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New greenlight process will help manage costs, says Farrell

CEO says THQ's studios appreciate the new staged greenlight process, which will also help manage costs

At the William Blair Growth Stock Conference, THQ CEO Brian Farrell spoke in depth about the company's new staged greenlight process which he said has been met with positive feedback from their development studios.

"It is very visible. It is very open. It is very clear what the process is," he said.

"There's feedback, if something doesn't get greenlit, as to why it didn't get greenlit."

The intent was to lift the "shroud" of why the exec team greenlights some projects and not others, giving the developers clear technical bases and "gates" regarding marketability, schedule and budget.

"The feedback comes back if something doesn't get past the gates - here is why it didn't. I think clarity and visibility is very important, particularly to developers," Farrell said.

The new staged greenlight process will help THQ to start the right products and also to kill products that either won't be competitive or that rely on unproven technology very early in the process.

"That's as big a key as the end, which is cost management," he explained.

Farrell said that the company is also looking at streamlining costs in many other areas, making sure that the cost structure is in line with potential revenues. The bottom line, however, are the games.

"The big win - if you look at making sure we get the operating leverage - goes back to producing great games. If you sell a lot of units, that's how you get the operating leverage in the business.

"Costs are an important factor. We want to keep those under control. Colin [Slade] is focused on the cost side, and a lot of the company is now focused on just that single mantra: 'More units per product shipped.'"

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