With the news that THQ is “realigning” its internal studios, two Australian development studios have closed their doors.
[img_big]center,131,2011-01-24/10.1.32.37-image38_bmp_jpgcopy.jpg,de Blob 2[/img_big]
According to a statement from the publisher, moves are being made to “better align resources” according to the company’s new interactive entertainment portfolio. Part of this process sees THQ moving away from movie-based properties and licensed titles aimed at kids, both of which made up a major part of the company’s catalogue in recent times. The MX vs. ATV franchise has also been given the axe, with the company choosing “not to actively pursue further development”.
In addition to the two Australian studios being closed, THQ is also eliminating a development team in Phoenix, Arizona, but maintaining the Quality Assurance team in the same location.
[img_big]center,7393,2011-03-29/nat_js_comp_03092011-20.jpg,MX vs. ATV Alive[/img_big]
Brian Farrell, President and CEO of THQ explains:
With this realignment, we are narrowing our focus to high-quality owned IP with broad appeal that can be leveraged across multiple platforms, and to work with the best talent in the industry. By right-sizing our internal development capacities for our console portfolio, our five internal studios are focused on delivering high-quality games with talented teams driving the execution of those titles to market.
As we have outlined in our business strategies, we are making shifts to reduce movie-based and licensed kids’ video games in our portfolio, which underscores our strategy to move away from games that will not generate strong profits in the future.
Farrell also explains that the company will concentrate on social games, mobile and “tablet-based digital entertainment”.
[img_big]center,7763,2011-04-19/5585sr3-06_PCwithHSvsCOPS.jpg,Saints Row: The Third[/img_big]
More on those five internal THQ development studios:
- Patrice Désilets is heading up THQ Montreal, working on an unannounced new IP.
- Volition, Inc. is working on Saints Row: The Third as well as the collaboration with Guillermo del Toro, inSANE.
- Relic Entertainment, creators of Company of Heroes, is putting the finishing touches on Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine.
- Vigil Games is also working on the franchise, creating the 2012 MMO Warhammer 40,000: Dark Millenium Online as well as Darksiders II.
- …and THQ San Diego has developed WWE All Stars, and is currently creating “best-in-class” fighting games.
The “realignment” will cost 200 people their jobs, many of them in the already-troubled Australian games industry. “All affected employees are eligible to apply for open positions within the company globally.” Both Australian studios will close their doors by the end of the week.
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