THQ Closing Two Studios, Laying Off 200
THQ has shut the doors of two of its studios, it announced today, and laid off 200 workers as it works to tighten its development focus.
The two studios with doors shut, according to an Australian industry source commenting on NeoGAF, are reportedly Blue Tongue and THQ Studio Australia. Along with those studios and their employees, THQ has also eliminated a development team at its Phoenix studio. Both the Australian studios were mainly focused on license titles, according to Gamasutra.
In all, THQ is pulling away from making licensed movie-based titles and kids’ games, the company said, and that’ll likely mean focusing more resources on its triple-A titles. This is following the announcement that the Red Faction series is ending with the disappointing showing of Red Faction: Armageddon. Also on the chopping block is the MX vs. ATV series, which THQ isn’t pursuing.
That leaves THQ with five main internal studios: Volition, which is working on Saints Row: The Third and inSANE; Relic Entertainment, Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine and Company of Heroes; THQ San Diego with WWE All Stars; THQ Montreal, working on an unannounced title; and Vigil Games with Darksiders II.
Here’s a quote from Gamasutra’s piece:
THQ also reiterated its ‘four pillar digital strategy,’ which is to focus on major console titles such as Saints Row: The Third, to target iOS and Facebook with titles such as the Jimmy Buffet-inspired Margaritaville Online, to bring in regular revenue with the MMO Warhammer 40,000: Dark Millennium Online, and to drive sales through existing channels as well as through the THQ website.
THQ has been kind of merciless lately, slapping down studios and franchises when they don’t do as well as expected (see Red Faction and MX vs. ATV above). Earlier this year it was Kaos Studios that got shuttered after the release of Homefront (despite selling 1.85 million copies) and handing the franchise off to THQ Montreal.