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Layoffs At THQ's uDraw Division
Layoffs At THQ's uDraw Division
December 10, 2011 | By Frank Cifaldi

December 10, 2011 | By Frank Cifaldi
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    9 comments
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing



Game publisher THQ has laid off 30 employees from its family-focused Play THQ division, the company said Friday.

Among other products, Play THQ spearheads the company's uDraw line of drawing tablet accessories, which failed to impress at retail this year.

Among those affected is Martin Good, the THQ executive vice president who oversees the Play THQ business. Good is leaving after eleven years to "pursue new opportunities," according to a statement issued by THQ.

THQ's uDraw GameTablet, a console peripheral that interacts with games through a handheld drawing tablet, was a surprise success for the company during the 2010 holiday season, when the Wii-only release shipped 1.7 million units, well ahead of the company's initial expectations of 1 million.

This year the company expanded the uDraw line with new tablets and games for both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The new lineup debuted on American shelves on November 15, but sales have been far lower than projected -- so low, in fact, that the company has reduced its financial outlook for this crucial holiday quarter by around 25 percent.

Recent statements by financial analysts, however, suggest that there could be more problems at THQ than the company is letting on: according to Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter, the downfall in revenue would account for nearly every uDraw unit the company is estimated to have shipped, suggesting that sales were either fiercely lower than anyone had anticipated or the company has problems it has not yet disclosed to investors.


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Comments


N3uromancer Fett
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Too bad it was simply focused on the family market. This peripheral could have been the solution to the limited, cumbersome interaction one encounters when playing an RTS game on a console. A player could have been creating strategy on screen a la Madden.

David Rodriguez
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So udraw does really well on wii and the next choice is NOT to expand on its wii franchise where it proved it had found an audience...no lets take ANOTHER gamble to see if theres an audience in different consoles instead. While im sorry for the lay offs,i hope they learned to stay with the kid friendly wii where udraw has the appeal. I mean, thq has no competition with this product! Stay focused.

Jeremy Reaban
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Well, that's basically what Sony & MS did with Move & Kinect. So THQ thought maybe the "Wii" audience was also on those consoles. Oops.

Joe McGinn
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Yup. Exactly the same way THQ failed with De Blob. 1st game a hit on the Wii. So logically instead of building on that they go for multi-platform flop with Blob 2. THQ: the place where bad ideas never die.

Samuel Batista
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Can't help but feel like this is just not a very good investment from THQ. The Wii U's controller is essentially a more impressive version of the uDraw, THQ should be either heavily investing in the software that enables the use of the uDraw and make it easy to port to other similar hardware devices.

Roger Klado
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I gotta crawl from under my rock more often...

Either, THQ market targeting is on the ball and no dollars were wasted on uninterested demographics.

Or they needed to actually market the product more aggressively. ( ala Duke Nukem... Thats one shiny shiny turd )

Dunno personally why I have never heard of this product?

Michael Royurbot
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These layoffs affected the ENTIRE kids, family & casual games group at THQ, not just the group working on uDraw. What's astonishing to me is that exactly a year ago, THQ was crediting uDraw with everything that was RIGHT with its company. One year later, it axes the entire division. I've no first-hand knowledge, but I'm guessing Pachter is right ... there's another shoe waiting to drop. Why is Brian Farrell still allowed to be "leading" this company? Where is the board of directors? Why aren't they doing anything? It probably doesn't matter. Two weeks after release, "Saints Row the Third" isn't even in the top 10 of North American video game sales, so there's another Danny Bilson disappointment. I've a feeling that this is pretty much the last business quarter or two that THQ will be in existence. They can't make good games and they CERTAINLY can't market them worth beans.

Nothing But Homeruns
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All of the senior management at THQ have to go. Anything short of that will lead to the inevitable decline and then collapse of this terribly broken, dysfunctional company.

Nothing But Homeruns
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http://www.google.com/finance?q=thqi - 0.80 cents flat today. They are now really taking things to the next "level". As Brian is fond of saying, "next quarter will be their biggest ever". I utterly believe this now.


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