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THQ delays…everything

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Publisher and developer THQ has not been in a good place of late; it’s been caught in a financial doldrums, seemingly unable to make any money. It all started with the company’s Mii-too uDraw tablet which saw moderate success on the Wii, convincing the corporates that what the world really wanted was uDraw on the Xbox 360 and PS3. It didn’t – and as a result the publisher’s been forced to downsize, shedding jobs as a result.

Things looked like they might be slowly getting better under new president Jason Rubin – but the one game that its success was hinging on, the rather excellent Darksiders II, hasn’t done well enough at retail  to ensure the company’s success.  following its latest investor call and financial report last night, it doesn’t seem as though things are going to get any better any time soon.

THQ’s announced that they’ll be delaying every single game left in its diminishing line-up for the next quarter. Yes, that includes the anticipated Company of Heroes and more importantly, Metro: Last Light. Even Obsidian developed cartoon RPG South Park: The Stick of Truth has been delayed – leaving THQ with nary a damned thing to sell for the next few months.

Metro and Company of Heroes have been delayed to March 2013, with south Park expected “sometime in fiscal 2014”

President Jason Rubin said the delays are to ensure the games are of the highest quality.

“Our fourth quarter releases are the first titles that I have had the ability to materially impact, and experience told me that the games needed additional development time to be market-ready,” he said.

“I firmly believe releasing our fourth quarter titles without extra time for polish in the current environment would lead to underperformance that could in turn lead to future additional capital shortfalls. But extending development schedules in order to make the best possible titles also has financial implications. Yet there can be no doubt which path has the greatest chance of leading to the long-term success of the company. We must follow the course that generates the highest quality games, and will establish THQ as a mark of quality for the consumer.”

I’m not convinced. I’m not sure THQ has enough money available to actually release anything. The danger sign came in the fact that following the end of its investor call, it refused to take any questions, saying only that it had engaged the services of Centerview Partners LLC to find “strategic and financing alternatives.”

The company was also unable to say how it plans to make any money for the next few months, relying almost entirely on WWE 13, and tail-end sales of Darksiders II and Saint’s Row: The Third

Last Updated: November 6, 2012

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