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THQ investing in "fewer, better" games - Farrell

By Matt Martin

Thu 05 Mar 2009 8:48am GMT / 3:48am EST / 12:48am PST

CEO defends business but admits "it's not as big as it used to be"

THQ boss Brian Farrell is confident of a turnaround for the wrestling games publisher, as analysts' chatter focuses on bankruptcy and acquisition.

Talking to the LA Times, Farrell admitted the company is not as successful as it used to be, but a renewed focus on "fewer, better bets," will put it back at the top of its game.

"Our strategy is to focus on bigger titles," said the CEO. "The formula is to make great games and market them effectively.

"High review scores lead to high sales and high profits. We think we have a plan in place to do that and return the company back to profitability."

"This is a good business," he added. "It's just not as big as it used to be."

Earlier this week, Janco Partners' Mike Hickey went so far as to state that THQ has a 50/50 chance of going bankrupt this year, while others have suggested the firm is ripe for acquisition.

"There are a number of companies, media companies as well as game publishing companies, that are in a position to make an offer for THQ," offered Colin Sebastian of Lazard Capital Markets.

THQ announced 600 job losses earlier in the year, with Saints Row studio Volition the latest team to be hit by the cull.

However, the publisher said that the recent lay-offs at the studio will not affect development, as the team continues to work on upcoming shooter Red Faction: Guerrilla.

"It will not result in any layoffs within the core development teams at Volition.  Volition remains a key development studio within THQ and will continue to employ 236 staff," said a spokesperson.

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