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THQ lays off 200, shuts down 3 development teams

Drastic downsizing at publisher as it axes MX Vs ATV franchise and moves away from kids and licensed properties

Publisher THQ is to shut down three of its internal development teams, laying off 200 members of staff in the process.

Both of the company's studios in Australia are to close and its development team in Phoenix is to be eliminated, although a QA division there will continue to operate.

The company said it intends to move away from kids titles and movie-based properties and it will no longer develop the MX Vs ATV franchise.

In June the publisher closed Homefront team Kaos Studios and shuttered the UK's Warrington outfit. A month earlier it let staff go at Kaos and Saint's Row developer Volition.

"With this realignment, we are narrowing our focus to high-quality owned IP with broad appeal that can be leveraged across multiple platforms, and to work with the best talent in the industry," said Brian Farrell, CEO.

"By right-sizing our internal development capacities for our console portfolio, our five internal studios are focused on delivering high-quality games with talented teams driving the execution of those titles to market.

"As we have outlined in our business strategies, we are making shifts to reduce movie-based and licensed kids' video games in our portfolio, which underscores our strategy to move away from games that will not generate strong profits in the future."

The move comes after the publisher canned its Red Faction series due to poor sales, and was pinning digital hopes on selling the latest MX Vs ATV physical game at a discount with multiple additional DLC.

The drastic cuts leave THQ with five studios. THQ Montreal is under the leadership of Patrice Desilets and working on new IP, while Volition is busy with Saint's Row the Third and the Guillermo del Toro project Insane. Relic Entertainment is working on Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine and Darksiders II is underway at Vigil Games. THQ San Diego continues with the WWE franchise.

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Matt Martin

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Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.

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