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THQ Closes Multiple Studios, Lays Off Staff

THQ Closes Multiple Studios, Lays Off Staff Exclusive

November 4, 2008 | By Chris Remo

November 4, 2008 | By Chris Remo
More: Console/PC, Exclusive

Publisher THQ is making significant staff cuts to its internal development studios, according to information obtained by Gamasutra and another media site, with Paradigm Entertainment reportedly being closed and Juice Games seeing a workforce reduction of about a third.

Dallas-based Paradigm Entertainment was acquired from Atari in 2006; since becoming part of THQ it has released only one game, last year's Stuntman: Ignition under the THQ brand. Gamasutra's sources claim that the layoffs, affecting the entire studio, were instituted today.

UK publication Develop also claims that UK-based studio Juice Games, developer of the Juiced racing game franchise, is seeing notable cuts -- though the studio will remain in operation.

With THQ's quarterly financial report set to release this Wednesday, it is likely that the cuts -- potentially along with additional ones at the publisher's other studios -- will be confirmed in a matter of days, although the publisher declined to address the reports today.

"Right now that's a rumor. We have no comment on that," said a THQ representative when contacted by Gamasutra regarding the matter.

[UPDATE: Gamasutra has also learned that Los Angeles-area THQ studio Mass Media has been completely closed. The developer had not had an announced title since being acquired by THQ in early 2007, although CEO Brian Farrell noted at the time that the company was particularly keen on utilizing Mass Media's "platform development tools".

In addition, weblog Kotaku has noted that the company's interactive studio map also now lacks Helixe, the Burlington, MA-based studio that specialized in Nintendo handheld work and last shipped the DS version of De Blob.

Also now closed, as confirmed by an internal THQ email seen by Gamasutra, are Santa Clara, CA-based Locomotive Games, which was most recently notable for Destroy All Humans! Big Willy Unleashed on the Wii, and Seattle-based Sandblast Games, which has just completed work on Destroy All Humans! Path of the Furon. In addition, Phoenix, Arizona-based Rainbow Studios has seen unspecified amounts of layoffs.]

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