Saints Row: The Third saves THQ's bottom line

THQ credits Volition open-world action game and UFC Undisputed 3 with helping to spike post-holiday sales above expectations; Saints Row: The Third shipments top 4 million.

Speculation of THQ's demise may have been premature, as the publisher today capped off a difficult year with some better-than-expected sales figures, thanks to Saints Row: The Third and UFC Undisputed 3.

Can we start the canonization process with Volition?

For its fourth fiscal quarter (the three months ended March 31), THQ revised its net sales expectations to $160 million to $170 million, up from a previously announced range of $130 million to $150 million. The main reason for the sales bump was Saints Row: The Third, which has shipped more than 4 million units to date and is racking up better-than-expected downloadable content sales. "Slightly higher than expected" sales of UFC Undisputed 3 also played a part in the publisher's improved outlook.

THQ also expects to report finishing the year with $76 million in cash on hand, triple the amount it had previously projected.

The publisher's problems have been well chronicled, most recently with last month's revamping of the long-in-development Warhammer 40,000 massively multiplayer online role-playing game. That project is no longer planned to be massively multiplayer, a shift in focus that resulted in nearly 120 layoffs at THQ's Vigil and Relic development houses. Last year, THQ noted that it was stepping away from children's titles and movie tie-ins, a move it continued to press earlier this year at the cost of hundreds of jobs.

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