THQ layoffs hit admin and publishing departments

By Steve Watts, Jan 27, 2012 10:30am PST

THQ has laid off an unspecified number of employees today, following the announcement of a new strategic realignment. This round of layoffs impacted the administrative and publishing departments, but didn't touch any of THQ's five internal studios. This latest in THQ's strategy shifts involves shutting down its various child-friendly properties to focus more on "core" games.

Joystiq reports that the unaffected studios are THQ San Diego, Relic, Volition, Vigil, and THQ Montreal -- all studios that focus on core games.

This follows an announcement from earlier this week, in which THQ announced it will focus on core games on existing consoles, emerging platforms, and expand its digital properties. The announcement included the revelation that the company would exit its various licensed kids' properties, while continuing to sell some previously released licensed titles.

"As recently announced, the company is exiting the kids' licensed games category, and is focusing on its core game franchises and developing its digital initiatives," THQ said in a statement. "The company will provide greater financial detail regarding the costs and organizational benefit on its third quarter 2012 conference call scheduled for Thursday, February 2, 2012."

When the publisher began closing studios last year, its silver lining was healthy projections for Saints Row: The Third and the uDraw peripheral game. Saints Row managed to sell through 3.8 million copies, but the uDraw saw weak sales that led to layoffs. Given these results, it's not surprising that now THQ is leaning more on core games, and less on family-friendly titles.

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