Is THQ dead?

Rabidgames doesn’t know. Probably no one knows.

Between rumours THQ will soon sell itself to some mystery investors and cancel all 2014 games, and the company’s statements all of the above is pure bollocks, the truth is certainly obscured – at least for now. What is known is the following: THQ certainly awaits a rather dire future. Stocks have plunged from $28 to mere 50 cent (sweet irony THQ once published an awful 50 cent game). That weird udraw tablet experiment thingy bombed, as did Homefront and Red Faction: Armageddon

But why should we gamers care anyway?

Well, for once, THQ is the studio responsible for the great insane Saints Row series, the WWE formerly known as Smackdown games and also [insert your favourite THQ game, please]. And even a rather mediocre title such as Red Faction: Armageddon had some unique and individual ideas you rarely find in EA’s or Activision’s portfolio. Furthermore, Rabidgames has some sentimental memories because THQ has always allowed pretty the most outlandish games and scenarios: We all know the insanity of Saints Row, but what about the (originally) extremely funny Destroy all Humans, the ambitious RPG series Summoner (where both games were pretty different and equally great), the Red Faction series which was always bent on destruction … the list could go on.

So the company now wants to rethink its business model. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
However, the following statement from THQ is very remarkable:

“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.”

That digital thing aside, it sounds like music to Rabidgames‘ ears indeed: A publisher who decides to scrap all those low-quality casual kiddie games and to focus on core games instead? Well, thank you, THQ.
Please do it right though – please, for the love of gaming, don’t focus on annual updates of Saints Row and Darksiders, ok?

Anyway, let’s be honest – it could be worse. Half a year ago, the future looked even bleaker than now.
But by the end of 2011, life looked healthier for THQ: Both, Saints Row The Third and WWE ’12 sold way better than expected (maybe they did because both are “high-quality core games” – who knows?), the UFC game in the pipes seems to be ok (though Rabidgames doesn’t care) and Darksiders 2 should do well, too.

Also, Rabidgames definitely wants to see more outlandish and unique games like Insane (developed by Devil’s Third and Guillermo Del Toro) and – of course – that South Park RPG developed by Obsidian which sounds just awesome!

Hang on, THQ … if it is for the greater good Rabidgames will even buy your over-priced DLC!

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