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THQ to sell Big Huge Games or close studio

By Matt Martin

Wed 18 Mar 2009 8:21am GMT / 4:21am EDT / 1:21am PDT

Publisher also drops Heavy Iron and Incinerator studios

Struggling publisher THQ has said that it if it doesn't sell in-house team Big Huge Games in the near future it will be forced to close the studio.

The company is also letting two other studios go – Heavy Iron and Incinerator – allowing them to continue to operate as independent businesses.

"As part of THQ’s previously announced business realignment and related headcount reduction plans that targeted cost reductions of USD 220 million, including a reduction in workforce of 600 people worldwide, THQ today notified the staff at two of its development studios that they will be spun out as independent companies: Heavy Iron in Los Angeles, CA, and Incinerator in Carlsbad, CA," said the company in a statement issued to Crispy Gamer.

"In addition, THQ informed the staff at its Big Huge Games studio in Timonium, MD, that it plans to close the studio if a sale is not completed in the near future.

"These actions were unfortunate but were necessitated by the difficult economic environment," said THQ.

The publisher only acquired Rise of Nations developer Big Huge Games just over a year ago, and at the time said it planned to staff up and grow the business.

Incinerator was formed in July 2006 with a remit to work on new console hardware, but has mainly developed THQs licensed properties including Cars and SpongeBob SquarePants titles.

Heavy Iron recently worked on Wall-E, a title that failed to repeat the previous success of THQs Disney/Pixar games.

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