THQ loses $56 million in holiday quarter

Darksiders II set for June, Devil's Third and Metro: Last Light hit early next year as publisher posts results that led to layoffs, killing of kids' games business.

It was a red Christmas for THQ, as the publisher today revealed heavy losses for the holiday quarter that led to its recent restructuring and layoffs.

Don't read any significance into THQ's decision to dedicate a game to Death.

For the three months ended December 31, 2011, THQ posted a net loss of $55.9 million, several times the $14.9 million loss it endured for the previous year's holiday season. The publisher's sales also took a dip, down about 3 percent year-over-year to $305.4 million.

"Sales of the uDraw GameTablet and related software, and other titles in the kids, family and casual category were far weaker than anticipated, substantially reducing our financial results for the quarter," THQ CEO Brian Farrell said in a statement accompanying the earnings. The publisher also updated investors on its extrication from the licensed kids' game business, saying it had finished negotiations to separate itself from two of its licensors, and is still working on agreements with two others.

Not everything from THQ's earnings was grim. The publisher heralded Saints Row: The Third as the most successful owned-IP launch in company history, with the Volition-developed action game shipping 3.8 million copies to date, with between 5 million and 6 million in shipments expected over its full lifetime. WWE 12 also performed well for THQ, with shipments of more than 2 million copies, and sell-through up 29 percent over the previous year's holiday WWE game (on a platform-by-platform basis).

Looking forward, THQ also laid out its release slate for coming fiscal years. After the Valentine's Day launch of UFC Undisputed 3, THQ's next big title will be Darksiders II, now expected to launch in June. After that, THQ expects Obsidian Entertainment's South Park Game and a new WWE game by the end of 2012, and Metro: Last Light and Devil's Third between January and March of 2013. THQ also has two unannounced games targeted at the core market for release by the end of March 2013.

Going even further out, THQ's fiscal 2014 (April 2013 - March 2014) includes Vigil and Relic's Warhammer 40,000: Dark Millennium Online, Volition and Guillermo del Toro's inSane, the Crytek-developed Homefront 2, THQ Montreal's original game from Patrice Desilets, and four more unannounced titles for core gamers. THQ didn't give clues about its unannounced titles other than to say the majority of them involve the company's own IP.

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25 comments
InquisitorCrox
InquisitorCrox

WWE and UFC always made more profits than expeditures.

Darksiders 2 was one of my fav. Metro will certainly sell. Crytek engine on fan fav homefront will make profit.

Finally a realistic look that shows that THQ will survive enough to launch Dark Millenium. One of the 4 will be a new CoH.

 

So i guess we wont see  DoW 3 before 2015...

chyng85
chyng85

This world is realistic~

Shadow_Fire41
Shadow_Fire41

they are gonna have to bet alot on Darksiders 2 (which i must say, i like the sound of)

Agent-M
Agent-M

These guys need some serious restructuring if they are to survive. They need to start prioritizing their efforts to continue releasing games for the LPs that made this company famous.

PixelAddict
PixelAddict

Yikes. At this point all I can do is hope THQ can survive to the Metro: Last Light release before the company is scrapped for parts.

King-gamer
King-gamer

THQ execs made a huge amount of mistakes fow quite some time now. There's no way 56 mil can disappear on it's own. http://kotaku.com/5879436/dont-blame-udraw-blame-yourselves-rankled-staff-tells-thq-executives This is a nice article by Kotaku. In a nutshell, the heads of THQ bet all their money on uDraw, buying license to franchises that are either no longer popular, betting on homefront to be the next Halo/CoD, etc. This led to their losses. Personally there have been very few games from THQ that have me interested. THQ has pretty much been riding on the license of famous series/franchises up to this point, such as spongebob, avatar, WWE games etc. Aside from Darksiders, there's really nothing from THQ that interests me.

Venom_Raptor
Venom_Raptor

Damn, was really looking forward to Metro Last Light this year.

starfox15
starfox15

What is the deal with all this news about THQ? I've seriously seen and heard enough of their economic woes. We get it. If you can't make a competitive product then prepare to be ousted. It's simple business. If THQ can't get with the times then that's their own fault. A ton of video game companies went out of business last year and with far less fanfare.

firehawk998
firehawk998

I am not surprised most of thier games have been sub par ( to me) so far WWE, Saints row 3, Homfront. If they wanna make a profit again create more games like Darksiders and the upcoming Darksiders 2.

RE2LeonS
RE2LeonS

They're going to have to do better with Saints Row because it honestly wasn't that good. You can't downgrade a sequel when the one before it was bigger, longer, better, the only negative was graphics and those I don't care about

gameguy182
gameguy182

My god! I honestly don't think we are ever going to see Devils Third... Actually, the only games that I care to see from THQ are The South Park Game, Devils Third, and Metro Last Light... This new Darksiders game looks kind of cool too... I'm probably going to buy Saints of Row 3 some day too... Ok, THQ isn't that bad. But they do need to get on there $hit!

yuunnnnna
yuunnnnna

Wow. Pay cuts, layoffs, NASDAQ threatening to delist them. Looks like THQ may be going under in a few years if its value isn't driven down and then bought for pennies like Midway was.

Coonfoot
Coonfoot

They lost all my respect with the nixing of kids' games alone. When I was younger, they made some of my faves. I know I'm probably alone in this part of the THQ issues, but I'm not afraid to say it. You can at least agree that shutting down all the studios that made those games and causing tons of people to lose their jobs is just sad and wrong.

de_graph
de_graph

I've said it before and I'll say it again... when you have multimillion dollar overheads and sub-par games (for the most part) this is what happens. Sure they may have a winner here and there, but the crap far out weighs the good. whats happening now in the game industry is whats been happening in hollywood for the last decade. big salaries, small ideas. indie game companies can afford to take bigger risks and focus more on the game, than the figures it'll pull in.

kennythomas26
kennythomas26

I normally buy 2 to 3 new game's in the summer and last year I bought Call of Juarez: The Cartel and Deus Ex: Human Revolution, the year before that was Alan Wake, Red Dead Redemption and Mafia 2 and it it looks like this year it will be Darksiders 2 and what ever game that will be coming out in August.

Grawse
Grawse

I really can't wait for Metro Last Light. I'm going to buy it day one because Metro 2033 doesn't get the credit it deserves.

s4dn3s5
s4dn3s5

well, at least the 2012 line-up seems pretty good, I will definitely get Darksiders 2 and Metro Last Light

gix47
gix47

Guillermo del Toro's "inSane", the man himself said they will take it slow and are in no rush

chingchow48
chingchow48

@mtait01 Bioshock is a 2K game, not a THQ game....

Syphon_Filter2
Syphon_Filter2

Iam worried about this company every year they are doing so bad. I hope they will do better as soon as possible.

TheVGamer
TheVGamer

If they actually released good games maybe they wouldn't have lost so much money.

John_Aguilera
John_Aguilera

Darksiders 2 and Homefront 2 is what I'm waiting for.

mtait01
mtait01

THQ won't be worried, especially with the likes of Darksiders 2 and Bioshock infinite coming out this year... 2 games which will be day one buys for me