MX vs. ATV out of gas as THQ lays off 200

THQ Phoenix, THQ Australia, and Bluetongue shut down as publisher steps away from licensed kids' titles and movie tie-ins.


Last month, THQ revealed that it was putting the Red Faction series back on the shelf and acknowledged that its microtransaction-driven MX vs. ATV Alive experiment had been an unsuccessful one. That was just the first hint of a realignment for the company, as today it announced that not only was the racing franchise joining Red Faction in deep storage, but it also laid off 200 developers by closing two studios in Australia and axing the Phoenix-based team behind MX vs. ATV Alive.

Don't expect to see MX vs. ATV again anytime soon.
Don't expect to see MX vs. ATV again anytime soon.

"THQ is in the process of transitioning its portfolio away from licensed kids titles and movie-based entertainment properties for consoles and has also decided not to actively pursue further development of the MX vs. ATV franchise at this time," the company said in a statement.

THQ Digital Studio Phoenix developed MX vs. ATV Alive, while Brisbane-based THQ Studio Australia worked on licensed titles like Megamind: Ultimate Showdown and Avatar: The Last Airbender - Into the Inferno. Melbourne-based Bluetongue developed the de Blob series for THQ, as well as Marvel Super Hero Squad.

The publisher still has five internal studios remaining: THQ Montreal (working on an unannounced new IP), Volition (Saints Row: The Third, inSANE), Relic Entertainment (Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine), Vigil Games (Darksiders II, Warhammer 40,000: Dark Millennium Online), and THQ San Diego (WWE All-Stars).

The moves come just weeks after THQ reported disappointing second-quarter results, with a net loss of $38.4 million for the three months. However, executives expressed confidence at the time that the company could return to profitability in the back half of the year. THQ has Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine lined up for the current quarter, with Saints Row: The Third, the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 uDraw tablets, WWE 12, and UFC Undisputed 3 set for launch by the end of its fiscal year on March 31.

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Avatar image for SandBear7

MX vs ATV ALIVE is the best motocross game I've ever played... I am still bummed THQ broke up the series ... the new one coming out called MUD doesn't look to be as fluid in vehicular dynamics. MX vs ATV has a natural fluid like movement that is unmatched. I am very sad to see THQ drop development of this series. There are thousands of MX'ers who like to kick back and motocross over Xbox at night in their homes including myself... it's the only game of it's kind and further development would have only made this game more of a powerhouse in my and many other Mx'ers opinions who play the game all the time.

Even if you don't want to make a new version, allowing developers to program new tracks as add-ons would be a cool feature.. .and perhaps open it up for newer style jerseys as 2013 rolls around. I personally liked the Supercross part of MX vs ATV reflex better but as far as game play .. Mx vs ATV Alive was the absolute BEST!! Please come back!!!

Avatar image for beny_pimpster

i think kenji isafune of capcom stated that japanese games are way behind western games but hey at least you dont see those japanese gaming companies do this to their hard working staff, giving lay offs

Avatar image for serginho_scp

mx vs atv was a great game .. the best and unique title of its kind. unfortunately the control system was a bit complex for kids and unfortunately the reviews were always inexplicably poor and little by little it was killing the chances of success of the title..

Avatar image for MadGamer132

mx v atv alive well i did not play that game...yet, but i feel sad about what happen but thats the biz.

Avatar image for DeadrisingX1

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

Avatar image for serial666k

sucks i am a gear head ride & love motocross, rainbow made motocross madness back in the day. only jumps i would do like in the x-games is in a video game!!!!

Avatar image for StSk8ter29

Oh and BTW Paradosis, keep telling yourself getting a masters degree in certain subjects is a waste of time. It's people like you that provide job security.

Avatar image for mtnjak

It's unfortunate that 200 people are out of work but not a big loss as far as the MX vs ATV franchise goes. ATV games haven't been the same since Rainbow Studios (the original Rainbow, with Rick Baltman, now at 2XL) worked on the orginal ATV offroad series. With THQ out, I think 2XL should get back into the game.

Avatar image for StSk8ter29

Do not get rid of THQ San Diego. They gave us one of the most fun wrestling games in recent memory with WWE All Stars.

Avatar image for CrapinaBottle

@Paradosis Or, you know, you could major in computer sciences and specify in game development or take it up as a hobby- which is a safe bet. And frankly, I'm guessing most of the people that go directly into an Art/ Game Dev school are in it because they love doing that- it's a labor of love. You're same reasoning can be applied to anyone in any market right now; because someone doesn't get a job right after graduating, getting their degree was a complete waste.

Avatar image for Brokenhope69

I loved Homefront and Red Faction: Armageddon. Looking ahead to inSane, Space Marine and Darksiders II. Guerilla sucked and Saints Row sucks.

Avatar image for theslimdavylp

It's all about the benjamins

Avatar image for Paradosis

And yet people will continue going to school to become game designer/programmers/etc, thinking they'll find a job after they graduate. Puts em right up there with people who go to grad school for philosophy. Smart people academically who are dumb as bricks when it comes to real life.

Avatar image for Megavideogamer

Maybe that those 200 people will find new jobs within the industry. THQ was been going a long time. So they will survive. The people who were laid off could form their own studio.

Avatar image for HaloPimp978

Hate to see people lose their job. I hope they find work soon.

Avatar image for Rottenwood

Don't worry, folks: someone else will take on the crucial task of cranking out those Smurfs 2 tie-in games.

Avatar image for mzz189

Why THQ? Red Faction is a great franchise. Not the best, but with someone good developing it it could be great. Never played mx vs atv but it doesn't look awful. And homefront was ok too. But maybe this is for the good though..THQ has made games with potential for years, but never makes truly great ones. Their new(ish) logo is cool but I don't think deserting their fans will help them at all.

Avatar image for SadPSPAddict

I've always liked the MX vs ATV series so bit disappointed :( Never good news if people are losing jobs though!

Avatar image for Crash_WL

I began hating THQ... They shut down Kaos, when Homefront received mixed reviews and sold fairly well for a new IP in a crowded genre. Then, they put Red Faction on standby because of poor sales, even though they chose to release it in such a stupid window. Now, they shut down the studio behind MX vs ATV. What did they want? To release a game that'll sell 50 million copies, just out of thin air? You got to struggle to go big, or you'll bite the dust soon enough, and that applies to everything in life. I wanted Darksiders II and Space Marine, but that's a no-go from me THQ. Hope this backlashes on you.

Avatar image for fzd88

Crappy games = crappy sales = crappy money.

Avatar image for warhawk-geeby

Generally speaking I don't buy THQ games.. I don't know why.. Just don't normally seem to be the type of games I go for. Aside from that though, it still sucks to see all the developers being laid off. There's a lot of that going around lately :(

Avatar image for bigcrusha

I'm staying FAR away from game production development jobs. 1 Minute, you're at a desk, the next you're at home on the computer spamming F5 for resume submission reply emails. Economy is way too unstable and unpredictable to have a career in this kind of field.

Avatar image for pszone

Well kids games doent sell or there dlc and ya Mx series gone for a while or gone for gd. THQ loseing money and it wont be time until next year go bankruph like midway did.

Avatar image for jasonzilla11

Ha, the related game is de Blob 2 :)

Avatar image for X-RS

Axing Bluetongue = Big mistake in my opinion.

Avatar image for blaqphantom

i feel sad for bluetongue too it had potential.

Avatar image for firedrakes

yeah. its like they got to greed and thought they make some bucks and now it biting back

Avatar image for monson21502

these games seemed like ps2 and xbox 1 games to me..... try harder next time guys. maybe will buy them in the future not alot of other games out like this and u still cant sell many is pretty sad and it means something... like make better games!!

Avatar image for pisoni94

really sucks when game developers get fired

Avatar image for jcbullen

@chrislovesdana Wow, angry much? I would bet that there are a LOT of people in the video game industry who make a lot more money than you ever will. Why don't you try calming yourself down before you comment? Unless of course you are just trolling, which the ignorance behind your post suggests.

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat

I really hope that they don't demolish Relic Entertainment too.

Avatar image for Cillah187

But I love kids titles! I love the fun escape from serious games.

Avatar image for servb0ts

Finally no buying ridicolus DLC is showing cause and effects.

Avatar image for mxwonderboy121

maybe if the dlc wasnt so rediculously expensive and they came out with more tracks they wouldnt have failed... duh?

Avatar image for XboxGuy1537

THQ is just continuing to fall. Saints Row is their ace.

Avatar image for saosebastiao

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

Avatar image for saosebastiao

I just hope they never ever make another movie based game. Good riddance for that

Avatar image for KiLLLeR150

I hate it when I hear that more video game employees are getting laid off, especially since I want to enter the industry.

Avatar image for dark_rising76

THQ is running out of chances lately. Looks like Saints Row: The Third is their ace in the hole.

Avatar image for deactivated-5ce72effd6960

Disappointed that Blue Tongue got the kick, De Blob was a unique game.

Avatar image for shaunn191

Sad news, but THQ deserved it after Alive. MX vs ATV was my favourite franchise, but they just destroyed it and have lost nearly all customer respect, bad game, bad DLC pricing, bad customer service.. what did they expect to happen.. I just hope Blackbean games can deliver with the FIM Motocross game whenever that comes out, until then MX unleashed and MTX Mototrax on the PS2 will have to do.

Avatar image for ESB

I feel sad for Bluetongue, de Blob is a good game :(

Avatar image for ESB

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

Avatar image for Zerot

rainbow studios got what it deserved thank god. call of duty next!

Avatar image for makryu

They shelved Red Faction? Too bad, they really screwed up by moving away from the open-world formula that made Guerrilla successful.

Avatar image for le_mulot

Sad day.

Avatar image for dreamofthekai

sad news to hear but not unexpected