THQ: Rise of Nations Dev Big Huge Games In Danger of Closing

Publisher THQ today announced that Big Huge Games, developer of the excellent RTS franchise Rise of Nations, is now up for sale.

"THQ informed the staff at its Big Huge Games studio in Timonium, MD, that it plans to close the studio if a sale is not completed in the near future," said THQ in a statement to CrispyGamer. "These actions were unfortunate but were necessitated by the difficult economic environment." nope The move is part of a series of cutbacks at THQ due to disappointing financial results. The company plans to eventually slash 24% of its workforce.

THQ acquired Big Huge Games in January of last year. The studio most recently released Catan (XBLA) and collaborated with the now-closed Ensemble Studios on the Age of Empires III expansion Asian Dynasties.

Big Huge was reportedly working on two unannounced projects: an RPG scheduled for a 2009 release on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC, as well as a separate Wii title.

THQ also noted that Heavy Iron Studios (Up, WALL-E) and Incinerator Studios (Nicktoons: Globs of Doom, Cars) have been spun off into independent companies.