THQ Australia to shut down

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.

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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."

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