3, and they are bringing back base building (Thank god)

What they need to do is make Homeworld 3, I would buy about 3 copies of that game, so I could play it with my cash-tapped buds

But what about Metro Last light? Metro 2033 was one of the only things THQ did right this generation, will we still see a uncompromised sequel?

Andy Chalk:
...and Warhammer 40,000 are in.

Excellent! THQ has made the best use of the Game Workshop licence in my opinion. Love Dawn of War, was mediocre about DoW2 but I'm in love with Space Marine and it's DLC so far. The more concentration on that and other things like that are a plus in my book.
I've never really been interested in any other THQ franchise excpet Red Faction and the last game in the series I liked was the very first one on PS2!

I am disappointed, ladies and gentlemen - deeply disappointed - that it took 33 messages before someone mentioned Metro. We all have our biases (and mine are pretty well known) but the Metro franchise is the only THQ property I care about in the least. And I really want Last Light done well. "Uncompromised" is an excellent way to put it.

I do think that 2033 did well enough that Last Light would be picked up pretty quickly by another publisher if THQ were to bite it. And I'd be perfectly okay with that if it meant a better game. Which is something that hopefully THQ has finally figured out: making good games is an important part of the equation. Licenses and shovelware and Danny Bilson all have their place but if you're not making good games, sooner or later it'll bite you in the ass.

 Pages 1 2 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here