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THQ could have survived if it had gone all digital

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What’s the difference between THQ and my love life? None, because they’re both dead. Now that the former video game publisher is bereft of life and it’s various franchises divided and scattered to the four corners of the earth, it’s time for a little hindsight. Particularly from former THQ boss Jason Rubin, who laments the fact that THQ never made a move into digital markets.

Speaking to Game Informer, Rubin explained that the way forward for the games industry was indeed with the digital distribution model.  “I believe that in the near future, digital distribution and alternate business models will bring a greater percentage of dollars spent on games back to the publisher/developer” Rubin said.

Based on that change, in a few years, a THQ would be able to survive, and larger publishers will be even more profitable. But the next few years of transition are going to be incredibly challenging for all triple-A game companies. Clearlake was to provide the capital to bridge THQ to that eventuality. Time will tell if I am right, but unfortunately I will not be able to prove the idea with THQ.

The man has a point. Just look at services such as Steam, Origin and GOG. They’re raking in the cash so far, as gamers find themselves with more ADSL bandwidth for their buck, and a desire to not move from their couch or chair. And in the dying days of THQ, it was also a stark reminder of a business idea that could have saved them, as their last chance bundle of offerings on the Humble Bundle and Steam moved some serious numbers. Going digital also cuts out all sorts of costs in the traditional market of physical games, although gaming retailers aren’t going to be too happy when that move finally goes full scale.

Ah well, a tad too late at the end of the day.

Last Updated: January 29, 2013

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