If you’re a regular to the site, and a regular listener to our G-spot podcast, then you already know that THQ has been having some trouble recently. It was first rumored that they had cancelled their entire 2014 line up and that they were offering themselves up for sales.
THQ quickly responded to these rumors, stating that no decision had been made concerning their 2014 lineup and that they’re moving away from the children’s game market to focus on hardcore titles. This was all well and good, everything seemed fine, that was until last week when it was leaked that staff were being let go.
As details began to surface we learned that it was administration staff that were facing the axe, and that the 5 main internal studios were left unscathed. If this had been the end of the story then everything would be okay, just another industry scare. But, as is the case with this type of thing, there’s more to it.
The most recent rumblings from THQ and it’s employees paint a very unusual picture of what’s happening at the former games giant. Most recently THQ Australia has lost 14 staff and Japanese offices are in the firing line. These layoffs are still inline with the earlier administration and distribution cuts, but it’s daunting.
The most important aspect of this whole story comes from a letter sent to the good folk at Joystiq. The letter comes from unnamed THQ employee’s and supposedly lists the many failing practices of the company as well as some damning indictments of CEO Brian Farrell. I won’t get into a full breakdown of the letter, if you want to read ‘Formerly Mismanaged’ in full then you can head here.
So, given everything that’s happened, should we be concerned about THQ? I think so. Looking back over the past few years there is definitely a trend of studio closures and unusual decisions. Last year may have brought THQ some financial success with Saints Row the 3rd but that may not have been enough. This ‘streamlining’ of their business, coupled with the comments from ‘formerly mismanaged‘ paint a very different picture from the one that THQ are giving publicly. This disparity is why we should be concerned.