THQ stock tanks on Homefront reviews

Publisher ends trading day down 21% as analyst says sub-80 Metacritic average has spooked investors.

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The first-person shooter genre has enormous potential for turning a buck, but investors are under the impression that only the best survive. With THQ's Homefront hitting store shelves on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC this week, the reviews have started to come in, and investors apparently don't like what they're seeing.

Capitalism may not be on the side of THQ with Homefront.
Capitalism may not be on the side of THQ with Homefront.

As of market close today, THQ was trading down $1.25, or 21 percent of its value, to $4.69. Analysts have been quick to point to Homefront's critical reception as the culprit for the steep drop. The game has thus far accrued a 72 Metacritic average on the Xbox 360 and PC, while the PlayStation 3 edition has fared slightly better at 76.

"This score is a bit of a disaster for THQ and the share price today is reflecting that," Janco Partners analyst Mike Hickey told Reuters. "The market is a quality-driven market, (and) you need at least a score of 80 and above on Metacritic to do well."

Developed by Kaos Studios (Frontlines: Fuel of War), Homefront is a story-driven shooter set after North Korea invades and overruns the continental United States. The single-player component sees the player as a member of the American resistance fighting the Korean People's Army in an attempt to regain control of the ruined nation. The multiplayer modes are set earlier, letting players engage in military scenarios from the invasion itself.

THQ has previously indicated that it is planning to expand Homefront first with add-on content and then a full-blown sequel. However, as part of an event during this year's Game Developers Conference, THQ executive vice president Danny Bilson cautioned that games need to prove their success first before any future developments move beyond the concept stage.

Check back later today for GameSpot's review of Homefront.

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