THQ shelves Red Faction as losses increase to $38.4 million

Q1 sales up but losses increase; Red Faction, kids titles and UFC Personal Trainer all disappoint

Publisher THQ has seen first quarter losses increase from $30.1 million to $38.4 million.

Sales were up to $195.2 million compared to $149.4 million for the same period last year, but disappointing sales of the Red Faction franchise have prompted the company to shelve the series.

"We are disappointed in our first quarter financial performance," said CEO Brian Farrell. "Sales of Red Faction: Armageddon and our licensed kids titles were below our expectations, and the late release of UFC Personal Trainer also adversely impacted the quarter."

In a conference call following the results, Farrell said the company would no longer continue with the Red Faction brand, despite it finding an audience on current-gen consoles.

"Given that that title, now in two successive versions, has just found a niche, we do not intend to carry forward with that franchise in any meaningful way.

"In today's hit-driven, core gaming business, even highly-polished titles with a reasonable following like Red Faction face a bar that continues to move higher and higher.

"Moving forward, our core game titles must meet a very high quality standard with strong creative and product differentiation, appeal to a broad audience, and be marketed aggressively."

Red Faction developer Volition is currently working on Saint's Row The Third and Insane, with movie director Guillermo del Toro.

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Latest comments (8)

Terence Gage Freelance writer 8 years ago
A shame about the Red Faction series; I've not liked every instalment but have been a fan since the beginning, and I kind of feel like the series has always been too busy following trends to really have a chance to stand out and carve its own place in the market.

After Guerilla was pretty well received and a very fun game, I'm not really sure why they thought making it into a pseudo-survival horror action shooter was the way forward. For me there's been too much inconsistency between instalments, and I wonder whether this has been contributory in Armageddon's low sales.

Anyway, the first game is in my opinion definitely the series' best, and I would like it if they were to remake it or HD it and put it on Live/PSN/Steam for a reasonable price. Maybe re-work the controls and the AI, but I still think RF1 has an excellent campaign.
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Stitch Jones News Editor 8 years ago
With the release of Red Faction: Guerrilla, the series split the fan base up. You have fans of the original games in it's FPS format. And now you have this 3rd person GTA/Tomb Raider style game. Guerrilla was a very fun game, but it was nothing like the previous games. With the previews and general talk around the newest Red Faction game, as you can see from public response the need for another game in the series was not needed. And even with the humor factor of a Unicorn weapon... that presents more of a game ruining item instead of a good comic relief item.
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Rob Craig Instructor / Writer 8 years ago
I visited Volition studio last summer as graphical assets were being finalized. I am a fan of RFG, but was surprised at the departure from Guerrilla's top-side environment and vehicle centric world. I felt as though these folks knew what they were doing - fully committed to the new direction in the industry's guess at what will be important to consumers "next year". Well, we see it now. Who can argue that its easy to look into the crystal ball and determine what consumers (and the financial climate) will be like 2 years after the green light? No one of course, but it pains me that decisions to adjust or "evolve" a franchise can so easily spell death. RF was a very cool series of games, even if it could not simply rest on its original style of play. Even worse, I suppose that some of the people I met last year will no longer be employed there.
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Show all comments (8)
Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 8 years ago
I'd much rather see Red Faction continue on as a mix of FPS and TPS, but so much for that, it seems. If Saint's Row III tanks, I suggest Volition get to work on Summoner III using that engine, set the game across a few time periods so the team can mix up the visual styles (and have fun in a few worlds), crank of the humor for the outtake reel and maybe get some people talking...
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Calum Brown Games Journalist 8 years ago
I would not be surprised to see THQ invest in Homefront as a major franchise, to take on the likes's of EA and Activision in the FPS genre. A little late however, because FPS are slowly but surely sliping off the top spot thanks to MMO's and RPG's. IMO
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Private VIdeo Games 8 years ago
"I would not be surprised to see THQ invest in Homefront as a major franchise,"

They already did...

"because FPS are slowly but surely sliping off the top spot thanks to MMO's and RPG's. IMO "

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Edward Fuller Level Designer, Bizarre Creations8 years ago
What a shame, Guerilla was really good. I thought Armageddon was a strange direction to take the game in, it felt like the franchise was going backwards by becoming a linear corridor based TPS compared to Guerilla's open world gameplay, and removing multiplayer was suicidal after how good the multiplayer had been in Guerilla.

Hopefully they'll dig it out in 5 years time for a reboot.
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 8 years ago
I dunno Caum - they killed off Kaos Studios earlier this year, so unless they plan on getting Volition to do everything, I don't see Homefront popping up anytime soon. That and the genre IS too damn crowded with games that while well-made, are just more of the same all war all the time stuff that's gotten old...
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