THQ dodging Halo 3, GTA 4

Publisher talks about not going head-to-head with blockbusters, cost of Xbox 360-PS3 ports, and in-game ads for Stuntman Ignition, three more.

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THQ released financial results for its fiscal third quarter (October through December) today, and afterward, company executives jumped on a conference call for a grilling from industry analysts.

When asked about how the company was planning to compete with the expected release of heavyweights like Halo 3 and Grand Theft Auto IV later this year, a THQ executive said the company would do what it could to avoid a head-to-head fight with either game. While it isn't shy about releasing licensed fare like Nickelodeon-based titles or WWE games in the same time frame as industry-wide blockbusters, the publisher has "strategically placed" original offerings like Destroy All Humans!, Juiced, and Saints Row around the bigger releases rather than be overshadowed by them.

Also on the topic of Saints Row, one analyst asked how much the publisher was spending to port the open-world Xbox 360 gangbanger to the PlayStation 3. While THQ execs wouldn't put a dollar figure on the answer, one of them called the price to get the game to the PS3 "a fraction" of the original development cost, saying 15 percent was "not a bad guesstimate" on the cost of porting an Xbox 360 game to the PS3, or vice versa.

A couple things THQ has planned for both systems are in-game advertising and microtransactions. Specifically, THQ plans to put both into at least four games in its fiscal year 2008 (April 2007 through March 2008). So far, three games are confirmed to have them: the freshly named Stuntman Ignition, a new Juiced, and the next MX game. All told, the publisher expects to collect about $5 million from downloadable content and in-game advertising in the next fiscal year.

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