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Take-Two CEO: "THQ won't be around in six months"

Strauss Zelnick had some harsh words for THQ at a recent conference [UPDATED]

Update: There's only so much damage control that can be done after comments like this, but now Strauss Zelnick has apologized for his remarks. "While discussing our strategy I spoke out of turn about someone else's. It was inappropriate and I regret it," he told Game Informer.

Original story:

THQ has been struggling of late as it attempts to make its business profitable again. In the most recent quarter, sales expectations were missed by $125 million and the company decided to further narrow its focus on core titles and connected experiences, but will it work out for THQ? Strauss Zelnick, CEO of Take-Two, sure doesn't think so.

Speaking at the MIT Business in Gaming conference in Massachusetts, Zelnick slammed THQ's business.

"THQ's strategy was licensed properties, first and foremost. License stuff from other people, whether it's UFC or WWE or a motion picture property, and make a game around that," Zelnick said, according to Joystiq. He then continued to pat himself on the back for his management of Take-Two in the last several years. "And our approach, since we took over the company, is 100 percent owned intellectual property."

Zelnick noted that there's a simple reason that THQ has struggled while Take-Two has bolstered its business: game quality.

"The most important difference is quality. Take-Two has the highest quality ratings among third-party publishers, according to Metacritic and most people in the industry. Quality really, really, really matters. THQ has had some good games, but their quality levels aren't even remotely ... the quality hasn't measured up," he said.

"Strategy didn't work and the execution was bad. To put it another way: the food was no good and the portions were small... THQ won't be around in six months."

Needless to say, THQ, upon hearing Zelnick's remarks, was none too please about it. A spokesperson issued the following statement: "Obviously, Mr. Zelnick's perception of THQ is outdated and inaccurate. His comments are irresponsible and false. Perhaps he would be better off commenting on his own business."

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James Brightman avatar
James Brightman: James Brightman has been covering the games industry since 2003 and has been an avid gamer since the days of Atari and Intellivision. He was previously EIC and co-founder of IndustryGamers and spent several years leading GameDaily Biz at AOL prior to that.
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