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THQ: Emerging online markets are a focus

Company of Heroes Online launch expected in China in early 2010

THQ has expressed a focus on up-and-coming online platforms and markets, with CEO Brian Farrell telling investors of the company's strategy to release existing, owned IPs into these new marketplaces.

"Our strategy is to migrate established THQ brands into emerging online markets and to build an online gaming platform capable of supporting our strategy of providing software as a service globally," he said during a call to investors discussing THQ's second quarter financial results.

The company would cultivate strategic partnerships in order to deliver and operate these titles, he said, as it has with Chinese online game operator ICE.

Key titles in its upcoming release schedule into markets across China, Korea and other Asian territories, were the WWE online game, Company of Heroes Online and a Warhammer 40,000 MMO.

Company of Heroes Online is currently at open beta stage in China, and Farrell predicted this trial would continue for "another 30-60 days at least" ahead of the commercial launch of the title in the first part of 2010.

Farrell also spoke on the company's plans for social networking and iPhone platforms.

It would be releasing games based on existing IP onto sites such as Facebook, he said. However the iPhone business model is "challenging" and, as a result, it would focus on using the platform as a marketing tool to drive users to its core games on other formats.

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