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THQ Talks  Drawn To Life  Wii,  Stuntman, Juiced  Cancellations

THQ Talks Drawn To Life Wii, Stuntman, Juiced Cancellations

February 5, 2008 | By Brandon Boyer

February 5, 2008 | By Brandon Boyer
More: Console/PC

In its conference call with investors to discuss THQ's holiday quarter sales, THQ president Brian Farrell has said that its 5th Cell developed DS platformer Drawn To Life is being prepped for a Wii release.

The platformer, which allows users to draw many elements in the universe, including its hero, weapons, monsters and platforms, was released for the DS in September of 2007.

Though the company has not released hard sales figures, simply adding in the call that the game has sold "several hundred thousand units worldwide," it did say that over its past three fiscal quarters its DS sales have risen 94 percent, primarily driven by Drawn To Life.

No further information was given at the time, with Farrell saying simply that it was pleased with the performance of the franchise, and intended "to extend the brand to the Wii in the future," along with several other new Wii exclusive titles it intends to announce in coming weeks.

On Stuntman, Juiced

Asked to give further comment on why the studio has decided to drop its Stuntman and Juiced franchises, Farrell said each was for its own unique reasons.

Stuntman, remarked Farrell, "just didn't translate well into next-gen," and was seen as "very much an old generation game." Even with its "reasonable quality," it was a game mechanic issue. The game, he noted, was highly scripted, and "games now generally more open, with more player choice. We just think that game mechanic didn't translate."

With Juiced, he confessed, THQ was "way too ambitious with that studio, giving them 6 platforms to support. That was a bad decision, and we don't have any studios working on more than 3 SKUs simultaneously now."

He did say, however, that looking forward into fiscal 2009, both Saints Row 2 and Red Faction 3 were building off of existing technology, and both had real distinguishing hooks with that technology, so that the same problems that plagued the prior two games would not affect the latter.

Frontlines and Warhammer 40k

Also asked to give some insight into the cancellation of the PlayStation 3 version of its forthcoming Frontlines, Farrell laughed that as other publishers have expressed, Unreal Engine 3 is "just not optimized for open world on PS3."

Work could have continued on the title, but it "would have been at least 60-90 days behind the lead SKUs," which THQ thought was "not good for branding, and not a good use for a talented team." The cancellation, he said was simply due to "the fact that the Unreal Engine didn't perform in an open world as we would have expected."

Finally, asked for more details on its forthcoming Warhammer 40k MMO project, Farrell said that when he last saw the game at its Austin studio in November, he was "very pleasantly surprised," but confessed the game was "still very early."

"I think we have an experienced team," said Farrell, and that THQ was "learning that these things take time to do right" from its developers. "We're going to take the time to do it right."

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