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THQ buys another studio as profits soar

THQ has followed up the release of its quarter three financial report by announcing the acquisition of Californian developer Mass Media.

THQ has followed up the release of its quarter three financial report by announcing the acquisition of Californian developer Mass Media.

The studio is often credited with having created the Interactive Film genre of games, and other titles in its back catalogue include Shrek Super Party and the PS2 version of Full Spectrum Warrior.

"We have aggressively expanded THQ's internal studio system with a focus on creating innovative, new intellectual properties that take full advantage of the latest gaming technologies," said Jack Sorensen, executive vice president of worldwide studios.

"Mass Media brings a wealth of gaming expertise to our talented, extremely collaborative studio system."

The news comes just hours after THQ announced a rise in profits of EUR 46.9 million for the nine months ending December 31 2006 - a EUR 20 million increase over last year's figures.

During the same period, sales were up by 30 per cent to reach EUR 657.6 million.

The figures are quoted in the publisher's Q3 financial report, which puts sales for the quarter at EUR 366.3 million - an increase of nearly 25 per cent. Net income was EUR 47.7 million.

According to THQ's president and CEO, Brian Farrell, the publisher's profits were boosted by healthy sales of Disney/Pixar, WWE and Nickelodeon-licensed games, plus original IPs Saints Row and Company of Heroes.

"THQ significantly outperformed the market this year. Not only did we grow our market share in every major territory, we also significantly improved profitability while making investments in our product pipeline and internal development capabilities," said Farrell.

"We now own six well-established franchises, each with one million-plus unit sales that we plan to sequel and extend well into the future."

According to NPD data, THQ was the number one third-party publisher for Nintendo DS last year. Its share in of the US PC and console games market grew to reach 7.6 per cent, making THQ the number three independent publisher in the States.

In the UK THQ's market share was up 1.5 per cent from last year to reach 7.9 per cent - pushing the company up from fourth place into second.

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Ellie Gibson

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Ellie spent nearly a decade working at Eurogamer, specialising in hard-hitting executive interviews and nob jokes. These days she does a comedy show and podcast. She pops back now and again to write the odd article and steal our biscuits.