Major THQ franchises KIA

Juiced and Stuntman crash and burn as company decides not to pursue the brands; Frontlines PS3, next Destroy All Humans for PS2, and Concrete Games studio also terminated.

Driving games can be a lucrative market for those who hit it big, but THQ appears to have picked up a couple of lemons when it purchased the Juiced and Stuntman franchises from Acclaim and Atari, respectively. The latest installments in those two series underperformed at retail, which may have led the publisher to tell investors today that it had decided "not to pursue" the franchises in an update to its fiscal-year earnings expectations.

Those weren't the only THQ-owned brands to suffer setbacks today. The publisher also revealed the cancellations of the PlayStation 3 version of Frontlines: Fuel of War and the PlayStation 2 version of Destroy All Humans: Big Willy Unleashed. (THQ is still expected to release Frontlines on the Xbox 360 and PC, and Big Willy Unleashed is still coming to the Wii and the PlayStation Portable.)

Between those cancellations and also some costs tied to a pair of as-yet unannounced games set for release in THQ's fiscal 2010, the publisher expects to take a $27 million hit to its bottom line. The company further announced the closure of its Concrete Games studio, which had been working on one of those unannounced games. Some employees from the studio will be offered positions elsewhere within THQ, according to the publisher.

"In October, we announced certain product-quality initiatives, including personnel and structural changes in product development and a more rigorous internal and external product evaluation and feedback process," THQ CEO and president Brian Farrell said in a statement. "Consistent with these initiatives, we have taken actions to strengthen our pipeline and position ourselves to compete aggressively with compelling, high-quality games."

THQ also downgraded its revenue expectations for the current quarter, which ends March 31. Whereas the publisher had previously expected net sales of about $240 million, it now expects to ring up roughly $200 million. Part of that is a result of the cancellation of Big Willy Unleashed for the PS2, which had been set to ship in March, as well as lowered sales expectations for previously released titles. THQ also plans to defer $10 million in revenues "due to the significant online-play component" of the PC edition of Frontlines: Fuel of War. To top it off, THQ will also report an extra $20 million in expenses due to underperforming sales from Stuntman: Ignition, Ratatouille, and Conan.

THQ's financial update wasn't all bad news. WWE SmackDown vs. RAW 2008 and MX vs. ATV Untamed have outperformed the publisher's expectations, leading it to bump up its expected revenues for the quarter ended December 31 from $490 million to $509 million.

The publisher also revealed the appointment of two new executives who will assist in its attempts to build new intellectual properties and execute on product-quality initiatives. Danny Bilson will be the publisher's new vice president of creative development for worldwide studios, and Roy Tessler is the new vice president of production for worldwide studios. Bilson previously served as vice president of intellectual-property development and creative director for Electronic Arts, where he worked on such brands as The Sims and Medal of Honor. Tessler is a promotion from within; he cofounded THQ's Studio Australia five years ago and also oversaw direction of MX vs. ATV untamed as general manager of Rainbow Studios.

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Discussion

221 comments
SethandJeremy
SethandJeremy

Why did they have to cancel frontlines for the ps3. I really wanted to get it on the ps3 but now I'll probably buy it for the pc.

Am3bix
Am3bix

why the hell would ANYONE buy a system just for big willy unleashed is beyond me...

fusion0
fusion0

In response to bombfanatic's comment the reason THQ probably didn't want to develop a PS3 version of Frontlines simply because it takes too long. A lot of companies are still having trouble with developing PS3 games in a timely manner. 360 games are just easier and faster to make. For now at least. THQ probably figured it would be easier to just finish and release the 360 versions and save the man hours and money it would take porting games to the PS3. That will change eventually but for now many games are taking longer to be released simply because of the PS3 versions take longer and companies force everyone to wait so they can release the 360 and PS3 versions simoultaneously.

bombfanatic
bombfanatic

BS frontlines on PS3 doesn't need to be canceled. if they are making it for 360 and PC why are they canceling PS3 version. It's called Microsoft buying out the franchise. I get pretty annoyed when they do that. THQ makes mostly terrible games except for destroy all humans. not surprised they coward out of making the PS3 version of frontlines SCREW THQ.

Zoomer30
Zoomer30

I could see Stuntman not doing well from a mile away. I played the demo for about 5 mins and was ready to chuck my controller in disgust. Its like if they wanted to make a game that was like the movie Groundhog Day...you get to do the same thing over...andover....and over...

go-cizmek
go-cizmek

No Big Willy Unleashed for PS2?!

BobBurnquist
BobBurnquist

what the hell i was looking forward to Big willy unleashed

kaziechameleon
kaziechameleon

thq is one of, no the best pc publisher, they bring out all the rts games we love, and a fist full of great shooters. thq publishes reliq's games.

dreaded_sledge
dreaded_sledge

It's about time these lame franchises were dropped. What they need to do is get to work on Red Faction 3.

joe_998
joe_998

Yeah Stuntman that could of been better if it weren't JUST stunts...

joe_998
joe_998

Yeah thanks alot ThQ now the people have to play BWU only on the wii and psp. You just lost a bigger profit then what you could of lost if you only cancelled for the psp. Also I'm annoyed the psp bwu has less missions! Because of the disc size! So again again thanks Thq...........Now I have to buy a 200 dollar game system vs a $90 ps2....

Sammojo
Sammojo

THQ are forgiven, but only because they published Dawn of War.

mrsnowy
mrsnowy

so frontlines ps3 and destroy all humans ps2 are both canceled!!!! THAT SUCKS!!! I was waiting 4 those games! Screw THQ

TehUndeadHorror
TehUndeadHorror

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

mload
mload

WOW A BUNCH OF GAMES I NEVER CARED ABOUT GOT CANCELLED FOR TWO SYSTEMS I OWN!!! ....Oh, wait... I don't care. *Cough *Metal Gear 4 *cough *Killzone 2 *cough *LittleBigPlanet *Cough *Home *cough *PS Eye *cough *Blu ray *cough *Gran Turismo *cough *Final Fantasy IIIX *cough *Resistance 2 *cough *God of War III *cough *Heavenly Sword 2 *cough *The Agency *cough *Borderlands *COUGH *COUGH *COUGH!!! Sorry about that I think I'm sick with GREATNESS!!! Okay, people don't get me wrong THQ taking a hit sux, but it's not the end of the world. 360 has good games. WII has good games. PS3 is just where it's at for me. If I wanted a system with the shinniest graphics and blue blood that comes out of killing cute little aliens I would have bought a 360. If I wanted a system that had the largest collection of mini-games I would have bought a WII. I'll admit if I had the money I would have all three. I said it before and I'll say it again. PS3 is where it's at for me. AMEN!

bawathegamer
bawathegamer

noooooo. i wanted the new destroy all humans game on ps2.wth man!

Azhar85
Azhar85

nahh..i don't care about games cancelled or not..i even don't care if MS games go multipaltform with sony and nintendo...i just want to play all types of games with all types of gamers in this world...

Azhar85
Azhar85

nahh..i don't care about games cancelled or not..i even don't care if MS games go multipaltform with sony and nintendo...i just want to play all types of games with all types of gamers in this world...

azone12
azone12

ouch, yet another blow to sony's already seriously under-good-gamed and crippled ps3

stziggy
stziggy

I'm sad to see the PS2 isn't getting Destroy All Humans: Big Willy Unleashed. A name like that has so many possiblities. A John Holmes game.....finally.

bob_linux
bob_linux

From reading the article the reason for the cancellation of Frontlines for the ps3, is the online component as it would incur the same costs as the PC due to it being a free online service as well. Which is significant if there having to use money they haven't earned yet (" THQ also plans to defer $10 million in revenues "due to the significant online-play component" of the PC edition of Frontlines: Fuel of War."), and they haven't stated how much is already being spent. I would say the 360 is being kept due to live subscribers footing most (if not all) the bill for there online component, and its easy to port a pc game to it as well.

RottNKorpse
RottNKorpse

NO!!! How dare they cancel Stuntman!!! That was an awesome game...I actually love the Ignition game...I didnt play the first one but I would probably have liked it as well...COME ON THQ!!!...cancel the rest for all I care but don't kill off Stuntman!

siiixon
siiixon

d3r7y stop spamming, yes i agree gamespot moderator are not the "best you can get" but PS3 isn't that bad, is still better then the 360 and for wii we have like a hand full of games, people only buy xbox because they buddy has that too other wise xbox-fever would go under like the titanic.. considering that rip off $50/y live joke... as for THQ maybe they should make good games and not panic when they failures they create wont sale, i'm beta for FoW what a disappointment once again, game play is just boring because game makes dont gave the GUTS to make innovative games... this is what they get playing safe

d3r7y
d3r7y

darkfox101 wrote Awesome, ditch that peice of junk ps3 ------- Why did this comment get moderated? I think there's a PS3 fanboy moderater lurking in here? Gamespot pick your moderaters more wisely or look into whats being moderated cause your destroying the freedom of speech for others. I dont see any PS3 fanboys being moderated? Why?

d3r7y
d3r7y

smsmith1978 The news that they are ditching the PS3 version of the multiplatform games is going to open the floodgates of other developers doing it, and it makes sense. Where is the business sense of creating a game for a system with a smaller fan base, smaller attach rate and is also an absolute dog to program for (as reported by many developers) and thus would not look as good as the 360 version? THQ are smart, they're trimming the fat and sticking to the real money maker, the Xbox 360. --------Why did this comment get moderated? Gamespot needs to eradicate moderaters period. DOWN WITH MODERATERS-Moderaters equal failure to free speech!

d3r7y
d3r7y

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

thekey
thekey

This is very good news Juiced had to go. And once stuntman became multi-platform it went right down the tube, so or well.

TimSpot
TimSpot

Oh Stuntman! I will save youuuuuuuuU!

sykonfc
sykonfc

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

werc96
werc96

nebacadneezer: Dude....your one funny fanboy. Go cry on top of your ps3...While i hang with my 3 friends Nintendo, Microsoft & sony. We have drinks and talk about exclusives, downloads..and how awesome we all really are...

Thrawn118
Thrawn118

KIA= Killed In Action In other words, they've been canceled

glinz
glinz

If they cancel the release of the other Destroy All Humans games due out this year then I am going to be seriously ticked with THQ !!!

kissfan76
kissfan76

I think THQ wont be around much they are doing some stupid things by cancelling PS3 addtions to games due to the PS3 is picking up steam. I was at a local store and I heard lots of people saying they are buying the systed due to it has nicer graphics and the Blu ray player. One day game developers will learn never turn your back on a console be it PS3 or the 360.

Azhar85
Azhar85

wow..it seem ps3 fanboys got rage....why don't you buy a xbox 360...problem settle...

jeffreytz
jeffreytz

That's too bad about Stuntman; I liked the 360 game, thought it was fun and a real improvement over the PS2 game. Would have liked to seen where a sequal would have gone.

Humorguy_basic
Humorguy_basic

Another company suffering as video games level out or in the case of PC, decline..... Certainly when you look at PS3 sales and how little the 360 has sold over the original XBox and then of course, PC games sales declines, it is not difficult to see how anything connected to hardcore gaming is going the way of the dodo, in exactly the same way as anything connected with casual gaming (the Wii and DS along with casual PC games sales rocketing) is going through the roof! A sea change is taking place in video gaming, and hardly anyone is noticing or admitting to it (even if they know it!) THQ's situation is just one symptom of an illness spreading across hardcore gaming.

MetroidBounty
MetroidBounty

shows that the consumers do influence what game developers make. I wish people would stop renting games and just own them to show that they do support their favorite franchises!

mrkame16
mrkame16

no more Destroy all humans?, I Like that game it was fun

Lost_forgotten
Lost_forgotten

I'd like to see them release a Summoner 3, I really enjoyed the first two games. I would be fine even if it was a PS2 game, but it would be awesome if they made it for PS3.

RockHardNuts
RockHardNuts

Whoa. Some serious fanboyism going down. Take a breath and count backwards from ten. I am a PS3 owner myself, and of course I wanted to play this game too. But gamespots job is to report news in the gaming industry. They aren't biased towards making anybody look bad, just doing their job. As for the PS3, we've still got a strong lineup coming(eventually) everything will be OK

mlbslugger86
mlbslugger86

seriously. calm down fanboys, i've been hearing that the ps3 version of frontlines was going to be canned since tuesday, calm down, this isn't gamespot trying to make the ps3 look bad...geez

Titan_BG
Titan_BG

You are some of the dumbest fanboys I have ever...ever seen what do you want gamespot to do not publish the news, or maybe finance the game for the PS3 themselves. Instead of being stupid just roll with the news and remember that the only reason the PS3 is becoming cheaper for you to buy is that the Xbos 360 and WII exist

nebacadneezer
nebacadneezer

Well Gamespot is back at it. Amazing how fast they post bad news for the PS3....i'm cancelling. over a year of having to put up with this crap and then finding out about Jeff and then you continue to do this...good job. You lost a 5 year customer.

DonutTrooper
DonutTrooper

YES! I can't describe how happy this makes me. Seeing THQ punished for being the lap dog for any film studio hoping to make a quick buck on a movie-game adaptation is the best news I've seen all week. Maybe they'll go under, or maybe they'll actually put some better work into the titles they develop, but either way, they shouldn't be allowing the film industry to walk all over the game industry like that. I hate it when the game industry creates great games but turned into awful movies...Uwe...you will die by my hand...

waraga
waraga

David Reeves, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE), has gone on record to state that the company’s PlayStation 3 console will overtake current lifetime sales of the Xbox 360 in Europe by summer 2008. Speaking to trade website MCV, Reeves claimed that sales of the PS3 have already surpassed those of Microsoft Corp’s next-generation console in territories including France, Spain, Italy and Germany. “In December we sold just over a million PlayStation 3s during the month”, he said. "That’s across all PAL territories and that’s a sell-through figure. “About 20-22 per cent of that figure was sold in the UK alone. We’re very happy with the performance of PS3 in the UK.” “We don’t often mention the competition, but I will give you some interesting data: In terms of installed base in some of our major markets, such as France, Spain, Germany and Italy " plus some distributor territories in smaller markets like Switzerland " our current cumulative installed base is now higher than Xbox 360”, added Reeves. “It has not yet reached that in the UK. But the team here expect to overtake the installed base of Xbox 360 across all PAL territories in late summer. It’s also worth mentioning that last week we outsold Xbox 360 in PAL territories by a ratio of three to one.” The PS3 launched across Europe in March 2007, with Xbox 360 releasing over a year in advance in November 2005.

waraga
waraga

David Reeves, the President and Chief Executive Officer of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE), has gone on record to state that the company’s PlayStation 3 console will overtake current lifetime sales of the Xbox 360 in Europe by summer 2008. Speaking to trade website MCV, Reeves claimed that sales of the PS3 have already surpassed those of Microsoft Corp’s next-generation console in territories including France, Spain, Italy and Germany. “In December we sold just over a million PlayStation 3s during the month”, he said. "That’s across all PAL territories and that’s a sell-through figure. “About 20-22 per cent of that figure was sold in the UK alone. We’re very happy with the performance of PS3 in the UK.” “We don’t often mention the competition, but I will give you some interesting data: In terms of installed base in some of our major markets, such as France, Spain, Germany and Italy " plus some distributor territories in smaller markets like Switzerland " our current cumulative installed base is now higher than Xbox 360”, added Reeves. “It has not yet reached that in the UK. But the team here expect to overtake the installed base of Xbox 360 across all PAL territories in late summer. It’s also worth mentioning that last week we outsold Xbox 360 in PAL territories by a ratio of three to one.” The PS3 launched across Europe in March 2007, with Xbox 360 releasing over a year in advance in November 2005.