The "old THQ" is being given the electric chair by top executives, while "new THQ" looks to correct the financially horrible mistakes of the past.
That's what senior VP Danny Bilson has to say, after the publisher reported a slip of $431m in revenue and cut 25 percent of the workforce. They have a "very rigorous system" now for quality.
"We've downsized, but what we downsized down to are really big core titles and really strong family titles," said Bilson, speaking with .
"Now, I'm not going to pretend it was just reducing games that weren't as good; we shut some very good studios, some AAA studios even, but we had to reduce the portfolio to a manageable level."
"I'm in production, I'm not in publishing, and we had to get our production budget down to make the company profitable this year, but at the same time, we still have a lot of games in production, and they're all really strong."
THQ now wants to focus more on original IPs that could be further monetized through transmedia deals, meaning intellectual properties seducing movie, TV and comic books.
"All of the original stuff we're building, and especially the stuff I've started that's unannounced, is all designed to inspire a movie, games or toys," he stated. "I can tell you that I have five originals... and every single one of them I'm going to place in film production."
"That doesn't mean they'll be made, but step one is to get them into film development, and that supports game development because there's another party invested, and ultimately I'm trying to flip the whole model on movie games."
"So that's sort of the transmedia strategy that is game first, not movie first." With the gaming side of business THQ now wants to produce top quality titles, and thanks to their new check-in system that might be doable.
"We have a very rigorous system now at THQ that was not in existence before. It starts with concept, prototyping, schedule... a team will go eight months before they have an official green light, so we have long pre-productions, many check ins... And we stop games and we will not have $15 million dollar write offs at THQ anymore, because games will get stopped in the early R&D phase,"
And we stop games and we will not have $15 million dollar write offs at THQ anymore, because games will get stopped in the early R&D phase,"explained Bilson.
There you have it, the voice of the "new THQ" and their strategy for the future. Does transmedia and the rigorous quality check system give you confidence, videogamer?
This "'new THQ" means profitable business, going "head to head"
17 June 2009 | By Simon Priest