THQ closes Aussie studios

Publisher announces immediate closure of Melbourne's Blue Tongue studio and Brisbane's THQ Studios Australia; says closures will see "personnel reduction of approximately 200 people."

Earlier today, THQ announced a global restructure of its internal studios with the aim of moving away from licensed children's titles and movie-based entertainment properties. As a result, THQ has closed its two Australian studios, Blue Tongue and THQ Studios Australia, effective immediately. The company estimates its global realignment will result in a personnel reduction of approximately 200 people across Australia and the US.

According to THQ Australia, Australian employees of THQ will be eligible to apply for open positions within the company globally, but it did not outline any special treatment that may be given to these employees. The company also refused to comment on details surrounding severance packages of employees or the conditions in which they will be let go.

Brisbane-based THQ Studio Australia worked on licensed titles like Megamind: Ultimate Showdown and Avatar: The Last Airbender - Into the Inferno. Melbourne-based Blue Tongue developed the de Blob series for THQ, as well as Marvel Super Hero Squad.

THQ Australia stated it did not intend to make any further comment on the closures. GameSpot has contacted employees at Blue Tongue and THQ Studios Australia and will update the story as news comes in.

UPDATE: Blue Tongue have now officially updated its website, which now displays a single photo of the titular character from the studio's successful de Blob series looking out over a setting sun.

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11 comments
TBoneTony
TBoneTony

Another reason why I want to work in Japan. So sad about De Blob as it was the closest thing to Mario that an Australian Developer had ever made, it was so refreshing to see a game with so much bright color and was so enjoyable to play. I still have the original De Blob on my Wii that I got when it was launched in 2008 at full price so I could say that I tried to do something to help support an Aussie developer, Sadly my own support to the original De Blob was not enough to save the developer :( I will plan to play it when I finish my current semester of university.

aermeus
aermeus

Not trying to be ignorant, but the studies that produced games associated with movies shouldnt be surprised. The goal of companies that put out such games is merely to take advantage of a release dates and hype that the movie is getting. Therefore, the game gets released in time for the movie wether its done or not. Look at the list of games THQ Studios Australia produced...they all got horrible ratings/reviews. To be fair, im sure the individual developers would have loved to produce a good game, but the companies goal isnt to make a great game, but to release at the same time as the movie to take advantage of the hype. Hopefully a majority of those devs land with companies/studios that are invested in making good games rather than just shoving crap out the door.

robertwarnes91
robertwarnes91

The Australian gaming industry hasn't had much luck lately. I still ask why Home Entertainment Suppliers (Tru-Blu) is still around after 20 years of making unlicensed games and poorly programmed Rubgy games.

zaprct
zaprct

How sad. My eyes got teary looking at Blue Tongue's website :(

E-i-N-e
E-i-N-e

It's a shame really. The Australian Government are trying to get more game companies in Australia and yet companies that are already established are getting shut down. Hopefully the employees find new jobs with relative ease.

MuddyMaestro
MuddyMaestro

Closures of studios are always a real shame. Even if this may lead to another new studio being established, it's always a real shame for those who live through the realities of working in the gaming industry.

Master_Griever
Master_Griever

It's always disappointing when this kind of thing happens. Australian studios just aren't as easily serviceable as American or European studios. We're always the first to get the chop when it comes to games and game development.