THQ Looking To Sell

    January 16, 2012

THQ, publisher behind the UFC and Saint’s Row games, may be looking for a buyer.

Over the weekend, industry insider Kevin Dent, took to Twitter to lay a little rumor on us. He said that his sources claimed that THQ was looking to sell the company and that they had canceled their entire 2014 line-up and the planned Warhammer 40K MMO.

Dent started on Twitter claiming that the Warhammer 40K MMO had been canceled and then went on to say that THQ was offering itself to Asian firms to increase their value.

Even more damaging was the rumor that THQ had returned IP to Disney after paying an advance with no refund. This part isn’t entirely out of the question as children IPs are harder to sell and generally don’t pay off in the long run.

Dent then explains that the problem stems from THQ pushing their uDraw peripheral onto HD consoles when the first one on the Wii just sold ok. He then says that THQ didn’t have the money to take that kind of creative risk. He also says that the company was not in the position to make an MMO, with a minimal investment of $140 million.

Finally, he says that the company’s biggest mistake was releasing Saint’s Row 3 into a hyper competitive market. While the title reviewed well, it was stuffed into the same period as the usual heavy hitters like Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed.

Of course, this is just the rumor mongering of one man, albeit a trusted industry insider He can be, and he hopes, he’s wrong.

THQ finally responded to the rumors with a kind-of denial to VG24/7:

“As part of the ongoing review of our business, we have made decisions to ensure that the company is strategically addressing the most attractive markets. As we have previously announced, we have dramatically reduced our commitment to the kids’ boxed games sector which leads to a significantly more focused release schedule moving forward. Our slate for calendar 2012 and beyond is focused on high-quality core games and continues to build our digital platform and business. We are excited for our pipeline of original and high-quality content along with our relationships with some of the best talent in the industry.

“Additionally, we are thrilled with the great performance of Saints Row: The Third, which on a like for like period in North America has tripled in sell-through from Saints Row 2. In addition, WWE ’12’s worldwide sell-through sales are up almost 40% year-over-year for the same sales period with fewer platforms. According to NPD, for the month of December and the 2011 year, THQ was the #5 publisher overall, #4 third party, with reported sell through growing over 18% in a market that was down almost 6%. And coming up next, we have two great titles for the first half of the year including UFC Undisputed 3 and Darksiders 2.”

After the statement, Dent went on to Twitter to clarify that he never said this was set in stone. He hopes the best for THQ and is happy with their statement. That doesn’t change the fact that the statement is somewhat of a kind-of denial that never sits well with anybody.

Their statement doesn’t exactly confirm or deny anything except that they are not canceling anything at this time. 2012 is looking good for THQ and hopefully this will soon just be another rumor that never amounted to anything. Still, THQ is not out of the woods yet and they are still up in the air about the fate of their Warhammer 40K MMO. This isn’t over yet, but like Dent, I wish THQ all the best.