As of yesterday, THQ has officially shut down a number of their internal development studios in a move to strengthen the company’s backbone and move away from licensed kids games and movie-based properties. Caught in the crossfire of this corporate decision were three of THQ’s biggest internal studios — Blue Tongue Entertainment, THQ Studio Australia and Rainbow Studios (AKA THQ Digital Studios Phoenix). When all is said and done, nearly 200 jobs were lost.
The biggest franchise casualty is undoubtedly MX vs. ATV. Rainbow Studios was responsible for developing titles in this series over the last few years. This news also hits de Blob fans pretty hard, as the closure of Blue Tongue and THQ’s new stance on kid-oriented games means there won't be anything new from this franchise moving forward.
The President and CEO of THQ, Brian Farrell, had this to say about the closures:
"With this realignment, we are narrowing our focus to high-quality owned IP with broad appeal that can be leveraged across multiple platforms, and to work with the best talent in the industry… By right-sizing our internal development capacities for our console portfolio, our five internal studios are focused on delivering high-quality games with talented teams driving the execution of those titles to market. As we have outlined in our business strategies, we are making shifts to reduce movie-based and licensed kids' video games in our portfolio, which underscores our strategy to move away from games that will not generate strong profits in the future."
This latest series of closures comes hot on the heels of THQ deciding that there isn’t money to be made in the Red Faction franchise anymore either. This pretty much leaves us with Darksiders, Saints Row and Homefront, which wasn’t received well by critics but killed in sales. It should be interesting to see what THQ deems “worthy” from this point forward.