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THQ shelves all titles slated for 2014 - rumour

Sun 15 Jan 2012 9:46pm GMT / 4:46pm EST / 1:46pm PST
BusinessPublishing

Update: Publisher says no decision made on future of Dark Millennium Online; Rumours suggest company is looking for a sale

Saints Row publisher THQ has shelved all projects scheduled for release in 2014 and has cancelled Vigil-developed MMO Warhammer 40,000: Dark Millennium Online.

That's according to games exec Kevin Dent, who suggests that the publisher is ultimately looking for a sale to save the troubled business.

Sources speaking to GamesIndustry.biz have suggested Dark Millennium Online, which was first announced in 2007, is currently being offered for sale to other companies.

At least one THQ project based on a Disney licence to be released in 2014 has been given back to the media firm even though the publisher has paid an advance on the IP, according to Dent.

Industry chatter suggests THQ is looking for a sale. The company has a market cap of just over $45 million - trading in the company was at a new low on Friday of $0.65. CVs for established talent at the company are said to be increasing in the recruitment market.

The company has a recent history of closing studios and shelving franchises, and has moved major development to Montreal to take advantage of generous government incentives. Last year it cancelled Company of Heroes Online and WWE Online at a cost of $9.9 million.

THQ and its internal studios are currently working on a number of projects including Metro: Last Light, Darksiders 2 and Guillermo Del Toro's Insane. Assassin's Creed director Patrice Desilet's joined THQ's Montreal super-studio last year to work on a new project.

Update: THQ has denied the latest rumours and stated that there has been no decision made on the future of Dark Millennium Online.

In a statement given to press today, the company said: "THQ has not cancelled its 2014 line-up, and has not made any decisions regarding the planned MMO."

"As part of the ongoing review of our business, we have made decisions to ensure that the company is strategically addressing the most attractive markets. As we have previously announced, we have dramatically reduced our commitment to the kids' boxed games sector which leads to a significantly more focused release schedule moving forward.

"Our slate for calendar 2012 and beyond is focused on high-quality core games and continues to build our digital platform and business. We are excited for our pipeline of original and high-quality content along with our relationships with some of the best talent in the industry."

18 Comments

Andrew Benton

11 0 0.0
And just think, 4 (well 5 now) years ago they showed such promise as a developer and publisher! I never would have seen this coming back then, too bad they've been met with so many successive failed projects.. best of luck to all at THQ!

Posted:2 years ago

#1

Fyzard Brown Sales Associate, VideoGameAdvantage

39 6 0.2
They should stop development on Metro

Posted:2 years ago

#2

Ben Pilgrim Studying Media and Public Relations, London Metropolitan University

19 0 0.0
This is a real shame, Space Marine was really good i thought, my only issue is they have indulged too much recently in under performing fresh IP such as Metro and Homefront, money which i think could have been spent more wisely on other projects.

I hope this doesn't come to happen.

Posted:2 years ago

#3

Harrison Smith Studying Games and Graphics Programming, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology

75 4 0.1
@Fyzard Brown, Metro Last Light is releasing in a few months, its highly unlikely it will be canceled. It would be interesting if Ubisoft bought the THQ super studio in Montreal, but its sad to hear that a publisher might disappear before the next generation.

Posted:2 years ago

#4

Abraham Tatester Producer

71 53 0.7
Wow—since when do you guys publish stories based on rumor? And with a lead like that? Seems to me, this is the kind of thing where you might want to wait for comment/confirmaiton before pulling the trigger. Tsk, tsk.

Posted:2 years ago

#5
THQ seem to be refuting this with a statement:

" THQ has not cancelled its 2014 line-up, and has not made any decisions regarding the planned MMO. As part of the ongoing review of our business, we have made decisions to ensure that the company is strategically addressing the most attractive markets. As we have previously announced, we have dramatically reduced our commitment to the kids' boxed games sector which leads to a significantly more focused release schedule moving forward. Our slate for calendar 2012 and beyond is focused on high-quality core games and continues to build our digital platform and business. We are excited for our pipeline of original and high-quality content along with our relationships with some of the best talent in the industry.

Additionally, we are thrilled with the great performance of Saints Row: The Third, which on a like for like period in North America has tripled in sell-through from Saints Row 2. In addition, WWE '12's worldwide sell-through sales are up almost 40% year-over-year for the same sales period with fewer platforms. According to NPD, for the month of December and the 2011 year, THQ was the #5 publisher overall, #4 third party, with reported sell through growing over 18% in a market that was down almost 6%. And coming up next, we have two great titles for the first half of the year including UFC Undisputed 3 and Darksiders 2."

guess its damage limitation time...

Posted:2 years ago

#6

Matt Martin Editor, GamesIndustry.biz

173 113 0.7
We don't often run rumours on GI.biz unless we can be as sure as possible about sources. There has been a lot of background checks on this story since we first heard talk over a week ago.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Matt Martin on 16th January 2012 11:30am

Posted:2 years ago

#7

Peter Dwyer Games Designer/Developer

482 293 0.6
The real shame is that they seem to have lost the plot when it comes to what players now want. Aside from the fluke that is COD and Battlefield (even then I see a lot of players starting to realise they are buying the same thing year on year).

Original IP is what they need now. Something along the quality of Dead Space or Uncharted. MMO's however, are a guaranteed route to suicide for this company.

Posted:2 years ago

#8
@ Martin - I suspect there is a element of truth in the various sources, and in all probability THQ want to maintain maximum profitability, without signalling all hands overboard.

Posted:2 years ago

#9

Barrie Tingle Live Producer, Maxis

390 211 0.5

Posted:2 years ago

#10

Terence Gage Freelance writer

1,288 120 0.1
A bit OT, but I just started Darksiders at the weekend and I'm really enjoying it - I hope everything's okay with the sequel!

As for the Warhammer MMO, I think they need to be watching how The Old Republic fares in the next 3-6 months, as I suspect a *lot* of players will leave after the free 30 days. I suspect it's not worth making a big-budget subscription MMO any more, unless you've tens of millions of marketing budget for it in place too -- and again, we'll need to see how TOR does in the next few months to see if even that avenue is worthwhile any more.

Posted:2 years ago

#11

Neguceanu George Level Designer / Web Design - Promotion, Pixel Toaster Studios

5 0 0.0
I hope Relic survives this mess.

Posted:2 years ago

#12
The guys who made homeworld are at another company working on a new title, arent they?

Posted:2 years ago

#13

James Podesta Lead Programmer, SASimulations

16 1 0.1
@Peter Looking at the Amazon charts, I see little evidence that people want new IP. Dead Island is the only non-sequel and another zombie shooter is not particularly new.

01. Deus Ex: Human Revolution
02. Battlefield 3
03. The Sims 3
04. Battlefield Bad Company 2
05. Sid Meir's Civilization V
06. Dead Island
07. Total War: Shogun 2
08. Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3
09. Crysis 2
10. Dragon Age 2

Edited 2 times. Last edit by James Podesta on 16th January 2012 11:35pm

Posted:2 years ago

#14

Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,194 1,170 0.5
The crazy thing here is there have been some really good or really interesting new IP's from THQ that didn't do as well as they should have (Metro 2033 was great, warts and all, Homefront had a solid idea, but the SP was too short and the MP just OK, then there's the awesome Space Marine). Still, I hate rumors, so I'll wait and see what's what.

New IP CAN sell if marketed properly, but it seems as if no one wants to go to the effort of doing so (and shaking things up in the process). I do think THQ shouldn't be doing any more MMO's by 2014, as that market is absolutely packed to the gills with games and I'm not sure how well Warhammer is doing when compared to other titles out there. Eh, whatever - we'll see what happens...

Posted:2 years ago

#15

Brian Faller Product / Evaulations Manager, PQube ltd

2 0 0.0
with regards to the new IP I think you are listening to what people want instead of looking at what they buy! Everyone says they want new, original, exciting and innovative titles - but what they go out and buy is the sequal to a long running franchise (Need for Speed, Fifa, Call of Duty and so on).

When something fresh and original comes along it scares people! Also, it does not help that the retailers look at there sales data and see what sells, so keep with that (although that is self fullfilling - "Only Fifa and COD sell, therefore that is what we will stock" - result being, only those games sell as that is what is available!).

There has been some great new IP's that did not sell this year - Rayman (ok, not so much a new IP - but it has not been around for ages!), Shadows of the Damned to mention two - great gaems, great review scores, small sales.

People have to be prepared to actually do what they say they are going to do - yes, you might end up with a stinker or two - but it will give publishers and developers the faith in backing new IP's

Posted:2 years ago

#16

Terence Gage Freelance writer

1,288 120 0.1
New IPs are always important but I'm not sure that's what will save THQ unless they can put aside $50 million+ to sink into a killer unique concept like Assassin's Creed. Homefront 2 will probably improve on its predecessor's sales and Saint's Row seems to be doing the business for them, although another instalment probably isn't likely for at least a couple of years. Elsewhere they've got Darksiders 2, Metro: Last Light, Insane, more from Relic (?), perhaps more uDraw output (maybe keep it Wii or Wii U exclusive, as the PS360 crowd are obviously lukewarm on the peripheral), new FPS from Turtle Rock, that other new FPS with a weird name, and their usual roster of UFC/WWF/licensed games. I don't think they're going to be bothering EA or Activision any time soon, but hopefully this solid if not massive-selling line-up will be enough to keep them afloat.

And if any THQ executives are reading, I'd bloody love a Red Faction remake. Update the visuals, tech and AI, but leave the excellent level design as it is. It'd be perfect as a PSN/XBL release; I will throw £12 at you if you make it so :)

Posted:2 years ago

#17

Trey Snow Research

3 6 2.0
Wonder what they would fetch in a sale?

Posted:2 years ago

#18

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