Analysts are a little worried for publisher THQ has their big name franchises haven't performed their 'A' game in sales.
WWE has always been a powerful pillar for THQ but despite "improved critical reviews" this iteration, it's not flexing enough muscle. Analyst Cowen predicts no breakeven for fiscal Q4.
Saints Row 2 was another not meeting it's expectations given the pleasing sales of the first game, also developed by Volition.
"Previously we had been optimistic that the franchise could break the 1 million mark, given its launch on two platforms. The original Saints Row sold roughly 750,000 US units during its first four quarters in release on a single platform at a much earlier point in the console cycle," said analysts Cowen and Company.
"The WWE decline is particularly concerning since that franchise had been one of THQ’s last bastions of strength," said Doug Creutz.
Cowen has lowered their forecast for THQ and predicts that while THQ may hold a breakeven in Q3, by Q4 they'll be facing substantial losses.
"The unit decline is not likely due to quality issues as this year’s WWE title actually received meaningfully improved critical reviews compared to the last several editions," continued Creutz.
Even recent SpongeBob SquarePants game suffered decline, droping 19% in sales this year. WWE sales are down 22% in the US compared with '07 figures.
THQ franchises not so hot, WWE decline "particularly concerning"
23 January 2009 | By Simon Priest