THQ shutters Kaos, Digital Warrington

Publisher shuts down Homefront, Juiced studios as part of "strategic realignment"; Homefront IP moved to Montreal.

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Kaos Studios' first-person shooter Homefront created quite the headache for THQ upon its release in March, after investors threw an apoplectic fit over the game's generally mixed review scores. And though the game has gone on to ship more than 2.6 million units, Kaos will not be around to develop the game's proposed sequel.

Homefront proved to be Kaos Studios' last stand.

THQ has confirmed for GameSpot today that it has closed New York-based Kaos Studios, as well as its UK-located outfit Digital Warrington (formerly Juice Games). THQ declined to comment on how many employees will be let go as part of the studio closures, noting only that impacted staff will be given the opportunity to apply to other groups in the company.

"THQ confirmed today that it has made a strategic realignment within its internal studio structure and is in the process of closing two locations: the company's UK studio and Kaos studio in New York," the publisher's statement reads.

Kaos Studios' Homefront franchise will be moved to THQ's Montreal studio, which was founded last year under the auspices of Assassin's Creed creative director Patrice Desilets. According to THQ, the Montreal studio actively assisted Kaos on development of the original Homefront. THQ Montreal is also said to be creating new intellectual property for the publisher.

Digital Warrington had most recently been associated with the downloadable effort Red Faction: Battlegrounds, which received middling review scores upon its release in April. The studio is also known for the Juiced racing franchise.

Discussion

99 comments
Mechasmic
Mechasmic

This is what SHOULD happen when people make promises they can't keep. The multiplayer was never fully supported, I was having problems with it well after a month of owning the game. I'm pretty sure the independent servers never came and for two weeks I couldn't get into a match with my friends. If your biggest selling (independent servers) point is a complete lie, you should pay the price. Also graphically the game was garbage. Now we just need THQ as a whole to bite the dust.

dcps210go
dcps210go

Home front is good not great. Check out my review on my blog for more information.

santinegrete
santinegrete

-Short campaign, check -Worked out Multiplayer with XP and leveling, check -Close a game studio, check. THQ, only one of these items was imperative to create something that could compete with Activision's CoD, and the only positive one if ironically the less I care about. Trying to do something unique in this gen is risky, I know. But doing it half as5ed won't get you very far either. You know that at least two more hours of that campaign, with it's pros would been added plus 1 to most critics?

pmar27
pmar27

soooooo Homefront 2 is still being developed right?

macca366
macca366

The game had a cool artistic vision and atmosphere, graphics weren't great and the campaign was way too short etc but I saw the potential. Gave me a slightly Half-life 2 vibe. I hope the guys that worked on those good aspects of the game get the opportunity to continue what they do, and that everyone else from Kaos finds employment quickly. I'm sure they got severance pay and all that but it still sucks to lose your job.

chertoo
chertoo

homefront way "decent" and way too short, about half the respectable length for a game, and thats the bare minimum expectations.

Unholy123
Unholy123

Man could have summed this up much faster. "Homefront sucked, Devs get the axe, some people salvaged, rest thrown out"

lixeiro
lixeiro

Great move, maybe developers will think twice before selling a single player campaing game of about 10 hours for a regular price, and what's more, a mediocre game at that.

Mar044
Mar044

i think it was the right move, now i hope they keep metro game maker open.

anime_boi
anime_boi

How many franchises and developers are going to the crapper these days thanks to these financial backers? More than I can count.

Alizerothree
Alizerothree

Remember, some of these poor souls were part of Trauma, the folks that brought Desert Combat to Battlefield 1942. Homefront may have not been the greatest, but it still sucks to lose your job. I wish them he best.

MadGamer132
MadGamer132

thing happen, save money, and strategy.

thesim1990
thesim1990

"THQ confirmed today that it has made a strategic realignment within its internal studio structure and is in the process of closing two locations: the company’s UK studio and Kaos studio in New York" In other words, "we have paid the development studio to create a game and overhype it to fook and now we're going to backstab the developer for earning us money by shutting the studio and help ourselves to all the takings..." Wtf is this industry coming to...

Ein001
Ein001

This game was terrible, worst $50 I ever spent. Can't believe that they're even considering a sequel...

AncientDozer
AncientDozer

It shipped, apparently, only 2.6 million which game spotters and game faqers are often quick to point out aren't the same as sales. Then consider this detail - THQ and Kaos spent a lot on it with advertising and whatnot. With stock holders in an uproar and the game possibly not making enough money to break even or just barely breaking even, THQ could be understandably vexed. Also, yes, the game reviewed poorly and a lot of people will give you middling statements on the game with a few holdouts and diehards adamantly declaring their enjoyment. I'e see a lot of used copies sitting on shelves, so.

LeoLex_
LeoLex_

WARRINGTON!!!! thats my hometown in the UK that place is a s*** hole, i never knew there was a major computer games development going on in that s*** hole wtf

duderdave
duderdave

THQ suits are being paid way too much money for messing so many things up.

gix47
gix47

beginning of the end for THQ? seems like over reaction to me /shrug

TheTrueObelus
TheTrueObelus

I was really disappointed with Homefrong. However, I'm confused how a game that sells 2.6 million units results in a studio getting shuttered. Not gonna miss them but I just don't get it.

Cruisemissile
Cruisemissile

Great more British employees left in the dust just what we need hopefully they will find another job within THQ so good luck to them and the new yorkers in the US

ColdGen
ColdGen

Played Juiced recently! Not a fan but it looks amazing! These smart guys will find jobs if not in Montreal than elsewhere I hope.

sensei_hEnRY
sensei_hEnRY

Just when i finally find something that actually fits me from THQ. I like Homefront, great story, simple gameplay, although the campaign is extremely short and the graphic is ugly but it offer a great atmosphere. I'm looking forward to its sequel and i hope THQ Montreal can make it even better. I'm also waiting for Mirror's Edge 2 sigh...

drangel_jam
drangel_jam

@ahpuck I simply think that a game playing like a shooter, or in first person is not synonym of failure. I think that gamers want something different and new. The problem is that many games that offer something different and new lack the polish that the AAA franchise have gotten us accustomed to. If you play Dead Space on the HD consoles for 40 hours, beating the game in all difficulties, unlocking everything, you might give a shot to the iPad version, but I don't think it is going rock your socks off, same with Deadly Premonition, etc... I think that games who lack AAA polish, need inventive stories and plot lines, because a good narrative allows players to get attached to the franchise. I think Homefront would have sold more, if the actual single player had turned out as good as the premise, because MP gamers are very fickle.

ahpuck
ahpuck

Truth be told, the FPS genre has become supersaturated. Maybe it's the fans fault, maybe it's the developers fault, I don't know. Unless your game has Halo, CoD, Killzone, Gears of War and maybe Battlefield on the cover, your chances of surviving are slim.

psycadelix
psycadelix

Not played campaign, but havent stopped playing MP. Great set up and Crysis 2 MP is horrible compared to this. (entire clip into enemies back, nothing, he turns, 2 shots and im dead, good ol Crysis 2). Homefront graphics arent great, but the MP works. Crysis 2 looks better, but is VERY broken. Better to hit someone when you shoot them than good graphics with the poorest hit detection ive ever seen.

JJ_Shredder
JJ_Shredder

Good..............I never traded a game in so fast in my life (2 weeks). Huge let-down, ugly visuals, short-campaign with little story, generic multiplayer that got boring fast. Thankfully Crysis 2 was available about the same time as it was a huge step-up.

John_Aguilera
John_Aguilera

this really sux. I was looking forward to future KAOS games

SlowMotionKarma
SlowMotionKarma

Homefront was (and still is in my eyes) an amazing universe to place a game. The (very, very) little we got to see of it in Homefront was great, artistically. The problem is, it was very "on-rails"-feeling and the actual gameplay was quite standard. I don't expect every FPS to be unique but outside of the cool setting it felt like the game was circa 2001. I don't know if or how the Montreal studio will continue this IP but I'm hopeful they'll learn from the mistakes of the first game and create a lengthy, engaging, and story-driven game this next time out because I'd love to revisit this universe.

MN121MN
MN121MN

Like anyone didn't see this coming.. Homefront was a great idea, but the realization was terrible... When you read the fourth paragraph, you can see the word that "Kaos on development of the ORIGINAL Homefront". So, does that mean there will be another Homefront or is there another copy of Homefront?

FstrthnU
FstrthnU

And nothing of value was lost

DanGleeSack
DanGleeSack

@udderjuice You think that with any other system greed just magically vanishes? Communism and stricter government control increases the corruption and greed. In most European countries, except Britain and Germany, businesses don't open on time and you have to bring chocolates or flowers or some other gift to get anything done. In Communist Russia and China, production took a leap off a cliff and many people starved to death, not to mention the millions of people murdered by their government. Democracy and Capitalism are not perfect in any means, but it is the best system in action. Communism looks good on paper, but never works in real life. People say the China is a communist government, but they actually aren't anymore, Mao was a failure and it took Deng Xiaoping to reverse the damage and starvation through implementing primitive capitalism. Communism makes everyone suffer except those at the tip top (much more imbalanced wealth than capitalism) and you eventually run out of OTHER PEOPLE'S money. I don't feel sorry for people that make no effect to educate themselves and work. People shouldnt bash a system when have no real world experience in other countries or education in political systems/history.

ThePurpleBubble
ThePurpleBubble

@UdderJuice You're right... Media would be incredible if America were, say, a Communism! Creativity and individuality thrive in a Communistic Govern-wait... No, never mind...

Megavideogamer
Megavideogamer

Well I hope that these people will find other employment in the industry. So this game didn't pan out. Just keep at it dear game developes.

Ghosthunter54
Ghosthunter54

@UdderJuice You hate capitalism? You think you'd have ANY games if the system wasn't capitalist? You think you'd get quality games if studios had to live off of government grants instead of profits? Don't be ridiculous.

wavelength121
wavelength121

Homefront was a pretty good game, sorry to see the company suffer because idiots would rather buy some generic RPG or medieval action game. Grow up

DarthChrisious
DarthChrisious

Homefront was the most disappointing game I've ever played. A 4-hour campaign (give or take), lack of connection to your character, and horrendous voice-acting makes the single player a joke. And, while the multiplayer had a lot of promise, it was bogged down by server issues and random rank resets. The product as it is has no business being on the shelves and I am not surprised by this result.

voldalin
voldalin

investors have a right to be mad at a reviewers score if it's bad but i learned a long time ago that game reviewers can get it wrong sometimes too. I've seen a lot of good games get bad reviews. And to think the game indusrty is under so much pressure by what one guy says in a review. It's really sad.

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

Not to downplay how much this might suck for them, but coming from a studio like Kaos (and the revenue HF brought), I'm sure they can easily find good jobs.

Joeshmo93
Joeshmo93

just bought Homefront...very fun and brings some awesome ideas into a FPS. Glad I bought it.

KO4U
KO4U

This sucks. To everyone hoping to enter the game industry, get in with some small fry team and dare to make something original. As Homefront has taught us, chasing the the lead isn't a promise you'll achieve it.

ShadowofSonic
ShadowofSonic

I HAVE ALWAYS HATED THQ AFTER STAR WARS GBA!!!!!!!!!!!!

valcrist09
valcrist09

apparently a couple million copies sold just isnt enough these days.

ChiefFreeman
ChiefFreeman

They never made any good games, so I won't miss the studio. Hopefully, they get employment with another developer. But, make good games next time, and this won't happen.

inaka_rob
inaka_rob

lame. homefront was a good game. WAY too short. but good. the online was better than black ops becuase OMG it was something a little different.

HaloPimp978
HaloPimp978

Well hopefully somebody picks them up. Hate to see talented get wasted cause THQ as no interest in them anymore.

KillerJuan77
KillerJuan77

@greendude123 I got it on the PS3 and yes, it's pretty active. It's definetely worth it, the MP is incredibly fun and the SP is one of the bleakest things to ever grace a videogame.

ryanreynolds
ryanreynolds

*sigh* This sucks. Best of luck to all the gals and guys at ex-KAOS .