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THQ lays off publishing and admin staff

Thu 26 Jan 2012 7:38pm GMT / 2:38pm EST / 11:38am PST
BusinessPublishing

Another round of redundancies at publisher but internal development studios safe for now

Publisher THQ is in the process of laying off more staff as it continues efforts to cut costs to a minimum.

According to the company it is culling multiple roles across its publishing and administration business although its five internal studios are not affected at this stage.

"THQ confirms a reduction in force to the company's administration and publishing organisation," said the company in a statement given to Game Informer. "The streamlined organisation reflects the company's new strategy. THQ's five internal studios were not affected by this action."

Yesterday the publisher reconfirmed its commitment to the core games business and dropped the focus on games aimed at younger audiences.

The company has not revealed how many roles are affected by the latest round of redundancies but numbers are thought to be significant. A further update is due following financial results on February 2 when sales are expected to be down to between $510 million and $550 million for the latest quarter.

The news comes in the same week that an alleged ex-employee wrote an open letter to the THQ board calling for senior management to be fired.

Last December the company let developers on its U-Draw project go after disappointing sales of the gadget and shut down three dev teams at a cost of 200 jobs. Kaos and THQ Digital in Warrington were also shuttered earlier in the year.

Rumours suggest that the company is also looking to offload its long-in-development Warhammer 40,000 MMO and is possibly seeking a sale to save the business.

20 Comments

Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant

1,692 594 0.4
Boxed console publishing is in terminal decline unless you own blockbuster brands. Simple as.

Posted:2 years ago

#1

Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic

1,581 1,434 0.9
Good thing they're releasing on PC too, then... half their upcoming 2012 games are scheduled for PC, according to the THQ wiki page, and that doesn't count the supposed new CoH game.

Posted:2 years ago

#2
THQ need something awesome like Witcher 2 and its recent cinematic trailer!

Posted:2 years ago

#3

Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,269 942 0.7
I really hope THQ can pull through this I really want to see more of saints row and darksiders. The previouse games in these franchises have been very memorable and satisfying.

Posted:2 years ago

#4
I actually liked Homeworld series, and THQ have been sitting on the franchise since it was reacquired from vivendi (Nov 2007). A Resurrection in alternative formats and platforms could be really cool - eg. IOS, and maybe a FPS space sim version even. One can surely dream I guess!

Posted:2 years ago

#5

Chris Wood Lead Game Designer, Waracle

14 2 0.1
@Chee I would love to see that franchise resurrected ....

Posted:2 years ago

#6

Russell Watson Senior Designer, Born Ready Games

86 34 0.4
@Chee Every Homeworld fan is hoping for a revival. I know I am.

Posted:2 years ago

#7
@ Chris - The old school chriss foss/ angular styled vehicles are becoming trendy again
@ Russel - Oh aye. I think a exploration of how they got their space program going and how the space craft came to crash and how the race were exiled to that offworld would be a great return/reboot of the series i reckon (incidentallly, the Blackbird interactive (rob cunningham) website - has elements of the homeworld vessels lost in the sand - maybe a homage to their original roots?

Posted:2 years ago

#8

David Walgrave Producer, Larian Studios

4 0 0.0
Blockbuster brands? THQ releases at least one WWE title every year... That should be blockbuster enough.

Posted:2 years ago

#9

Edward Buffery Pre-production Manager

149 96 0.6
Ah, Homeworld :D

Posted:2 years ago

#10

Michael Vandendriessche Studying Computer Science, K.U. Leuven

85 12 0.1
I think THQ is making right decisions and moving towards being a more significant publisher.
(meaning, when i think publishers, THQ isn't the first one to pop up in my head)

Posted:2 years ago

#11

Tom Keresztes Programmer

683 335 0.5
Relic bought the rights for Homeworld, not THQ. Although they seem to be an internal studio, so idont really know... Maybe they could do a Warhammer 40K based Homeworld ?

Posted:2 years ago

#12

John Fugate

2 2 1.0
THQ is still doing Dark Millenium online right? Oh please!!

Posted:2 years ago

#13

Markus-Stefan Elsen Quality Analyst, Electronic Arts

1 0 0.0

Posted:2 years ago

#14

Roberto Bruno Curious Person

104 69 0.7
News about reviving Relic's Homeworld 3 or Volition's Descent Freespace 3 would have me throwing all my money to them.

Posted:2 years ago

#15
@ Tom - checking multiple sources, i believe THQ own the Homeworld IP. There was similar fan fanfare to revive homeworld IP 4 years ago.

http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2007/...

Posted:2 years ago

#16

jim ellis 2D/3D artist, design, illustration, concept artist, video editor

27 1 0.0
Thq was talking to staff in 2010 of the rise of digital publishing....

Posted:2 years ago

#17

Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,193 1,170 0.5
Not to doom-say here, but it sadly looks like the beginning of the end for THQ unless they get bought out. Too many churned out kids games for too many years, a successful Wii product (UDraw) that suffered in translation to HD systems because it was dated even as it hit stores for Nintendo's console, too much money spent on developing another MMO in a market over saturated with them and oh yeah, some great to good console and PC titles that just did not move in the numbers they should have despite decent reviews.

Someone needs to step in and save them or buy up the franchises that are working or they'll be the next Midway or 3DO.

Posted:2 years ago

#18

Sean Warren Inspector

34 0 0.0
Best of luck, ladies and gentlemen. I'd be interested to know how many collective man-hours the severed employees had logged with THQ before being trimmed.
I am one of the many lovers of Homeworld, and introduce newer gamers to the franchise any chance I get... top 5 game franchise list, ever, if you ask me.
Again, best of luck, all of you.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Sean Warren on 28th January 2012 11:50am

Posted:2 years ago

#19
THQ needs to rethink their strategy and I suppose their marketing. There's never any big news of THQ other than Saints Row and maybe Darksiders. The UFC franchise is also starting to feel old imo.

Posted:2 years ago

#20

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