THQ realigns business units

WWE publisher trifurcates company into core, casual/family, online labels as part of ongoing restructuring.

In May, THQ put the lid on one of its worst fiscal years in recent memory, one that saw the publisher's revenues slip 22 percent year-over-year to $830 million as losses soared to $431.1 million. Still, THQ has taken a number of steps to right the company's downward trajectory, including enacting $220 million in cost-cutting measures and significantly cutting the company-wide headcount by 24 percent, and a number of analysts believe the publisher has indeed turned a corner.

UFC Undisputed will no longer be mingling with the Kids, Family, and Casual group.

Part of THQ's recovery strategy has been to realign its product portfolio to emphasize quality over quantity, as well as to halve its yearly core game slate. To this end, THQ today announced plans to reorganize the company's structure under three business groups: Core Games; Kids, Family, and Casual Games; and Online.

Leading the Core Games group will be Danny Bilson, who previously served as THQ's senior vice president of creative development. "I see this as a tremendous opportunity to build a portfolio of owned franchises for THQ," commented Bilson. Core titles due during THQ's current fiscal year, which ends March 31, 2010, include Darksiders and MX vs. ATV Reflex, with Homefront and Warhammer 40,000 Space Marine set for THQ's next fiscal year.

Doug Clemmer, who most recently headed THQ's ValuSoft casual games business and THQ Wireless, will lead the Kids, Family, and Casual Games label. Clemmer's unit will focus on mass-market, family-friendly titles across console, handheld, PC, and wireless platforms. "Gaming platforms such as the Nintendo Wii and Microsoft's recently announced 'Project Natal' are changing the way families play together and we are excited to develop gaming experiences that take full advantage of these platforms," commented Clemmer.

Heading up the Online division is Steve Dauterman, THQ's former senior vice president of product development in Asia Pacific. Dauterman's division plans to work closely with the Core and Kids, Family, and Casual units, with the executive saying, "Our strategy is to leverage our established brands such as Company of Heroes, Warhammer 40,000, and WWE into the dedicated online space."

THQ is currently riding high off the success of its latest new fighting franchise, UFC Unleashed 2009. The mixed martial arts brawler topped the NPD Group's US retail sales charts for the month of May, selling more than 1 million units combined on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

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Discussion

24 comments
pure_impact
pure_impact

hopefully this will mean that more and better focus and attention will payed to the Smackdown series which has really lagged behind. Since AAA Lucha Libre is coming out soon, this will put more heat on THQ to ensure Smackdown gets a needed facelift across ALL platforms. And if TNA gets a developer that really wants to put 100% in a wrestling title, then they will make this a 3way dance for our gaming dollars. Here's to competiton!

gary_safc
gary_safc

would be nice to see wwe smackdown vs raw 2010 for wii with classic/ gamecube contolers option.

xXxMattYoungxXx
xXxMattYoungxXx

It's UFC Undisputed. UFC Unleashed is a TV show. :-P

Melty123
Melty123

I hope they have the money to make good games for a long time because they make some good games and I can't wait to get Darksiders.

jrabbit99
jrabbit99

I hope this lets them stay afloat

nurse_tsunami
nurse_tsunami

I just wish THQ released more bug-free games from the get go.

simonsworld
simonsworld

i was impressed with UFC to, pleased for UFC to be more ackownledged good game well made and thought of, from a technical point of view.

simonsworld
simonsworld

yea COH eastern front needed, not essential but would be nice, what is essential is wwe games, this years game again great graphics etc some great gameplay of course, but something is missing i been saying it for years since smackdown 2 2 PLAYER CARRER MODE PLEASE!!! or multi player carrer mode whatever me and my mates use to play this for hours, make groups and factions and huge feuds,one time i think we made it to year 18 i no it reused cutscenes to much but at least fueds continued ,this modern thing with voice captured do da's cut scenes its great really but they make it hard to do that, as in lots of work and voice captureing, but fecking hell i dont care if they spent 2 or 3 years on a definitive wwe game, id wait knowing am getting a total package, not a small package, ha! i made that look good, almost rapper like with my delivery, but yea i know they wont have a mutli player carrer mode, sucks it all this online thing now,i get that with all games but! i dont want to have to play with strangers all the time, if i got 4 or 5 wrestling mates (i have) who like to play smackdown, not just exibbtion matchs all the time, it good if we could do it over a few beers and eat some tasty treats, we can shout at each other and everything, it be beautiful moments for sure, esp with titles on the line and groups etc all affected wwe storylines as they continue to roll year after year makes for epic confrontations, and clashes down the road. ahh the memories.

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

Sounds good to me. Better than a giant mix up of casual games made for "hardcore" players (like Burnout Paradise).

siemper
siemper

unleashed, itsu undisputed...

ZeerusX
ZeerusX

Just make a Company of Heroes Online and you;ll make bank. Squad based MMORPG action! l

Spybreak
Spybreak

Split up and focus on your intended target audience, yeah sounds good.

robx360
robx360

I'm sure WWE will gladly leave after this year. The contract is up. Best thing really! There hasn't been a great WWE game for awhile.

allotheabove123
allotheabove123

so what does this mean for the game that is on my tracked list "Homefront"??

Gsmith92
Gsmith92

quality over quantity sounds good.

alkaline_DnB
alkaline_DnB

what's odd is they are changing their approach to marketing due to their loss of revenue in the same way that activision is threatening to pull their products from future ps3 games. all companies are losing money right now and they think it's for different reasons. i think it's just because of the bad economy and nothing needs to change.

Mr_Fujiv1
Mr_Fujiv1

same, i think they are going in the right direction. I cant wait for UFC 2010 :D

starbead
starbead

@Zero5000X No, they are not becoming more casual. They have simply restructured their organization into 3 distinct units. The Kids Family and Casual unit will replace the Valusoft casual unit and incorporate more casual titles into it (Wii and "Natal" mentioned specifically). They will still have a division devoted to their core games and another devoted to their online games (Vigil Games is currently developing a Warhammer 40K MMO for THQ in addition to the projects listed in the article). The article states that they will be focusing on "quality over quantity", so hopefully this means that the end result will be better, not more, games from all three units.

Sechu
Sechu

I was high time they got their development teams sorted. I hope it will result in even better games for both casual and hard core gamers.

bowlingotter
bowlingotter

Looks like they're headed the right direction. I for one am seriously enjoying UFC Undisputed and looking forward to the development of the 2010 release

gameweasl
gameweasl

I wish that someone would take away WWE from them...

Zero5000X
Zero5000X

so they're becoming more casual?