Publisher THQ has announced a small decline in revenues and an increased loss in its fiscal first quarter, while the firm's highly anticipated STALKER title has been pushed back to 2005 to avoid competing with other key franchises.
For the three months ended June 30th, THQ recorded a net loss of $3.9 million on sales of $88.2 million - a decline in both areas from last year's figures, which showed a loss of $3.6 million on revenues of $98.1 million.
However, the publisher's outlook was largely positive, thanks to a strong release schedule going forward - including Full Spectrum Warrior on Xbox, which will contribute mostly to its second quarter results - and the confirmation of a deal to develop games based on Disney and Pixar's last collaboration, Cars, in fiscal 2005.
"Let's keep STALKER away from that," were the words of CEO Brian Farrell on a conference call to discuss the results, speaking about the slew of high profile first person shooter releases due over the coming months - including DOOM 3, Half-Life 2 and Halo 2.
The title has now been delayed into the company's fourth fiscal quarter - early calendar 2005 - along with a number of the firm's other new releases such as Pandemic's Destroy All Humans and Volition's The Punisher. "We believe [the fourth quarter] to be an optimal window for establishing new intellectual properties," according to Farrell.
The company also revealed that COO Eric Doctorow has depated from the company, with Farrell set to take on his duties until a permanent replacement is found.