THQ slashes losses, Warhammer 40K: Space Marine due by April 2011

UFC 2009 publisher sees revenues dip during July-Sept. quarter, but cuts losses from $115.3 million to $5.6 million; shares jump more than 14%; Homefront also slated for next fiscal year.

THQ's expansion into the mixed martial arts arena did wonders for the publisher's first-quarter bottom line upon its release in May. Today, THQ reported its results for the second quarter (three months ended September 30), and while UFC continues to perform, the fighter has begun to show signs of slowdown.

UFC has no intention of tapping out.

During the July-September window, THQ said revenues fell to $101.3 million, down from $164.8 million generated during the same time last year. The publisher also posted a $5.6 million loss during the quarter, a figure that stands as a significant improvement over the prior-year's $115.3 million shortfall.

According to THQ president and CEO Brian Farrell, the earnings reflect the company's shift toward a smaller, more focused product pipeline. Following a $220 million cost-cutting strategy enacted earlier this year, THQ said that it would realign its product portfolio to emphasize quality over quantity, as well as to halve its yearly core game slate.

THQ did not provide updated sales figures for UFC 2009 or its other recent standout release, Volition's Red Faction: Guerrilla. However, the publisher did note that UFC 2009 remains a top-five best-selling Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 game during the first nine months of the year.

The earnings report has struck a favorable chord with investors. THQ's stock has jumped by 14.5 percent in after-hours trading on the NASDAQ stock exchange to $5.74 as of press time.

[UPDATE] Following THQ's earnings announcement, the publisher held a post-earnings conference call with analysts and investors to discuss the results. As part of that call, THQ's Brian Farrell said that the publisher has lowered its industry outlook from flat year-over-year sales to a low- to mid-single digit loss.

Farrell also provided a glimpse at the publisher's 2011 fiscal year, which runs from April 1, 2010, to March 31, 2011. According to the executive, THQ will release new installments in its UFC and WWE franchises during the period (despite a licensing dispute with WWE partner Jakks Pacific that is still unresolved). The publisher also plans to release Warhammer 40K: Space Marine, the series' first outing on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, as well as Kaos Studios' Homefront during its 2011 fiscal year.

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Discussion

51 comments
BlackBaldwin
BlackBaldwin

I'm glad to see THQ plans on making quality games over qauntity... I find myself liking alot of their products but I'd enjoy even more a little more polish on them before shipping out to the street.

andy_lyall
andy_lyall

@baystatethrashr If you're talking about that video that got leaked a year or so ago that looked like a 3rd person action game with directors commentary over the top. From what I've gathered about all this that game was being made by THQ australia and had nothing to do with Relic. It's THQ who own the GW rights and they reassigned the project. The THQ Australia game isn't being made anymore.

Full_Of_Stars
Full_Of_Stars

If they want easy cash just put Warhammer 40K: Space Marine on pc

Humorguy_basic
Humorguy_basic

@masterlu they are fair comments and as I say, you are entitled to your opinion, but even though PC games sales are down 30% they are still 40% of the market (because they used to be 70% of the market), and so nearly half the market is being ignored. So the industry is number one to blame, the gaming media second, and gamers themselves third. If console gamers started saying 'support the PC' and also were more inclined to complain about dumbed down games, then I think we might see quicker change. But as it is, with it being a well known fact that entertainment businesses do not suffer unduly in a recession, figures like Konami sales down over 80% is giving us a message that we, the gamers as well as the gaming media and industry as a whole need to take on board. Also everybody needs to think outside the box, so for example a company that supplies parts for Sony consoles have seen sales drop 28% in the last 2 years...... Why do you think there was a price cut? Sales are down worse than people think, because we have a media that is scared to tell us anything but that all is wonderfully well, with little snippets of bad news to convince they give us all the news when they don't - by a long way!

masterlu
masterlu

@Humorguy_basic In light of recent headlines, I stand corrected. However, I really don't think the market for games is the same size as it was 15 years ago... I seem to recall several statistics from the ESA showing quite a remarkable rise during the last decade despite the current temporary downturn... I've been a gamer since the NES and a PC-elitist since the late nineties, and I would definitely agree that consoles have retained some of the unfortunate "gaming is something you are supposed to grow out of"- aura and an overall much more casual feel but still I don't think this is because newer games are necessarily WORSE than older games. But yes, since the console market nowadays is far greater than the PC market, there is bound to be some concessions in the games made for several platforms. Games like Baldur's Gate and other heavier RPGs as well as (real-time)strategy games and a few other more "grown up" genres (as opposed to platformers and the like) are traditionally the forte of the PC, for obvious reasons. A bigger console market naturally means they migrate to consoles and ergo are also developed primarily for consoles and thus seemingly dumbed-down. But I still don't think this would explain the comparative decline of the PC as a gaming platform.

Humorguy_basic
Humorguy_basic

@ masterlu - I have been in gaming long enough to know what sales were 10-15-20 years ago. And sales are lower on PC by about 30% and video game sales are levelling of. (we all hear about Wii losses and how PS2 sales almost match PS3 sales.) Just look at today's headlines: Ubisoft priojecting a loss, Konami 22.5% sales drop. 360 sales down, etc. At the same time we get a huge growth in retro game downloads from the various console services, we see that Steam sells more retor games than modern games, we see the success of GOG.com and we have over 5 million DOSBox downloads. All this an indictment on modern gaming. I have also been a gamer long enough to make an educated judgement of what games are like today. With the advent of the multi-format market, about 5 years ago, more and more games are written for a console market that is BELEIVED to be younger and dumber. A perfect example has just appeared, Look at the PC version of Dragon Age compared to the console versions. the console versions are more action orientated, demand less tactics in battle and are generally closer to action-RPG's with much leess 'thinking' involved. We see with Bioware changing to console first PC second how Jade Empire and Mass Effect were much more action orientated and much less RPG than what came before, when they were PC orientated, in the form of Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights, etc.

AjaxsLastStand
AjaxsLastStand

I enjoy 40K. It's got a lot of history to it and a lot of good writing and material. Dawn of War was a fun RTS, and the table top is very enjoyable. My problem, though, as I've gotten older, is that it's really overdone on the "DARK GRIMNESS OF TEH FUTAR!" Seriously, I think we all get it by now. Sure. It's the future, and people die at an alarming rate. But Jesus, is this some goth kid's attempt at literature? Can't it just be a war story where we already know that it's a little depressing, but we don't have to harp on it?

mirriorman
mirriorman

warhammer has a great story line and the action would make an brillant game if only they made a good action game this might be it i hope

monson21502
monson21502

i just got ufc 09 for 10 bucks at the pawn shop :)

Titch-X
Titch-X

@Rikuide_Furame Space Marine isn't an RTS it's a third person action game.

Rikuide_Furame
Rikuide_Furame

I enjoyed the original Dawn of War game - the Warhammer 40K universe is rich in character which is a major plus for me.

baystatethrashr
baystatethrashr

@andy_lyall watch gameplay videos of space marine, it looks nothing like DoW2

andy_lyall
andy_lyall

Space Marine uses the dawn of war 2 engine. In fact, every Relic game in quite some time uses that engine. It's called Essence.

fathed102
fathed102

The trailer for space marine is no where what the actual game is going to end up looking like. I think they threw that trailer together using the Dawn of War 2 engine.

LosDaddie
LosDaddie

UFC rocks! My 2nd fav fighting game behind SFIV

masterlu
masterlu

@Humorguy_basic I'm not quite sure about that "shallow games" thing, fact is that we are getting many, many, many more games every year now than we did a number of years ago. The fact that only AAA-titles get any press worth mentioning is a result of this, and as a result of the way the industry works, many of the AAA titles are going to be slightly bland and uninspired. The chances of scoring a big hit are slim at best, but once you do you would be dumb to throw it all away by making another game that is completely different, thus most games that sell well will look like each other. But I wouldn't say games today in general are any more shallow than before, if anything game-makers have started paying much more attention to things like storytelling, worldmaking and moral choices in games. I do think you're right about the change of what and how we play, but I see it as evolution rather than revolution. Games that are two years old are no longer considered ANCIENT, as two-year-old games were considered, say, two years ago. The rate of technological advance has slowed slightly, especially when it comes to graphics, thus making slightly older games equally viable options. ...and that thing about game sales "slowly declining" is just complete rubbish, it's one of the fastest growing industries in the world.

brian_13un
brian_13un

Cool can't wait for Warhammer 40K

Humorguy_basic
Humorguy_basic

@ panospcm - they always BLAME piracy, but never answer the question about how The Sims can sell TEN MILLION plus copies, or The Witcher and STALKER selling 4 million plus in Europe alone. Any console title that sells over 3 million is considered a big hit and yet piracy is only seen as a PC problem! The reason the industry is sinking is not the recession. It is well known that entertainment industries do not suffer in recessions as people want to cheer themselves up more. All these losses being reported is due to gamers being fed up with the mostly unoriginal shallow, repetitive gaming we get today. For example, while the gaming media do not have a problem with $50 games that have 12 hours gameplay, because reviewers don't have to pay for their games, the fact is, no sub 15 hour gameplay game has sold well. Mirror's Edge, Dead Space, Dreamfall: The Longest Journey, etc all did sub 1 million sales. A revolution is taking place in gaming. Retro gaming is growing which shows lack of support for modern games, the fact that around 40% of the market (the PC games market) is not being served properly and things like the DOSBox utility having over 5 million downloads, the success of GOG.com and the fact that Steam sell more copies of games 2+ years old than modern games. All this shows more and more gamers are looking backwards rather than forwards when it comes to gaming. If the industry and media don't change - and change quickly, vido games sales are going to continue to slowly decline. Sure, they'll still be the odd blockbuster, and the Sims and WoW will always do well as thy are juggernauts, but in general video games sales have been slowly declining for 2 years now, and the decline seems to be picking up. Something's going on and nobody want's to talk about it....!!!

panospcm
panospcm

so W40k Space Marine will not be released for the PC? I bet piracy is behind all this...

vicsrealms
vicsrealms

I miss the games like Space Hulk that came out years ago. Maybe the should build on that a bit. A good FPS (don't forget the PC you pricks!!!) with the background and story of the Horus Heresy would be really cool.

Taevataat
Taevataat

No Space Marine for PC? Aw..

Evilnator
Evilnator

UFC publisher... hmm i really hope space marines dont wrestle with orks...

ele975
ele975

Quality over Quantity? (Quantity means number) Seriously, is THAT what they focused on? If they focused over that MORE than quantity they wouldn't BE in this predicament

mrklorox
mrklorox

I hope Space Marine doesn't suck.

xialon
xialon

"Following a $220 million cost-cutting strategy enacted earlier this year, " That just means no more staples.

bennae66
bennae66

keeping an eye on space marine. ahhh, 40k. brings back memories

Incredible_Bulk
Incredible_Bulk

@mattisgod01 & everyone else, lol. Remember, THQ's 2011 fiscal year starts in April '10, not Jan '11. So, it might not be as far away as you think. However, I wouldn't expect it in April of next year.

mattisgod01
mattisgod01

i'm sort of dissapointed at the distant release date but on the other hand i want Space Marine to be a really good game. And if it takes them that much longer to finish it then so be it.

Vari3ty
Vari3ty

2011? Why even bother with this right now...

GrumblingElite
GrumblingElite

Space Marine better be out on PC. THERE IS ONLY ONE PUNISHMENT FOR HERESY ON THE PC.

night_haunter
night_haunter

Aw hell...gonna have to wait for space marine a little bit longer

RobertBowen
RobertBowen

Both Space Marine and Homefront certainly have a lot of potential, from what I've seen. I just hope they can fully realise that potential by the time the games are released. I suspect at least one of them (probably Homefront, which seems further along) will see a holiday 2010 release. We need some good game releases next year.

xSithiSx
xSithiSx

Aww hell I thought Homefront was gonna be out in 2010, looks promising.

chachmaster
chachmaster

The space marine game will be an over the sholder experience. You have a bolter in one hand and a chainsword in the other, from what they have shown so far. It looks like devil may cry but in the warhammer 40k universe. The special moves look awesome and you have a jump pack to boot.

fathed102
fathed102

Cant wait for Dawn of War 2 expansion!

MazehcS0ul
MazehcS0ul

One more year! But way to early news.

saejox
saejox

2011, bummer. Mid 2010 would be nice.

mariokart64fan
mariokart64fan

wwe 2010=best game this yr from them but where is saints row 3 already jesus

tig1979
tig1979

Wonder what type 40k will be, a good fps would be nice

Mickleohb
Mickleohb

Space Marine isn't coming out until 2011? I was hoping it would be a lot sooner...

Zer0Cog
Zer0Cog

Space Marine looks pretty cool.

LT-murphy
LT-murphy

caint wait for space marine i love the 40k universe

VectrexFanBoy
VectrexFanBoy

ufc is a very fun game = P i'm not usually into fighting that games but that game was excellent