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THQ's days are numbered, says Take-Two CEO
THQ's days are numbered, says Take-Two CEO
April 5, 2012 | By Tom Curtis

April 5, 2012 | By Tom Curtis
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    9 comments
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing



Things have been looking a bit grim for publisher THQ over the last few months, and given the current state of its business, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick predicts that the company won't last another six months.

Zelnick (pictured) discussed his thoughts on THQ at the MIT Business in Gaming conference in Massachusetts, and noted that the company's reliance on licensed properties kept its business from taking off, reports Joystiq.

"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," he said.

While this tactic might work in some cases, Zelnick said that THQ likely suffered decreased margins since it was always reliant on its numerous license holders. While THQ has attempted to shift toward original IP over the last several years, Zelnick says the company has done too little too late.

"THQ has had some good games, but their quality levels aren't even remotely... the quality hasn't measured up," he said.

"Strategy didn't work and the execution was bad. To put it another way: the food was no good and the portions were small," Zelnick said. "THQ won't be around in six months."

[Update: Gamasutra contacted THQ for its response to Zelnick's comments, and a company spokesperson said, "Obviously, Mr. Zelnick's perception of THQ is outdated and inaccurate. His comments are irresponsible and false. Perhaps he would be better off commenting on his own business."]


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Comments


k s
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Zelnick has a vested interest in THQ dieing but I'm not yet convinced it will but I wont say it wont either. In the event THQ declare bankruptcy it will likely take more then six months. BTW Saints Row is much better then GTA!

Jonathan Murphy
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If Darksiders 2 sells poorly I'll toss in my 2 cents and say 8 months. It's sad, but they had chances with companies like Respawn, Bungie, Blizzard, ID software. They let them slip away.

Alternate Procellous
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I'm inclined to agree with Zelnick. If you look at the company's financials, their cash flow and level of debt, you find that they are burning cash at a rate that puts them out of business inside of a year. It's possible that there is some piece of information we don't have that gives them confidence, but things look pretty bleak based on the information available to the public.

THQ has an interest in keeping up appearances, but I would not say that Mr. Zelnick's perception is outdated or inaccurate. Furthermore, the implied suggestion from THQ's spokesperson that everything is fine with THQ is at least as irresponsible and false. There are shareholders and employees that will be influenced by such a statement when it is perhaps in their best interests to ignore it.

Sherman Luong
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I really enjoyed Space Marines, Kill Team and Voltron by THQ last year. thought they really up the quality compared to most games.

Joe McGinn
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Space Marines was OK but no where near Dawn of War quality.

Daniel Martinez
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There was a point in time where Bill Gates may have said the same thing about Apple.

Beyond Good and Evil
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This is NOT about any given game it's about the EXECUTIVE. THQ has had many of the right people working there giving them the right advice about what to do for years i.e. DO NOT make Dark Millennium Online, DO NOT make Margaritaville, DO invest in online, DO reuse technology etc. etc.

Those people were all summarily bullied into silence or outright fired - THQ is 100% broken and as long as the same people run the company NOTHING will EVER change. Period. The end will be a long drawn out, painful decline that will see every single member of staff fired before the executive finally bow out with huge packages. Guaranteed.

Daniel Martinez
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Those may very well be the means to an end.

David Phan
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Probably doesn't help that there are still 1.4 million unsold Udraw tablets in a massive warehouse somewhere... =


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