Take-Two: “THQ Won’t Be Around in Six Months”

Speaking at the MIT Business in Gaming conference, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick predicted that THQ will be dead before the end of the Mayan calendar, and credits his company’s success over THQ to a difference in business plan.

Zelnick said:

“THQ’s strategy was licensed properties, first and foremost. License stuff from other people, whether it’s UFC or WWE or a motion picture property, and make a game around that. And our approach, since we took over the company, is 100 percent owned intellectual property.”

The CEO explained that licensing properties results in diminishing profit margins as licensing costs increase over time with brand recognition.

But that’s not all; Zelnick believes the key differentiator is quality:

“The most important difference is quality. Take-Two has the highest quality ratings among third-party publishers, according to Metacritic and most people in the industry. Quality really, really, really matters. THQ has had some good game, but their quality levels aren’t even remotely … the quality hasn’t measured up.

“Strategy didn’t work and the execution was bad. To put it another way: the food was no good and the portions were small. THQ won’t be around in six months.”

If Zelnick is correct, this does not bode well for the future of franchises like Darksiders and Saints Row.

Do you think Zelnick was being too harsh?


via Joystiq

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5 Comments on Take-Two: “THQ Won’t Be Around in Six Months”

SXO

On April 5, 2012 at 4:15 pm

I could totally see this happening. Frankly I’m surprised THQ has lasted as long as it has with the way they’ve been mismanaging things. My only hope is that the right people buy up the rights to some of the properties they own.

Trey

On April 6, 2012 at 2:07 am

The problem with comparing THQ to any other game development company is that THQ builds games to awe us (the gamers). It almost seems that THQ develops the story first, only moving onto the matter of ‘graphical sharpness’ after. If these THQ naysayers took the time to fully examine THQ’s games they’d find their (THQ’s) sizes (Gigabytes) to be almost the same, if not more. Where other game companies place graphics before the games actual ‘play value’ THQ takes the time to add in quirky little side missions, enjoyable Easter eggs, calculated/thought-out (N)PC voice over work, and fun content. In the end, the Gigabytes don’t lie. I’m a gamer who enjoys finding a ‘secret helicopter’ or hot-air balloon in my travels along the map, not beating a mission to get a cut-scene followed by the next mission. THQ focuses on the end player more, and I like that. If adding in those fun and useful options takes away from the games possible end graphics, I’ve got no problem with that.

While the naysayers keep on bowing to companies like EA where they fire the experienced programmers to hire fresh college grads for profits sake, THQ values playability over expenses. Just look at EA’s Battlefield 3, it had over 200 simple glitches caused by hiring fresh Dev’s who had yet to learn the sudle nuances of programming (if I do this then this happens).

Things can only get better from here. I can’t wait to see what THQ does next. High-five to you THQ!

SXO

On April 6, 2012 at 6:07 am

Hey Trey, I guess you missed all the times that THQ imposed strict deadlines on the devs they publish for, resulting in games with large numbers of bugs at launch. Then they turn around and cut patch support for the games early to try and save money. Sure, the games they’ve published have been pretty good, and often not the same recycled nonsense the other publishers seem to focus on, but they make their devs look bad when they release unfinished games and/or don’t continue to patch issues.

Hopefully the awesome studios they own, such as Relic and Vigil, can somehow survive this. Or at the very least form new studios from the ashes if THQ does crash and burn.

SXO

On April 6, 2012 at 6:08 am

Hey Trey, I guess you missed all the times that THQ imposed strict deadlines on the devs they publish for, resulting in games with large numbers of bugs at launch. Then they turn around and cut patch support for the games early to try and save money. Sure, the games they’ve published have been pretty good, and often not the same recycled nonsense the other publishers seem to focus on, but they make their devs look bad when they release unfinished games and/or don’t continue to patch issues.

Trey

On April 6, 2012 at 10:37 pm

SXO- Yes I agree that some projects may have been rushed, but that isn’t enough to say the THQ is a goner.
The good thing about THQ is they’ve built up a thick layer of fat that could be cut if necessary.

THQ’s future is only known to the CEO’s, COO’s, and board members. I say buy THQI stock. I have.