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THQ has time to contemplate hypothetical loss of Pixar license

Should THQ lose the rights to produce games based upon Pixar films, the impact would not be felt until FY 2014

In the event that THQ loses its current license to produce games based upon Pixar animated films, the company has time to contemplate new licenses according to CFO and executive VP Colin Slade.

Speaking to investors at the 6th annual Wedbush Morgan Securities Management Access Conference in New York City, Slade addressed the hypothetical potential of losing the Pixar license which has done well for the company.

"Our strategy with Pixar is very simple: continue to build great games that allow us to take those top spots in terms of games based upon animated films," Slade said.

"We think we've done a great job. We're very proud of our partnership with Pixar."

The company's current multi-film deal with Pixar covers films through their fiscal year 2012. If the company releases a sequel to the last film under that deal - which it has the right to do - that would take them into fiscal year 2013.

Even if THQ loses the videogame rights to future Pixar films, therefore - which is still hypothetical - Slade noted that the first time they might see an impact from that loss would be fiscal 2014.

"That gives us quite a bit of time to contemplate new licenses - and as you can see only recently, we talked about two brand new licenses that we think will be strong."

One of those new licenses is for the DreamWorks Animation film tentatively titled "Master Mind," which will be released in 2010 - significant for THQ, as Pixar has no new film in theaters that year. THQ also has the rights to publish additional games should DreamWorks release a sequel to the film.

Looking ahead to the company's next Pixar licensed game, WALL-E, Slade said that he expected sales to be better than Ratatouille's 4 million units but not quite as successful as Cars' 8 million units.

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Mark Androvich

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