Publisher to close doors within months; all staff let go; future software distribution to be handled by All Interactive Entertainment. [UPDATE]: 18 staff reportedly affected by closure.
THQ's Melbourne, Australia office will shut shop in the region within months, the firm announced today. All local staff have been dismissed following the news, with the publisher's future software distribution to be handled by third-party, All Interactive Entertainment (AIE).
"The evolution of our distribution model in the Asia Pacific region will allow us to increase our reach with a lower cost model," THQ’s executive vice president of global publishing Ian Curran confirmed in a statement. "AIE is a trusted business partner with whom we have worked with for many years as our distributor in New Zealand. We believe the company will benefit from AIE’s backing and comprehensive distribution network across Australia."
Robert Kingston, director of AIE acknowledged the appointment, saying "We are delighted to broaden our relationship with a top publisher such as THQ. We look forward to bringing THQ’s highly-anticipated new video game releases and existing game portfolio to our retail network in the territory."
The details come less than six months after Sega Australia closed its doors in similar fashion; moving the entirety of its business to distributor Five Star Games.
No other regions of operation are believed to be impacted as a result of THQ's office closure in Australia.
[UPDATE] In a statement to Gamasutra, a THQ spokesperson told the publication approximately 18 employees were impacted by THQ Australia's closure.
The statement also delves a little deeper into THQ's decision to shut down its Australian operations:
"In line with THQ's corporate strategy to focus on wholly-owned IP and move away from affiliate label programs, we have evaluated how best to take our more-focused product lineup to market in the territory."
"After a thorough analysis, a decision has been made to move from a direct sales model to a distributor model, which means that our Melbourne publishing office will be closing."
Games like Wrestling and Darksiders will continue to be made. Both Darksiders 1&2 sold very very well. Vigil will make Darksiders 3&4 you can count on it.
@BryanParksSuper Trilogy should be enough for darksiders, 1 was awesome 2 nd got mroe good combat and equipment system but Story Sucked too much :)
Such is the fate of fast work rushing up games for money.Tune up guys more companies will follow soon.
It was about time.
To be honest, its really very tough doing any kind of business in australia, government taxes are going high every year, prices of everything are going high so that directly result in employees salary increase. australia is going down, i will be moving from australia soon. its like what ever you earn in australia you will give 85% of it to australian government and half of goes to support junkies and their families.
The unendless pursue of profit by cutting costs is a duble edge sword. Closing operations and letting staff "go" is what is changing the gaming industry into a mass production of garbage. Most game are rarely innovative game-play wise. The power is on the distribution and not on creativity. EA anyone? How many innovative games from EA?
And it is all a lie when they say they are cutting costs, when the prices of games, especially in emerging markets are soaring, thus promoting piracy.
This sucks! Is there any Australian game studio left after this? Or are the rest also on life support?
Is it me or the gaming industry is in bad shape in Australia? I keep seeing news of Australian publishers being shut down or having difficulties. But if you think about it, THQ Australia has been releasing major AAA "blockbusters" like Megamind : Ultimate Showdown and The Last Airbender so I can see why they are shutting down.
Just to be clear here, this is merely a distribution office, and "all local staff" consists of eighteen employees.
Saints Row needs to keep rolling, it's fun to get gangsta. We need games like these around, when they come out people love them.
This has nothing to do with THQ australia poor performance, as the article said it has to do with "Costs". I live in Australia and unfortunately cost of living has skyrocketed beyond any country in the world, Australian cities are now all listed in the most expensive in the world. Maintaing a business here in now unsustainable. Current government has ruined the economy in the past 4 years and business has been flocking out, that's the sad reality. THQ is simply moving to more cost effective countries in the asia-pacific.
@Lazy_Marine 100% agreed. Australian prices are way too high than any other country, seems like what ever we earn here more than half of it we give it to government in terms of fines, taxes, gst.
even if you are making 800$ a week its hard to survive here if you have a family.
I'll bet. I would never live in Australia. Even visiting the place would cost a small fortune. Once all the big businesses leave, the price of things will eventually start to drop again.
@Lazy_Marine damn!! it must really suck to live/work in Australia.
@Lazy_Marine Interesting. I wonder if that's why one of my former teachers moved to Canada from Australia. He was a programmer for Infinite Interactive, who made the Puzzle Quest games.
all these ads and commercials I see trying to get young people to take classes for video game design and programming fail to mention how job security in this field is total shit. The fact that your current development company puts out high quality games that sell very well at retail means absolutely nothing.
Me and my best friend wanted to get into game design. Kind of glad that I got a regular job instead of trying to get one in the industry.
@PrpleTrtleBuBum @cdog21 I sympathize with all the people these situations affect. Imagine going to your game's release party where everyone is proud and excited over the high review scores the game received, only to get a pink slip 2 weeks later while you were taking your month off in between projects.
damn THQ must of made MAJOR mistakes as from what i can see they are still coming back to bite in the ass i just hope they dont get the last torpedo and sink.
When I read "AIE" all I can think about is "Academy of Interactive Entertainment" - which is where I study, and is also in Melbourne.
Damn. This really, really sucks. THQ have been so good to the local community (at least in the few years I've been kinda active), and it is atrue shame to see their efforts rewarded in such a fashion. Hell, if it weren't for their Capcom Preview Showcase event earlier this year, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have an Akuma shirt signed my Seth Killian hanging up in my wardrobe right now! I wish everybody at the studio all the best in their future endeavours. Just really, really sucks...
The header scared the hell out of me. I thought, "NOOOOO!! Not Vigil Games!! I love Darksiders." Then I Googled the named and read this company worked on... well, nothing so I'm not too upset over this announcement.
... Huh. That makes me sound like an insensitive prick.
THQ is hanging by a thread nowadays. Wouldn't be surprised to see them shut down and sold off at some point in the next generation.
Does anyone know the games THQ Australia put out?
I'm curious if this was performance based, or associated-with-a-terrible-company-in-THQ based.
@PixelAddict Looking at Wikipedia, it seems they did "Avatar - The last Airbender series" among other titles. I never bought any of them so I can't really comment further.
And people stilll don't think that the high development cost of games is a problem. When we are left with only activision and EA, then people will realize the mistakes.
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