THQ running out of cash, seeking 'strategic alternatives'

One of the side effects of delaying your entire slate of upcoming games is the lack of money. With Metro: Last Light, Company of Heroes 2, and South Park: The Stick of Truth all delayed, THQ is running out of money.

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One of the side effects of delaying your entire slate of upcoming games is the lack of money. With Metro: Last Light, Company of Heroes 2, and South Park: The Stick of Truth all delayed, THQ is running out of money--and fast.

"Clearly, THQ faces a number of opportunities and challenges," THQ's Brian Farrell said in a recent financial report. "We also face challenges operating with limited capital resources in the highly competitive market for games, and we are working diligently to resolve those challenges."

The company is now seeking "strategic alternatives" to help the company stay afloat. According to VentureBeat's Dean Takahashi, that usually means the company is looking for buyers. A consulting firm, Centerview Partners, will help THQ determine the company's future course.

Unfortunately for THQ, Darksiders 2 did not help the company's bottom line. Sales were below expectations, in spite of having shipped 1.4 million copies.

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From The Chatty

  • reply
    November 5, 2012 2:30 PM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, THQ running out of cash, seeking 'strategic alternatives'.

    One of the side effects of delaying your entire slate of upcoming games is the lack of money. With Metro: Last Light, Company of Heroes 2, and South Park: The Stick of Truth all delayed, THQ is running out of money.

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      November 5, 2012 3:08 PM

      Really looking forward to Company of Heroes 2 and the South Park RPG. Can't say I've bought many THQ games lately, just Saints Row 3 on a massive sale, because SR2 on the PC was awful... but they completely redeemed themselves with SR3.

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      November 5, 2012 3:50 PM

      I wonder if Darksiders 2 would have been better served with keeping the game scope at the same size of the original. Seemed like they were mistaking Cult hit status with massive sales potential. Seeing Sleeping dogs and Darksiders 2 underperform makes me fear for the future of AAA action-adventure games.

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      November 5, 2012 4:02 PM

      how sad it is when shipping 1.4million units is still not enough.

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        November 5, 2012 4:33 PM

        ^^^ Spoken truth. Sad indeed.

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        November 5, 2012 5:38 PM

        It is sad but it is also unfortunate that game development financials are so closely guarded that there is the perception that if a game sells millions it must have been a smash success. Modern AAA games are incredibly expensive enterprises, and many games that have sold through millions of units are not even breaking even let alone profitable.

        While the real cost of games to consumers has steadily declined over the last decade, the development and marketing costs have increased by at least an order of magnitude, and in some cases two. The economics of AAA game development are making increasingly little sense for all but the biggest publishers, and even they have drastically cut their slates in order to take bigger bets on handfuls of titles.

        Interesting times for the industry. I just hope it survives the next few years in some recognizable form.

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        November 6, 2012 3:36 AM

        Not exactly sad. Big games are hugely expensive, for any publisher to survive they need big hitters to flatten out that bumpy hit/miss curve from their others titles. AC, CoD, FIFA etc. THQ sadly has nothing even close.

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      November 5, 2012 4:37 PM

      Gee, I wonder why Danny Bilson left in May 2012. Of course, the flipside is that Jason Rubin has to clean up after Bilson's mess, which had some success stories, but also had stuff like Homefront's fizzle, and Insane languishing and eventually getting canned.

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        November 6, 2012 3:32 AM

        Jason Rubin is insane, they've been in a death spiral forever and I don't get why such an experienced guy jumped on board, there isn't enough time for even the smartest of people to save them.

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      November 5, 2012 4:38 PM

      As soon as they do an all-in-one GOTY of Darksiders 2 - I'm in. Until then - they'll see no money from me.

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      November 5, 2012 4:54 PM

      shit, no good. I bought a ton of their stock @ 80 cents a share (and with reverse 10 to 1 split it's trading at the equivalent of 30 cents)

      Need more saints row!!!!

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        November 6, 2012 3:35 AM

        Dude, why? Terrible idea, there've been no good signs from these guys in forever. They make some good games but zero big sellers, apart from maybe WWE.

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      November 5, 2012 5:27 PM

      THQ should just take whatever money they have and bet it on a horse. It is probably their best chance.

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      November 5, 2012 5:33 PM

      that's a bummer because CoH2 and SP are almost certainly going to be great

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      November 5, 2012 5:52 PM

      Just come out with Saints Row 4 already

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      November 6, 2012 2:12 AM

      Die. Die, die, die, die, die, die. Die.

      Ty THQ.

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      November 6, 2012 3:07 AM

      If THQ dissolves, what happens to Relic? WHAT HAPPENS TO HOMEWORLD?

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        November 6, 2012 3:33 AM

        Somebody buys them, or they refor, or they dissolve and spread their talent throughout the industry like Looking Glass did.

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          November 6, 2012 3:37 AM

          But what about the IP? I will cry tears of blood if Homeworld goes System Shock on us.

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            November 6, 2012 3:42 AM

            Well they still own it, whereas SS is a mess.

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              November 6, 2012 3:44 AM

              I'm just thinking worst case scenarios where THQ ham handedly force relic to sell homeworld, or dissipates the developer entirely and sells the assets to investors or something terrible like that.

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                November 6, 2012 4:01 AM

                Yeah, fair enough. I can't see anyone buying THQ outright. Hopefully a smart publisher snaps up relic as an awesome studio in its entirity, ditto Vigil, but I can equally see if just being a messing feeding frenzy for licenses. Warner grabbed Mortal Kombat and Netherealm, so I guess something positive like that could still happen for THQ's finest.

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                  November 6, 2012 4:11 AM

                  I guess if we're lucky, EA might buy homeworld and turn it info a facebook strategy game!!!! :D

                  HEADS WOULD ROLL!

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        November 6, 2012 4:54 AM

        Don't forget Volition as well....and the last ditch hope anyone has of a new Descent or Freespace game dies. Never mind all you Saints Row and Red Faction fans

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        November 6, 2012 7:02 AM

        :: cries ::

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      November 6, 2012 3:26 AM

      MY DAWN OF WAR 3. WHERE IS IT

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      November 6, 2012 4:18 AM

      They have killer franchises, what's up with the delays?! Ship'n'patch!

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        November 6, 2012 6:59 AM

        Dude they really don't. Darksiders 2 didn't hit the numbers for what it cost. Saint's Row and WWE are the biggest they have and they don't even touch the big hitters from all the other major publishers.

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          November 6, 2012 7:04 AM

          well killer as in being good, not necessarily sales numbers.

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            November 6, 2012 7:29 AM

            Ya. That was always their issue though. It was like with each game they said "This game is good, this'll save us" when they were being optimistic about it to say the least!

            I know they're not gone but, man, it feels closer with each news article. :/

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          November 6, 2012 7:05 AM

          They've still got hope for the Wii U version! I'm crying here :(

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      November 6, 2012 4:22 AM

      noooooooooooooo :(

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      November 6, 2012 6:25 AM

      Its too bad as they make pretty good games.

      Maybe Valve picks them up?!?!

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        November 6, 2012 6:39 AM

        I don't think that's the kind of thing Valve would want to do. Seems incompatible with their business model.

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        November 6, 2012 6:54 AM

        God no, why would they ever do that?

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          November 6, 2012 7:12 AM

          They could pick up the homeworld IP and release homeworld 1 and 2 on steam. I think we should all perform a write in campaign to convince gaben to do this! Who is with me?!?!?!?

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            November 6, 2012 8:04 AM

            It would take them like 10 years to develop it, judging from their usual pace.

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        November 6, 2012 7:40 AM

        Microsoft should grab them and make them Windows/Xbox exclusives.

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      November 6, 2012 7:31 AM

      I wonder what the issues are? screams of bad project management. they have the goals in mind, the titles to release... so what's the problem? managers making folks multitask? are they fucking around with outsourcing? someone allow scope creep into a product?

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        November 6, 2012 7:40 AM

        MARKETING

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        November 6, 2012 7:43 AM

        I think they assumed they'd be able to afford larger teams at the outset of the projects when things weren't quite as dire and when crunch time came they couldn't, hence the delays.

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      November 6, 2012 8:31 AM

      NOOOO I need more 40k games!

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      November 6, 2012 8:51 AM

      Just release the South Park game already, no real gamer is going to buy it and its based off a tv show (which I'm a fan of and can even admit has never had a fun game) so most likely its gonna suck anyway. That should leave some extra money lying around to work with.

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        November 6, 2012 4:15 PM

        I looked up "real gamer" on wikipedia....wasn't there. Do tell...