THQ Delays Three Titles, Lowers Fiscal Forecast

Topping off a day of delays, THQ announced it will be pushing three of its fourth quarter fiscal year 2008 titles into fiscal year 2009, which begins April 1, 2008. Sandblast Games' Destroy All Humans!: Path of the Furon (PS3, X360), Kaos Studio' PlayStation 3 version of Frontlines: Fuel of War (PC, PS3, X360), and Blue Tongue's DS version and Helixe's Wii version of de Blob (Wii, NDS) will now be released sometime after the start of the new fiscal year.

Note that only the PlayStation 3 version of Frontlines: Fuel of War has been delayed, as the Xbox 360 and PC versions of the game are still on target for an early 2008 release, along with the previously confirmed Xbox 360 demo of the game coming in December.

"We still plan to ship the Xbox 360 and PC versions of Frontlines in the March quarter, as we are pleased with the quality on these platforms and believe this is the best launch window for the game," said THQ CEO Brian Farrell in a conference call following today's revised financial forecast. "We plan to release a demo of Frontlines in early December and expect it to be well received by both consumers and the game press.

Farrell attributed both the Destroy All Humans! and Frontlines delays to trouble with using the Unreal Engine 3 on with the PlayStation 3, a problem many developers, including engine-creator Epic itself, have cited. Wii and DS title de Blob was mainly delayed to avoid being lost in the pre-holiday retail rush.

"Like many of our competitors, we've had challenges with PS3 cross-platform development on the Unreal Engine," Farrell said in the conference call.

Due to the poor performance of Paradigm Entertainment's Stuntman: Ignition (PS2, PS3, PSP, X360) and Juice Games' Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights (PC, PS2, PS3, PSP, NDS, X360), the company lowered its sales estimates for the second and third fiscal quarters. Combined with the lowered fourth quarter estimates from the delays, this brings the company's fiscal year estimate down to $1.06 billion.

"While we have shipped more than 1 million units worldwide on each of these titles, this is significantly below our internal forecast," Farrell said in reference to Stuntman and Juiced sales during the conference call. "In both cases we did not receive our required game play mechanic and overall product quality targets. Quality matters and we missed the mark."