Rumor: Is THQ going out of business
THQ had experienced a decent amount of success at the end of last year. Despite the recent accomplishments and recognition amassed by Saints Row the Third, the WWE franchise had been relaunched, titles ranging from UFC to Darksiders are on the verge of release, parallel to the games by the revered director Guillermo del Toro, the rumors across the internet suggest that THQ is in deep financial trouble and they desperately need to earn money quickly or they might have to sell the company.
This news was spread via Twitter feed by industry insider Kevin Dent, which was instigated by this tweet:
“Apparently, The Game Workshops MMO has been cancelled by THQ”
That particular tweet obviously referred to the Warhammer 40K MMO which was announced back in 2008. Kevin Dent followed up with more tweets stating that the company had cancelled on all of its planned titles for 2014 and have ended substantial contracts with Disney. Dent also concluded that THQ is desperately looking for to raise investor capital if they want to continue with their business. You can read trough this matter in detail here.
Despite the rumors, THQ themselves have not confirmed anything as of now. Kevin Dent is a respected insider and not some random message board user. That’s why this rumor has been given much importance. It is true that THQ did have a decent year in 2011 but, it did have its share of bad moments. The company closed down studios like Kaos, uDraw and two devs behind MX vs ATV along with cancelling the Red Faction series. When these events are examined collectively, one can see why gaming’s top man in the realm of guessing, Michael Pachter, predicted that THQ would run out of money soon.
We might have a lot of questions about future THQ titles like, Homefront 2, Darksiders II, the South Park RPG etc. Would they even come out later through the years? The internet rumors states that only the games of 2014 have been cancelled but, the future of the more immediate releases are still pretty stable. But, according to the rum0rs if a company decides not to release any games two years from now, that’s terrible news. There might be a chance in the near future that THQ rights would be bought by some other big publishers in the market.
Will THQ become a victim of demise which is shared among the likes of Midway and Acclaim? Or would it follow in the footsteps of companies like Square Enix and Tecmo Koei by merging with one of it’s competitors? Or would THQ come out by saying that all the stated rumors are baseless and bring down the hoax with positive facts? Only time can tell.
UPDATE: In the following hours, THQ has responded to requests for clarification. Here’s the company’s official response:
“THQ has not cancelled its 2014 line-up, and has not made any decisions regarding the planned MMO. As part of the ongoing review of our business, we have made decisions to ensure that the company is strategically addressing the most attractive markets. As we have previously announced, we have dramatically reduced our commitment to the kids’ boxed games sector which leads to a significantly more focused release schedule moving forward. Our slate for calendar 2012 and beyond is focused on high-quality core games and continues to build our digital platform and business. We are excited for our pipeline of original and high-quality content along with our relationships with some of the best talent in the industry.
Additionally, we are thrilled with the great performance of Saints Row: The Third, which on a like for like period in North America has tripled in sell-through from Saints Row 2. In addition, WWE ’12’s worldwide sell-through sales are up almost 40% year-over-year for the same sales period with fewer platforms. According to NPD, for the month of December and the 2011 year, THQ was the #5 publisher overall, #4 third party, with reported sell through growing over 18% in a market that was down almost 6%. And coming up next, we have two great titles for the first half of the year including UFC Undisputed 3 and Darksiders 2.”
The above declaration definitely goes against the details stated by the rumors regarding the cancellation of titles. Though it has been mentioned that the commitment towards kiddie games has been reduced, it might be THQ’s way of saying that Disney games have been cancelled. It’s also worth noting that their statement on the continued existence of the Warhammer MMO isn’t as strong as the statement about the 2014 games, which to us still casts shadows on the title. Now the only thing we would want to look forward for would be either to see whether THQ is true to their words or will the rumors still linger around and be true.