THQ realigns business units
WWE publisher trifurcates company into core, casual/family, online labels as part of ongoing restructuring.
In May, THQ put the lid on one of its worst fiscal years in recent memory, one that saw the publisher's revenues slip 22 percent year-over-year to $830 million as losses soared to $431.1 million. Still, THQ has taken a number of steps to right the company's downward trajectory, including enacting $220 million in cost-cutting measures and significantly cutting the company-wide headcount by 24 percent, and a number of analysts believe the publisher has indeed turned a corner.
Part of THQ's recovery strategy has been to realign its product portfolio to emphasize quality over quantity, as well as to halve its yearly core game slate. To this end, THQ today announced plans to reorganize the company's structure under three business groups: Core Games; Kids, Family, and Casual Games; and Online.
Leading the Core Games group will be Danny Bilson, who previously served as THQ's senior vice president of creative development. "I see this as a tremendous opportunity to build a portfolio of owned franchises for THQ," commented Bilson. Core titles due during THQ's current fiscal year, which ends March 31, 2010, include Darksiders and MX vs. ATV Reflex, with Homefront and Warhammer 40,000 Space Marine set for THQ's next fiscal year.
Doug Clemmer, who most recently headed THQ's ValuSoft casual games business and THQ Wireless, will lead the Kids, Family, and Casual Games label. Clemmer's unit will focus on mass-market, family-friendly titles across console, handheld, PC, and wireless platforms. "Gaming platforms such as the Nintendo Wii and Microsoft's recently announced 'Project Natal' are changing the way families play together and we are excited to develop gaming experiences that take full advantage of these platforms," commented Clemmer.
Heading up the Online division is Steve Dauterman, THQ's former senior vice president of product development in Asia Pacific. Dauterman's division plans to work closely with the Core and Kids, Family, and Casual units, with the executive saying, "Our strategy is to leverage our established brands such as Company of Heroes, Warhammer 40,000, and WWE into the dedicated online space."
THQ is currently riding high off the success of its latest new fighting franchise, UFC Unleashed 2009. The mixed martial arts brawler topped the NPD Group's US retail sales charts for the month of May, selling more than 1 million units combined on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
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