THQ Q2 lives up to lowered expectations

Ratatouille serves up sales as Stuntman, Juiced 2 sputter to slow starts at retail.

Last month, THQ warned investors that it would be falling short of its projected revenue figures, due partly to disappointing sales of Stuntman: Ignition and Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights, and partly due to delays for anticipated upcoming games like Destroy All Humans!: Path of the Furon and Frontlines: Fuel of War. Today the company reported its earnings for the second quarter of its fiscal 2008 (the three months ended September 30), and the results reflected that diminished outlook.

For the full quarter, THQ reported revenues of $229.3 million, down from $240.2 million for the same period last year. Likewise, the three months yielded a net loss for the company of $7 million, whereas THQ's previous second quarter turned an $11.6 million net profit.

The publisher's best-selling title for the quarter was Disney/Pixar's Ratatouille (with more than 2 million shipped worldwide), followed by the underperforming Stuntman and Juiced titles (1 million shipped each). Last year, THQ's second quarter was fueled by the international releases for the Disney/Pixar's Cars and a pair of original intellectual properties: Saints Row for the Xbox 360 and the PC real-time strategy game Company of Heroes.

In a statement issued alongside the numbers, THQ president and CEO Brian Farrell expressed disappointment in the company's performance, but still expected the company to show full-year revenue growth for the 13th straight fiscal year. A holiday lineup featuring WWE SmackDown! vs. RAW 2008 and Cars Mater-National will have to make up for THQ's sluggish first half, during which the company's revenue totaled $333.8 million, down from the previous year's $379 million first half. The company also recently released the action adventure Conan, inspired by the classic fantasy novels.

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61 comments
catu16alx
catu16alx

they'll be back up and running in no time

ballroomwest
ballroomwest

Several points.......UnchainedPsYcO - for your information Ratatoiulle is PIXARS finest movie yet....better than Toy Story and Monsters Inc put together (must be watched in cinema don't wait for DVD)...as for the game I have no idea, didn't even realise there was one being made. 2nd point. The reason Microsoft Windows is pretty much the only OS we can use is because of the incredible backlog and development of compatible software it IS NOT because no other company could make a new (and better) OS. The problem is, to make a completely new OS, would mean to start from scratch and it wouldn't be able to use current or past MS windows programs, except thru advanced emulation or something. But that would just get slow. Some far off day, Microsoft may just fall, or find a new rival. I was so looking forward to Vista..................and THEY STILL MANAGED TO SCREW UP THE FILE SEARCH, even worse that XPs file search and that was annoying~!!! Only Win 95/98 had a decent and FAST file search. Jeeeeez. Final point, Vash67..... Halo isn't a 'blockbuster' its just a hype machine that everyone gets sucked into. Halo is like a wanna be Half- Life for 7 year olds who can only press the fire button.....it doesnt even have secondary fire like Half-Life.....how sucky. Sure its pretty, but wheres the atmosphere, the story, the gameplay, the music, the characters?? Halo 3 will be forgotten by Christmas.....it's already dropping in the charts, whereas the infinately popular San Andreas is back at no.2 and has almost NEVER been out of the charts since being released 3 years ago!! Yes, I'm a Halo hater and proud of it. I don't think games are overpriced....not for PC anyway....the console ones seem quite pricey.....but they have a lotta work go into 'em. GEARS OF WAR this FRIDAY WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH!!! Ooooops my post is getting long and irrelevent.... laters mis amigos de juegos!

SP33doh
SP33doh

STALKER's a similar story to supreme commander, too.

Devvy01
Devvy01

there's seems to be too much anticipation on games these days, no wonder they're back peddling.

Lafuigi
Lafuigi

I always thought THQ was a "small time" company with a few good franchises but the rest seems like movie liscened games to me.

sfanning
sfanning

THQ distributes Supreme Commander. I love it, but it is driven by a small market. THQ needs to market their games better. No one even knows that there is a sequal coming. Come on THQ, you got to turn it up!!!

rokkuman09
rokkuman09

Of course they aren't doing well, they haven't made published any good games in a long while now! If your games are actually good people will want to buy them.

DON_DU
DON_DU

only thing they make that is good is smackdown and saints row that game almost made mw get a xbox 360 ALMOST

truenextgen
truenextgen

Well a high sweet looking frame rate on the PS3s MX vs ATV untamed could help. But we wont see those for another half a year"on a system thats gonna take second in the systems race for sure." And when they realize thats their best shot for profit in full spectrum, along with the Wii and mobiles. Which MX does do "a full spectrum of systems." But it needs to pull quality in all those areas also. You feed a hungry tiger they will eat forever. Why you think Halo is such a Hit in the line of many games as good or batter. It was a cracker when their was nothing to eat at the time.

Vash67
Vash67

They just released Juiced and Stuntman at the wrong time. Right now, they had to deal with blockbusters like Halo 3, Orange Box, Metriod Prime 3, Folklore, Heavenly Sword, and looming games like Super Mario Galaxy. It just isn't the time for average or above average racing games. Though I may help out numbers and pick up Stuntman 2 soon. The first was awesome! here's hoping for equal awesmeness.

PcGamer2020
PcGamer2020

THQ means "Toy HeadQuarters" Not exactly a teen friendly title.

donkeybits
donkeybits

@wow100 actually they don't buy the rights for the songs because that would cost millions. they ask the songwriter if they can use a song on the game, or due to the popularity of the game you even get band management asking if a song can be featured as good publicity for the band. this is where songwriting royalties take place. You don't think every band which has ever covered a song, has to buy out the rights to this song in order to cover it do you? The songwriter always earns more money than the performer which is why a lot of songwriters let their songs be covered.

stevo-millz
stevo-millz

yeah but diddnt thq make "smackdown vs raw 08" that has only just come out later than last years release in september. so maybe this will give them a boost.

ctg867
ctg867

Stuntman and Juiced 2 are okay games, but really not all that good. Destory All Humans looks promising, but it isn't a huge game. Couldn't care less about Ratatouille, WWE, or Cars. Though I am looking forward to Conan and Saints Row 2, and from waht I heave Company of Heroes is a great game. So they are slipping, but they still have some ace titles in there.

kikiitani
kikiitani

i bought conan and trust me it aint goood.the only thing thq makes good is wwe smackdown.

gigabrowser12
gigabrowser12

Company of heroes? Warhammer 40k? That's all I care about and both are made by relic, ( owned by thq )

YEPEE00
YEPEE00

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

dQuarters
dQuarters

I'd feel a little bad for small children if THQ went down, but otherwise, I'd be ecstatic! Step-up for the industry, really. Let Disney and Nickelodeon make their own damn games (the cheap bastards)!

MasterChief725
MasterChief725

@IKKF uh...microsoft didnt crush FASA...they owned FASA, and FASA went bankrupt, and most of the members of the company went to Microsoft Game Studios, so dont worry. Secondly, I doubt THQ considers Microsoft an enemy, Company of Heroes, and the expansion, are developed exclusively for Games for Windows on PC. Hopefully Cars Mater-National and Conan will pull up THQ, they have some pretty cool games coming.

i_got_you60
i_got_you60

well i just hope ea dont buy you thq :(

IKKF
IKKF

Hey, THQ. On the bright side, Microsoft doesn't have the power to crush you like what they did to FASA.

epking
epking

I was just at Best Buy and Stunt Driver us actually at $39.99 so that;s good for THQ. I'd imagine it should sell much better. It's a good game btw. some people may not like the trial and error though (I did)

SHACKR
SHACKR

I don't really care about all the companies' revenue. The games, whether good or not, matters more.

Wow100
Wow100

@Fraser The reason why guitar hero is over $50 is because they have to get the rights from the band to play that song. It cost money to get those rights. And last i checked GH:3 has over 70 songs, so they have to get the rights to 70 songs. Thats a pretty big chunk of money.

powerframe8
powerframe8

whenever i hear that a games from THQ, i think crappy movie game or Spongebob. None of their games are AMAZING

epking
epking

sukwonlee, part of windows price is because of monopoly, but much moreso the cost is higher because an OS is a necessity, and used for business, school, ect.... Games are a luxury item. that is what mostly accounts for the price difference. there is a lot of competition in games, so hopefully some developers will start to lower price to increase demand. I mean there is no reason MS and Bungie would lower Halo3, but THQ with Conan might be wise to release that game at $39.99. If that game was $39.99 i'd probably be playing it this weekend. I'm much more inclined to drop $40 on a game as opposed to $60. $60 a couple times a month takes a pretty good chunk out of my budget.,

normsta
normsta

Stuntman: Ignition and Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights. What did they expect!! LOL. I should work at thq.

epking
epking

joey, I somewhat agree... but you miss my point a little bit. I'm not sayiing that video games or anything should be cheaper or more expensive based on the development costs, I'm saying the market is going to dictate the cost. As i said, I think consumers are willing to spend $60 for a 5 star title with tremendous production values, but not with your average run of the mill "good" game. I'm not saying games aren't worth more...they may be....because they offer pretty good bang for entertainment buck. 20 hours gameplay for $60 equals $3 an hour of entertainment. One can't go to a movie, or bar, or sporting event for anything near that. anyways, my main point being, consumers aren't going to spend $60 in large numbers for a game like Juiced. Halo3, no problem. Mass Effect, no problem..... but Stuntman, Conan, Juiced.. for $60 and then Midway is suprised at low sales? I think a lot of these developers need to get a clue.

sukwonlee
sukwonlee

windows's high price is due to monopoly. noone else makes a competitive OS (xept for mac) so they can jack up the price and rip you off because they're the only choice you got. and that's why games are at a constant low price. because there is so much competition out there, one company doesnt wanna look bad by increasing their price.

joeythemachine
joeythemachine

@ epking There was a good little article up here yesterday where EA was saying the price structure has got to change, and will within 10 years (a BS buffer prediction, but still). They were talking about how they give games away for free in China. This, of course, seems bizarre to me. The whole software development/pricing structures are so upside down. Video games, which are much larger and, I assume (I'm not sure, I'm not a mathmatician), are more complex software than industry software, or OS's or art tool programs like Photoshop, but they're a fraction of the price. It seems like the cost of development for a video game would be higher, but you get it for $50 and you have to chop off your foot to get a copy of Windows XP that isn't stolen. I've been expecting prices to go up for a long time. I've been purchasing and playing PC games for a little over a decade now and they're still available at $50! These games are 1000X more complex than the games I played 10 years ago, but they're the same price? What? Now it's going down? How much have we been being ripped off? I think you're point is valid, the prices have got to reflect the product; no more bluffing. The market is getting older, sharper and better informed (thanks Gamespot), so the weaker a game is, the less it should cost at its release.

FraserAlexander
FraserAlexander

on the topic of pricing - I think the Guitar Hero franchise is over-priced. tey should be 30-40 bucks. the graphics suck, and there aren't really any options or story etc.. The main cost for them is the music, the programming isn't anywhere near as complicated as a normal 'game'. for example a simple game like conan is way harder to develop than guitar hero which is less complicated than some xblmp titiels...it still rocks though.

mrkame16
mrkame16

@ epking " you Right! I think the Industry Needs to Sell there games for What there worth. I would Pay 60$ for highly anticipated titles, but the lower end games should sell for 40-50$ at best. I would consider buying more games at those prices. The way i see it, after the games get older they drop the prices anyway.

dorohala
dorohala

I liked juiced 2, theres nothing wrong with it anyway! Juiced 2 rocked!!!

BigDaveyDogz
BigDaveyDogz

having a blast with Conan on my 360! Lets go THQ keep chuggin!!

epking
epking

i thought Stuntman was a really, really fun game. It's not worth $60, but it;'s an original and fun game. It's definately a good bargain title ($29,99) or a rental. Juiced did absolutely nothing for me. I rented it, played for a couple hours, but it's just annoying, because it's in essence a vastly inferior version of nearly any racer on the market. imo, any recent NFS is better, and then you have PGR4 and Forza. I just didn't see the point of wasting my gaming time on Juiced, when i should have been playing Forza or PGR, and even NFS black and Carbon. Also, I thought the Conan demo was pretty awesome, but again, no way would I pay $60 for it. Midway need to adjust their pricing schemes. Conan is a $39.99 title at best, but I think it would sell pretty well at that price point. Conan should have released this summer when there wasn't much competition and a lull in games and released at $39.99 or 49.99 at most. Companies like Midway need to release to most gamers, there is a big difference between spending $60 and $40 on a game. Stranglehold is an example of another title I'd be interested in playing, but no f-ing way at $60. GET A CLUE MIDWAY!!!! people aren't going to pay $60 en masse aside from 5star can't miss titles like COD4, Halo3, AssasinsCreed, Mass Effect...ect... I'm not paying $60 for stranglehold.....and your sales reflect that......because other gamers aren't either.

Doolum
Doolum

still need the $ to get myself ratatouille

adamduffield
adamduffield

I didnt find anything wrong with Juiced 2, Stuntman was poor but i enjoy playing on juiced 2 because there are little things in it that make it worth playing!

oldermand
oldermand

I am Soo much getting ratatouile, one of the best games of '08 i think.

bodylotion
bodylotion

lamprey263: Maybe it's BECAUSE Stranglehold is an everbody's game.

Blackstaff
Blackstaff

Conan -IS- amazing so that might make up for something

cd146
cd146

You know somethings wrong when Cars Mater-National is your final hope for turning a profit.

lamprey263
lamprey263

wait, where did Stranglehold come into this? anyhow, I personally liked Stranglehold, in fact, I liked it a lot; still, I can see how it's not everybody's kind of game

mariokart64fan
mariokart64fan

wwe comin on the 13 th mario comin on the 12th november gonna be the next best month for me i already got manhunt 2 and its a fun game so far probably the 2nd best wii game next to driver and metroid 3

thorvath
thorvath

Well Relic's fantastic WH40k Dawn of War series and Company of Heroes are THQ so don't go bankrupt on me now!

bernieberry
bernieberry

I do have to admit my son and I played the Ratatouille PSP version of the game and it was a lot of fun. The levels were lengthly and interesting. I can see why it sold more than 2 million copies. A game doesn't have to be hardcore to be fun to play.

DeltaSpirit
DeltaSpirit

What did they expect i mean Juiced 2, Stuntman Ignition, Ratatouille don't exactly scream must buy the only big name is WWE SmackDown! vs. RAW 2008 which is really dropping in quality year after year

UnchainedPsYcO
UnchainedPsYcO

I heard that movie Ratatouille and the game are both horrible to play and to watch. I don't get why they want to play a game based on a horrible movie!