The ongoing trouble at THQ means the studio can no longer afford to launch the Warhammer 40,000: Dark Millennium MMO without outside help.
THQ revealed its third-quarter financial results for the 2012 fiscal year yesterday and as expected, the news is bad. The company suffered a net loss of roughly $56 million for the three months ending December 31, 2011, compared to a $15 million loss over the same period in 2010. THQ said that Saints Row: The Third and WWE ’12 performed well but “sales of the uDraw GameTablet and related software, and other titles in the kids, family and casual category were far weaker than anticipated, substantially reducing our financial results for the quarter.”
CEO Brian Farrell said THQ has a “strong multi-year pipeline of games” in the works, although most of it, aside from UFC Undisputed 3 and Darksiders 2, isn’t slated to arrive until the end of the 2012 or early 2013. The Warhammer 40,000: Dark Millennium Online MMO, however, which was originally slated to land in 2013 has now been pushed back into an ill-defined “fiscal 2014 and beyond.”
The reason, Farrell explained in a conference call to investors, is simply that the company can no longer afford to get the project off the ground without help. “While the game in development promises to be a high-quality consumer offering, because of the large financial commitment and associated risks, we are being realistic about our resources and we are actively seeking a partner for this compelling MMO,” he said. “We will keep you updated on our progress.”
MMOs are an expensive business and Dark Millennium is certainly no exception. In March 2011, THQ CFO Paul Pucino said the game would cost around $50 million to get to market.