THQ defends studio closures

THQ recently closed down studios and cancelled projects in Australia. Now company CFO Paul Pucino defended the decision to a group of investors, saying the cancelled projects weren't "consistent" with the company's new strategy.


THQ recently shifted its corporate strategy towards fewer, but more focused releases. On the down side, this resulted in studio closures, project cancellations, and layoffs. Executive vice-president and CFO Paul Pucino spoke to investors at a technology conference today, and defended the company's decision.

"The two we just shut in Australia were working on games that aren't consistent with our strategy anymore - one on a movie tie-in, one on a kids' game," said Pucino said, according to Edge. "Our strategy now is bringing fewer, bigger triple-A titles to market: one or two original IPs each year, and sequelling them every two to two-and-a-half years."

The strategy places increased pressure to perform on the Montreal studio, which Pucino says "will grow from 150 to 400 employees in the next couple of years." This will help them make games for 40% less than other studios, according to THQ, and Pucino stressed reducing the cost of bringing games to market.

To put investors' minds at east, THQ expects the quarter ending December 31 to be one of its biggest, with heavy sales projected for Saints Row: The Third and uDraw for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The Montreal studio is working on at least two games, hence the heavy growth plan, and also gained the Homefront franchise.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    September 8, 2011 4:15 PM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, THQ defends studio closures.

    THQ recently closed down studios and cancelled projects in Australia. Now company CFO Paul Pucino defended the decision to a group of investors, saying the cancelled projects weren't "consistent" with the company's new strategy.

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      September 8, 2011 10:25 PM

      Relic better be working on Homeworld 3

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        September 8, 2011 11:41 PM

        They also need to work on a new company of heroes

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          September 9, 2011 12:05 AM

          They should do a Russian Front next game, a lot Close Combat 3, which was the best in its series.

          Or Korean War, sadly no one wants to play that one.

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            September 9, 2011 6:43 AM

            COH vietnam would be pretty cool. Specially if you could have massive Huey assaults.

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        September 9, 2011 12:07 AM

        Agreed with that. But what premises would the story be in this game?

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          September 9, 2011 4:06 AM

          Right now I'd settle for just that style of gameplay

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          September 9, 2011 5:25 AM

          I'd like to see more of the Kadesh! Or maybe a prequel, incorporating the war and subsequent exiling of the Hiigarans by the Taiidan.

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        September 9, 2011 12:14 AM

        Relic better think long and hard about where they went wrong since CoH.

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          September 9, 2011 3:54 AM

          I'm not sure what you mean by that. I don't recall Relic ever releasing a bad game since CoH.

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          September 9, 2011 4:00 AM

          People who whine about DoW2 confuse me. No one can seem to give me a real answer to why they think this solidly made, fun and innovative game is so bad.

          The skirmish and multiplayer sucked. Removal of base building sucked.

          On the other hand, the single player and co-op modes were PERFECT. Last stand is a great and fun addition. Perfect blend of strategy and RPG that has rarely been done before and never as well as.

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            September 9, 2011 6:55 AM

            I really dislike the Warhammer universe. It just doesn't hit me the right way.

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              September 9, 2011 7:17 AM

              That's fine, if it's just not your thing. But that doesn't make it a bad game.

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            September 9, 2011 7:07 AM

            Probably something to do with how the single-player was the same eight maps over and over; and the multiplayer somehow became progressively more buggy and unbalanced as the game progressed from beta to release. It was pretty obvious that they did zero testing and had no idea how to balance their game. Maybe Last Stand was great, but a lot of us had clocked out by then or Last Stand just wasn't the game we were sold.

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            September 9, 2011 7:37 AM

            Singleplayer was the most boring campaign ever. Every map you do the same, fight a group of guys, walk over to the next group and fight in the exact same way. Over and over and over until the mission is done and then you do the same thing again over and over and over in every other mission. What don't you understand? It's people like me who hated it that haven't seen an explanation of how this bullshit is supposed to be fun past the first three missions.

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              September 9, 2011 7:44 AM

              Did you ever play Retribution or Chaos Rising? It got to be much better.

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              September 9, 2011 7:47 AM

              Are you referring to the original DoW2? Because Chaos Rising and Retribution has better campaigns.

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              September 9, 2011 9:00 AM

              Multiplayer is where all the fun is at. Singleplayer is for pansies.

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                September 9, 2011 9:05 AM

                I like SP :( It's all I have time for, really, with kids and work and such

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                September 9, 2011 9:47 AM

                The MP has netcode, controls and balancing problems though.

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              September 9, 2011 9:48 AM

              so you really won't like diablo 3. that sucks.

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                September 9, 2011 9:49 AM

                The difference between those is that the micro combat in DoW2 SP is not enjoyable. There are little tactics.

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                  September 9, 2011 9:55 AM

                  you don't send in the recon guys cloaked with shotguns? or set them up to snipe? there's plenty of stuff you CAN do, but no one does that anymore. they just steamroll stuff and then say it's boring. maybe they need to up the difficulty? I dunno.

                  but if he's looking for diversity in combat, diablo 3 you just blaze through shit so fast button mashing that he'll get bored and quit within 5 minutes. and you have to click 9000 times more.

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          September 9, 2011 4:36 AM

          What do you mean? I don't get the sudden dislike for DoW2 here lately. Or are you referring to something else?

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          September 9, 2011 5:55 AM

          Shut. The. Fuck. Up.

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          September 9, 2011 6:45 AM

          They went wrong by not making Homeworld 3 as well as DoW2.

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            September 9, 2011 6:47 AM

            that didn't come out right Dow2 was cool but if they had released Homeworld 3 somewhere in the middle of the DoW goodness i'd be happier.

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              September 9, 2011 8:53 AM

              What I would give for a new Homeworld game that looks as good as EVE Online.

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          September 9, 2011 7:23 AM

          I think you mean RIGHT

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      September 9, 2011 10:48 AM

      Does the "40% cheaper than other studios" refer to the ~40% tax credit the Quebec government is giving to ALL game studios there? Considering that a number of AAA-studios are also in Montreal (SquareEnix/Eidos and EA/Bioware for sure), I don't see how this gives any kind of competitive advantage over everyone else.

      Ramping up to 400 good, experienced devs from scratch is no easy task either. Competing with a lot of existing studios there, too (who are also trying to ramp up), so most probably will need to import a lot of talent. Shutting down existing, experienced studios does not really help this cause.

      I sure do hope those execs know what they're doing...

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        September 9, 2011 10:52 AM

        Oh, by "other studios", they meant other THQ studios. That makes a bit more sense. :)

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