Founded in 1989, Toy Head-Quarters, better known as THQ, has been one of the staple companies at the forefront of video game development and publishing.
During its first years THQ brought us titles such as Conkers Bad Fur Day, Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars, and the Summoner series. More recently, Dawn of War, Saints Row, and the Darksiders franchises.
But during the company’s last years (2010 – 2013) it suffered huge losses and stock drops, which ultimately led to where they are now. Bankrupt, closing and selling off all of their IP’s to willing companies. Declaring themselves bankrupt after filing for US Chapter 11 Bankruptcy, THQs properties were auctioned off, with the rights to Homefront sold to Crytek (Developers of Crysis, Warface and also perhaps the most promising sale of THQs IPs), Relic Entertainment sold to Sega (Dawn of War and Company of Heroes franchises), Turtle Rock Studios to Take Two Interactive, THQ Montreal and rights to South Park: The Stick of Truth to Ubisoft.
The sale of some of the biggest titles in video games today, marked a huge knock for the industry and put many hard working peoples jobs at stake, with many of their subsidiary studios closing down, many have inevitably suffered.
Established in 1989, THQ released its first game, Peter Pan and The Pirates, in January of 1991 for the NES. Before venturing into gaming, THQ produced toys for a number of years, until 1994 when it took the decision to focus solely on video game production.
In 2008 they found huge success on the App market. With over %3 of their overall revenue, counting for their wireless division, it was something THQ needed to capitalise on, as there was big potential there. But alas it failed to do so, with lacklustre titles such as de Blob.
2011 saw the release of FPS title Homefront. It was THQs attempt to take on the dominate developers of the genre, EA and Activision. A lot of hype and marketing campaigns surrounded the game. With special editions sporting exclusive content and novels and soundtracks released, it was set to be a promising game.
Upon release it was met to mixed reviews and poor sales. Marking some of the worst losses the company had ever made. The game followed a great premise, but failed to deliver with its rusty campaign and multiplayer modes.
Now we are here. With one of the most successful publishers, in the modern gaming industry, collapsed. While we can all safely say that Apple will stay safe, what we cannot say, is what is the state of console developers. Many speculate, console gaming is coming to an end. But, with the demise of THQ and the re-selling of its IPs to companies such as Crytek, we may see an evolution. Or, in other words, I think we need to see the field evolve and innovate, otherwise console gaming will be no more. Goodbye THQ, it’s been a good run.