Source: A report on trade site Gamasutra, citing a THQ quarterly conference call as its source.
What we heard: There were a lot of interesting tidbits coming out of THQ's quarterly conference call this morning. The company confirmed that it would be making WWE games on the Wii and Nintendo DS in addition to the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, and PlayStation Portable. It talked about the cost of porting a PS3 game to the Xbox 360. It admitted it was planning its release schedule around Halo 3 and Grand Theft Auto IV so as not to go head-to-head with those games for the same audience. It mentioned for the first time the actual name of its announced Stuntman sequel: Stuntman Ignition.
And according to Gamasutra, it also confirmed that it was going to release a new Red Faction game in its next fiscal year (April 2007 through March 2008 for those keeping track). Such a move would certainly be in keeping with the company's plan to increase the amount of revenue derived from intellectual properties it already owns, as opposed to pricey licenses like SpongeBob and WWE. THQ CEO Brian Farrell even told analysts in the call, "Our fiscal 2008 growth will be driven primarily by increased sales of proven owned intellectual properties, a cornerstone of our strategy."
Farrell also talked about original franchises in the company's longer-term plans.
"When you think about fiscal 2009 and beyond, there are three important takeaways we would like to leave you with," Farrell told analysts. "One, THQ has established six owned franchises which have reached the million-unit mark and our pipeline is growing. Two, our long-term license franchises, the WWE, Pixar, and Nickelodeon, have each shipped 30 million units. And three, we are exploiting new revenue opportunities such as microtransactions and in-game advertising and we continue to expand our global footprint."
After Farrell had wrapped up the presentation portion of the call, the lines were opened for analysts to ask questions. A Merrill Lynch analyst asked Farrell to "list out the six franchise brands you referred to." Farrell responded by mentioning Saints Row, Stuntman, Juiced, Destroy All Humans!, MX, "and my favorite, Red Faction."
Clearly THQ has not forgotten Red Faction. And with its increased emphasis on original IPs, a return to the series is not outside of the realm of possibility. However, nowhere in the call did the publisher actually say that it was developing games for all of its six established franchises, nor did anyone confirm there was a new Red Faction game in development.
The official story: A THQ representative chose not to comment, but referred us to a transcript of the conference call.
Bogus or not bogus?: Bogus.