THQ declares $220 million in spending cuts

The day after its latest layoffs, the publisher declares success in company-wide belt-tightening plan for its new fiscal year.


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Yesterday, THQ began its fiscal year 2010. Today, the publisher today said plans to steady a lilting ship for the coming year have been successful, as the company has completed plans to cut projected spending for the year by $220 million.

THQ is counting on games like Darksiders to help turn things around this year.
THQ is counting on games like Darksiders to help turn things around this year.

Trimming expenditures by that much takes a lot more than creative accounting, as nearly a quarter of THQ's global workforce found out. Last November, the publisher shut down five of its internal studios and laid off employees at two more. The cuts continued last month with layoffs at Volition, followed by news that subsidiaries Heavy Iron and Incinerator Studios would be spun off into their own companies.

The publisher also said another of its internal developers, Big Huge Games, will be shuttered if a buyer can't be found in the near term. While the lights remain on at Big Huge, THQ confirmed that there were layoffs at the studio earlier this week. In addition to the personnel moves, THQ said it would change its focus to quality over quantity, and halved the number of games it would market to the traditional hardcore market each year.

"We have executed on our previously announced business realignment actions," THQ president and CEO Brian Farrell said in a statement. "Our goal is to return to profitability and generate positive cash flow in fiscal 2010, and to position THQ for long-term sustainable and profitable growth."

For this year, THQ's big bets include Red Faction: Guerrilla, Ultimate Fighting Championship, and Darksiders: Wrath of War. Looking beyond fiscal 2010, the publisher's plan includes continued emphasis on its owned intellectual properties, including more games in the Red Faction, Saints Row, and Darksiders franchises.

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