Chances are if you were interested in a game THQ was publishing this year, it was pushed back.
The California-based games publisher THQ hasn't exactly been going strong the last few years. Sure, THQ scored a modest hit with Saints Row: The Third in 2011 and Darksiders II this year, but the uDraw fiasco and disappointing sales with Red Faction: Armageddon and Homefront threatened to submarine the value of its stock and make the company insolvent. Just when THQ seemed to bounce back - growing to $146 million in net sales reported last quarter - three of THQ's most anticipated games will slip later into 2013 and perhaps beyond.
South Park: The Stick of Truth, the Obsidian-developed RPG was supposed to release on March 3, 2013 but THQ delayed it to "early fiscal 2014." Given that THQ's fiscal year begins in April, we may not see the South Park game until next summer.
"I believe South Park's market opportunity is significant. It is shaping up to be one of the most anticipated titles of calendar 2013. It is also an expansive title, encompassing multiple television seasons' worth of content," said Jason Rubin, the President at THQ, in a press release. "We have been working closely with the co-creators of South Park, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, to make sure all of the game's content performs to the high standards of the TV show, and this takes time. THQ is committed to giving gamers no less than the rich South Park game they have been waiting for and deserve."
Also delayed are two sequels: the eerie shooter Metro: Last Light and the RTS Company of Heroes 2. Both games were also slated to come out in March 2013, but the only detail we have on the release now is sometime next year.
"I believe Metro: Last Light is a title that should set standards for visuals with its stunning atmosphere, unique location and cutting-edge style," Rubin continued. "Company of Heroes was one of the highest rated RTS titles in history, and Relic insists that the sequel live up to its pedigree. Giving both of these titles time to reach their full potential is the right thing to do for the products."
I respect THQ's commitment to making excellent games. Given its recent track record, the next few games coming from the publisher could make or break the whole enterprise so I understand Rubin's reluctance to ship games of poor quality just to meet our expectations.
But if you're a fan of any of these games, it's hard to read this news without a heartfelt sigh. "Well, shit..."