THQ Executive Vice President Danny Bilson is out, and Naughty Dog co-founder Jason Rubin is in.
The THQ upheaval continues as Executive Vice President of Core Games Danny Bilson, who’s been with the company since early 2008, has left “to pursue other interests.” Executives often come and go without notice but Bilson has been the face of THQ for years, and hasn’t been shy about speaking his mind. In 2009 he called the Wii “a Monopoly box in a closet,” and in 2010 he said Homefront would stand out from other modern military shooters because there’d be no “steroided-out super-soldiers waving the American flag.” He also spoke out about his displeasure with the critical reaction to that game, saying Homefront is “clearly” better than its 71 aggregate score on Metacritic and that “you can’t apply math to art.”
The exact circumstances of Bilson’s departure are a bit fuzzy; his LinkedIn profile still lists his THQ employment as current and THQ’s announcement wasn’t exactly effusive in its praise. Aside from the usual “other interests” bit, the company said only that “Danny has made significant contributions to THQ, and we thank him for his efforts.” Also leaving is Dave Davis, the senior vice president of core studios. “Along with Danny, Dave has been instrumental in getting our strong pipeline into production,” THQ added.
Naughty Dog co-founder Jason Rubin, meanwhile, who co-created the Crash Bandicoot and Jak and Daxter game franchises, has been appointed president of THQ. “Jason’s proven track record in the industry speaks for itself, and he is one of the brightest minds in the business,” said THQ Chairman and CEO Brian Farrell. “We believe he can be a game changer and can contribute immensely to executing on our strategy of delivering quality connected core game experiences.”
Rubin will be joined at THQ by Jason Kay, a former HBO executive who will serve as the company’s Chief Strategic Officer. Rubin and Kay have previously worked together as co-founders of Flektor, a web-based app that let people created and share mashups of photos, videos and music on social networking sites. Flektor ceased operation in 2009.