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SirKicksalot
15-01-2012, 07:50 PM
592

All according to one of IGDA's leaders. (https://twitter.com/TheKevinDent)

THQ was already living dangerously, basically applying EA's 2007-2008 strategy of making pretty cool games that don't sell well. The difference is that EA could afford to lose a couple of billions and managed to recover, while uDraw HD's thermonuclear bomb destroyed THQ's value on the market.

So it looks like they cancelled all 2014 games, have no money to hype even their 2012 releases, they abandoned all Disney IPs after paying the advances with no refund and are looking for buyers. They're fucked.

I wonder what happens with their studios and IPs. I suppose the only one that's safe is that new giant Montreal studio lead by Patrice Desilets.

The JG Man
15-01-2012, 07:55 PM
I've been following a pretty hefty thread on NeoGAF for the last couple of hours on this. It's terrible news. Relic, Volition and Vigil are particular concerns for me.

In terms of what I know, including what I've read up on:
-Vigil is 100% owned by THQ. This, naturally, includes the Darksiders IP. Also worth noting that the Warhammer MMO was also being made by them. For a Darksiders 3 to happen, someone would need to buy the IP off THQ.
-Homeworld is also owned by THQ, so Relic would be unable to continue with that franchise. In both Vigil and Relic's cases, the Warhammer agreement is owned...by THQ. Any company wishing to pick up on the Dawn of War, Space Marine franchises or the MMO would have to also buy the rights to produce Games Workshop titles.

Those are the biggest things I'm aware of at the moment. Someone in the NeoGAF thread suggested that Relic would be a great purchase for Sega and I happen to agree. They fit right in with Sega's M.O, particularly with PC titles (Sega would then own Creative Assembly (Total War) and Relic giving them a good chunk of RTS franchises on the PC). As for anything else, well...

But yeah. 'They're fucked' is pretty damn apt.

EDIT: It's worth noting this hasn't exactly come out of nowhere. Their stock has been rapidly dropping, from being something like $20 (may be a little less) to $0.66 now, if not more come tomorrow's trading hours. Ouch.

SirKicksalot
15-01-2012, 08:05 PM
Dark Millenium Online was revealed in 2007 but I keep hearing about it since 2004. Can you imagine how much effort, time and money was poured into this project? I think it's safe to say a lot of Vigil's staff is going to get fired and unless Darksiders 2 does well (which I doubt but whatever) the whole studio will go down in flames. I could see Retro picking up the remains as they're in the same city and Vigil is one of the few studios that has something to show for the WiiU.

As for Relic - the talent that made Company of Heroes left the company years ago. Many of them formed Smoking Gun Interactive. What's left at Relic is basically a Warhammer factory, and I could see Games Workshop picking them up.

The JG Man
15-01-2012, 08:12 PM
Games Workshop do seem to have an aversion to being directly involved and besides, Relic definitely have some good talent left. I don't believe they wouldn't be able to come up with something new that wouldn't be good. The actual mechanics of whatever it is should then be fairly solid.

Some staff from Vigil were also recently picked up for Retro, who are working on something no doubt WiiU related. It wouldn't be a stretch to say that more didn't go over, especially as indeed, they have worked on WiiU material so they'd have a lead-in that others wouldn't.

I can see Vigil disbanding entirely and Relic and Volition being bought whole by another third party. EA lacks many open world games, so Volition could be a good target for them (hell, it might bring back the Red Faction series).

ColOfNature
15-01-2012, 08:13 PM
What's left at Relic is basically a Warhammer factory, and I could see Games Workshop picking them up.

Now that could be interesting. GW's very own digital arm.

TailSwallower
15-01-2012, 08:22 PM
Wow, that is terrible news. THQ was the publisher that seemed to be putting out the most AAA titles that actually interested me - I certainly bought a lot off them last year. And the number of cool IPs that they own that other companies probably wouldn't care about (Homeworld for one) adds a little extra tragedy to what is already shitty news.

DigitalSignalX
15-01-2012, 08:34 PM
Tragic news indeed, though silver lining if the HW IP gets bought and a new title gets made. I'd be VERY VERY happy since they've sat on it for almost a decade.

Althea
15-01-2012, 08:35 PM
Honestly? I'm not exactly upset. THQ's attitude towards DLC has been absolutely abhorrent in the past year or so (look at Saints Row 3 and DoW II: Retribution, and to a lesser extent Space Marine).

Yeah, they've put out some good quality titles, but two of them (RF:A & Homefront) were pretty much commercial flops or at least non-stellar performers, and that would have hit them fairly hard as it was. Add in their over-ambitious projects such as the Red Faction TV series, and it's easy to see how they got themselves into a mess.

Would definitely want to see what happens to Relic and Volition. I'd like to see ZeniMax pick up Relic (perhaps) and EA take up Volition to work on the next Mercanaries game. Maybe.

Kadayi
15-01-2012, 08:52 PM
Seems that the writing was largely on the wall for the publisher even though they had a few good developers under their wings. Hoping that EA spring for Volition as I'd be concerned what Bobby 'the IP killer' Kotick would do if he got his greasy mitts on them.

Kaira-
15-01-2012, 08:56 PM
What a shame. I kinda liked THQ, publishing few of my recent favorite IPs and me having a risk-taking image of them (S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and Metro were published by THQ, right?). It will be quite interesting to see what will happen in the coming months with THQ.

Althea
15-01-2012, 09:03 PM
What a shame. I kinda liked THQ, publishing few of my recent favorite IPs and me having a risk-taking image of them (S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and Metro were published by THQ, right?). It will be quite interesting to see what will happen in the coming months with THQ.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and Metro are more like distributed products, as far as I'm aware. Could be wrong.

Moraven
15-01-2012, 09:03 PM
Supposedly Homefront made enough to pay for development costs and marketing (had a pretty expensive marketing campaign). Then they dissolved the Homefront studio and handed it to another for a sequel.

I was really looking forward to 40K mmo, hope they stay together.

Althea
15-01-2012, 09:05 PM
Supposedly Homefront made enough to pay for development costs and marketing (had a pretty expensive marketing campaign). Then they dissolved the Homefront studio and handed it to another for a sequel.
Kaos hadn't actually had a market success, and they've been going for a few years now, maybe 5-6 at least? They also did that Frontlines: Fuel of War game that divebombed.

arathain
15-01-2012, 09:10 PM
This is a real shame. I wonder how it happened? Given the quality and success of quite a number of the titles coming from THQ there must have had to be some fairly serious mismanagement.

In particular I hope Relic find a good home.

TailSwallower
15-01-2012, 09:25 PM
Would definitely want to see what happens to Relic and Volition. I'd like to see ZeniMax pick up Relic (perhaps) and EA take up Volition to work on the next Mercanaries game. Maybe.

Yeah, I can see that working. Here's hoping the development studios all get through this without job losses and the like.

SirKicksalot
15-01-2012, 09:33 PM
This is a real shame. I wonder how it happened? Given the quality and success of quite a number of the titles coming from THQ there must have had to be some fairly serious mismanagement.



- makes de Blob for Wii, which is a huge hit
- makes de Blob 2 for the HD twins, plans TV show and merchandise
- HUGE BOMB, developer gets shut down

- makes Red Faction Gorilla, which is a huge hit
- makes Red Faction Armageddon because people were complaining about RFG being open world, makes shitty movie, plans TV show
- HUGE BOMB, abandons franchise

- makes uDraw tablet for Wii, which is a huge hit
- makes uDraw for the HD twins
- nobody buys it (and I really mean nobody)
- stock keeps tanking since early December

And then there's the cohort of mid-tier games (Homefront, Space Marine, Saints Row 3) marketed like huge blockbusters which sold well but "not enough". Their Disney and sport shovelware isn't selling well anymore.
So right now THQ is worth less than the confirmed budget of their own Dark Millenium Online.

The JG Man
15-01-2012, 09:44 PM
You can also add that Space Marine was launched right next to Gears of War 3 and Saints Row 3 was released in one of the busiest scheduling lists filled with high profile titles that I can remember for some time. Space Marine should've had the aim of being released in August, whilst SR3 should have been pushed back to Q1 2012. Sure, less potential revenue from the Christmas rush, but the first month or so are usually devoid of high profile titles. In terms of January and February releases last year, the only major one I can think of was Dead Space 2, which did very well.

Lukasz
15-01-2012, 09:53 PM
damn. sad to see a company go. we lose players big time. who will stop EA and Activision from dividing the market in half between each other?

Tei
15-01-2012, 09:56 PM
Creating software is a bad idea.

If you create boats, you can still "undo" and sell the metal.

Is not just that some mistakes where made, and some bad luck in a row. The software industry is specially bad as amplify these mistakes/errors/bad luck.

Bhazor
15-01-2012, 10:07 PM
Now that could be interesting. GW's very own digital arm.

Relic: "WE ARE THE EMPEROR'S FIST!"

Althea
15-01-2012, 10:35 PM
damn. sad to see a company go. we lose players big time. who will stop EA and Activision from dividing the market in half between each other?
Ubisoft, 2K, Deep Silver, Microsoft Game Studios, Sony, Valve, Paradox, Kalypso...

acroman56
15-01-2012, 10:50 PM
What is this! Dammit, just posted in the games you always come back to thread about Dawn of War and how I am looking forward to a third instalment and then this news :(

Lets hope Relic do get picked up by GW or some other company and can continue making 40k games.

The JG Man
15-01-2012, 10:54 PM
At least it's P2P and the game is in a pretty good state, so it should be able to run for a pretty long time. I go back to DOW2 every so often as well, it's one of those games great for a lull period in new material.

Considering how long this rumour has been prominent for, I'm surprised no-one high up at THQ has issued something saying the rumour is incorrect. Even if it is Sunday, or more because it is Sunday and by saying something, it could stop a massive market crash tomorrow morning.

vinraith
15-01-2012, 11:03 PM
Now that could be interesting. GW's very own digital arm.

I'd love to see some more interesting things done with GW properties. What Relic's been churning out lately has been steadily deteriorating IMO.

Lukasz
15-01-2012, 11:06 PM
Ubisoft, 2K, Deep Silver, Microsoft Game Studios, Sony, Valve, Paradox, Kalypso...
Deep Silver? Kalypso???
Sony releases games? Lol. I did not know that.
Valve is small company (in terms of game releases per year even if they are big hitters)
Paradox is niche
so ubi, 2k, Microsoft and apparently Sony. Ubi is not in a great position either so it will be another one who gets off (probably)
so even less market diversification.

Althea
15-01-2012, 11:07 PM
I'd love to see some more interesting things done with GW properties. What Relic's been churning out lately has been steadily deteriorating IMO.
DoW2: Not Bad, shitty DRM solution
CR: Not played; seemed a little thin for a near full-price expansion, shitty DRM solution
Retri: DLC up the wazoo, almost tripling the price of the game if bought separately, eh campaign, slightly better DRM.
Space Marine: Campaign difficulty curve? What's that? No, we don't know what one is. Sorry. More DLC. Crap music cues.

Relic are now the BLAAD RAYVANS.


Deep Silver? Kalypso???
Learn your European Publishers. Kalypso are responsible for franchises like Tropico and Patrician (the latter being quite big in Germany). Whilst you won't see them doing exceedingly well in the US bar a few titles like Risen (the sequel of which is out this year, I believe, from Deep Silver), in the EU they're bigger names with some well-known titles bearing their logos.


Sony releases games? Lol. I did not know that.
Who the frak do you think published Uncharted, Killzone et al? And who has one of the longest running MMOs? Sony, mayhaps?


Valve is small company (in terms of game releases per year even if they are big hitters)
Hardly.


Paradox is niche
Maybe in the grand scheme of things, not on the PC. They're going from strength to strength, and with Crusader Kings II and King Arthur II this year, not to mention other titles and more support/content for SotS II (I believe), chances are they're going to gain even more of the market.


Ubi is not in a great position either so it will be another one who gets off (probably)
Um... what? Rayman franchise is still going strong, Anno 2070 has been doing well despite the naff DRM, there's also the well-to-do Assassin's Creed franchise, and 2012 is bringing even more franchises back into the mix (Brothers in Arms 4, Far Cry 3, a new Splinter Cell plus two or so more Tom Cuhlancey games). Either way, they've been doing better than most other publishers, so don't count them out.

sabrage
15-01-2012, 11:40 PM
Ubi is not in a great position either so it will be another one who gets off (probably) so even less market diversification.
Ubisoft had the highest software sales of any publisher in 2011 (http://www.joystiq.com/2012/01/12/npd-2011-sales-across-industry-between-16-3-and-16-6-billion/), according to NPD. Please stop making wild, unsubstantiated claims; it's annoying.

I was really hoping for another Darksiders, but I'll readily admit that THQ has probably been the developer I'm willing to wait the longest for deep discounts for. I don't think I've ever spent more than $15 on a THQ game, so I guess I'm just part of the problem. Looking back on Midway's closure, I doubt that their big-name titles will just be left to rot.

Kadayi
15-01-2012, 11:48 PM
@Althea

I'm not going to get into a quote war (I don't do that shit). But as far as players go, Activision and EA are the biggies principally because they actually have money to spend, with maybe Zenimax a distant third. Sony's game division is pretty much built around supporting their own hardware. There's little incentive for them to outlay for developers who atypically work on titles for other platforms, because the audience for those titles tends to lie outside of their PS3 user base (releasing Saints Row 4 exclusively on PS3 wins no one any favours). Valve are a developer, not a publisher (and have shown little inclination to become one despite the success of steam). Also I'd go with Lukasz assessment of Paradox. I like me some M&B Warband as much as the next man, but they are a very small operationn that work within certain limitations catering to a particular end of the market. They've been very successful at it, but they're not in a position to bankroll any of THQs AAA studios through an 18 month cycle plus manage distribution and marketing without enormous financial risk of their own.

The JG Man
15-01-2012, 11:55 PM
Just like to address two things you say Kadayi:
1. Whilst Valve aren't a publisher, they have gone on the record as saying they could cease development operations and still be in profit with Steam. In addition, they have consumed development studios before; granted, they're not exactly large ones when they do, but they could definitely handle extra talent if they saw it fit. Whilst it is unlikely, I wouldn't say put Valve out of the running entirely for getting a group such as Relic.

2. THQ did not produce AAA games :P For me, THQ were the 4 star company...but that was fine and definitely needed. You don't have the money to keep buying (or even producing) AAA titles and below A you just have smaller things that might not essentially quench your thirst. Where THQ were positioned meant they were able to appeal to niches and in general (with regards to potential interest), but I'm willing to bet their general titles were the ones that failed them the most.

Heister
15-01-2012, 11:56 PM
Excellent news.

"THQ: We'll crush pre-owned threat" -

THQ CEO Brian Farrell: "We believe this will increase our digital revenue, engage players with our games for a longer period of time and reduce the impact of used games." http://www.computerandvideogames.com/259308/thq-well-crush-pre-owned-threat/


He didn't add: "This and other comments from our company will widen the gap between us and our paying customers. However, we will milk them for as long as we can via dlc, on disc dlc and any other scam that we can think up. That could include hats somewhere down the line."

Roufuss
15-01-2012, 11:59 PM
Damn, first the news about Cave shuttering all of their projects (and moving to "social gaming") and now THQ.

It's a real bad start to 2012.

I can see EA and Activision really pushing to grab Volition and Saints Row, though.

Heister
16-01-2012, 12:02 AM
Damn, first the news about Cave shuttering all of their projects (and moving to "social gaming") and now THQ.

It's a real bad start to 2012.



This is the best start to 2012 that we could've hoped for.

SirKicksalot
16-01-2012, 12:03 AM
Don't see how the death of middle-tier games is any good.

CMaster
16-01-2012, 12:04 AM
Yeah, Volition and Relic both churn out profitable games and must seem like possible buys - although maybe other publishers would just want to pick the "better" employees, rather than the whole company.

One suspects Crytek aren't best pleased.

The JG Man
16-01-2012, 12:08 AM
Yeah, Volition and Relic both churn out profitable games

Space Marine didn't make as much as they wanted, probably broke even. RF:A did really badly (last thing I read was under 500K) for its budget and SR3 under-performed, despite critical acclaim. Taking RF:A aside, even though it critically wasn't outstandingly negative, but because of the overly divisive opinion on it, if more consideration was put into SM and SR3's release, there's no doubt they'd have performed better.

Even those that did make a profit, that'd have just gone straight in to try and clog up the hole. Unfortunately, THQ was not producing profitable titles, whatever the reason.

SirKicksalot
16-01-2012, 12:10 AM
One suspects Crytek aren't best pleased.

They signed the Homefront 2 contract so I guess they got funding in advance. They might as well grab the IP and run with it now.
Either that or go back to Timesplitters...

fearlessgoat
16-01-2012, 12:21 AM
Would be a shame to see them go. Saints Row 3 was good, and as some cleaver chap above said they are like AA titles not AAA.
Also they have some very good dev studios working for them. Having said that they only one I really like is Volition (http://www.volition-inc.com/Games/).
Relic are on a downward spiral these last few years and have abandoned there rts roots :(

There may be some good to come of this though, Alex Garden would be allowed to create his own dev studio as his agreement with thq for selling valve would be null and void.

Question for the boffin`s here, I remember a big song and dance from Relic about buying back the Homeworld IP back in 08/07. Do Relic have it or THQ?


@Althea
Please for the love of god stop doing that multi-quote shit, I end up just skimming over what you write, or just skip it completely.

The JG Man
16-01-2012, 12:24 AM
I believe THQ own the Homeworld IP, unfortunately.

Lukasz
16-01-2012, 12:31 AM
Ubisoft had the highest software sales of any publisher in 2011 (http://www.joystiq.com/2012/01/12/npd-2011-sales-across-industry-between-16-3-and-16-6-billion/), according to NPD. Please stop making wild, unsubstantiated claims; it's annoying.
*facepalm* fine. I was wrong on them. I clearly had misunderstood their situation. Couldn't you be a bit nicer about correcting others mistake tough?

anyhow
Deep Silver and Kalypso are small guns compared to 2k, Ubi, EA, Activision. They do not have millions of dollars, very diverse range of products, capability to target every part of the market.
and Kadayi explained already my point on valve and paradox.
(reason i did not know that Sony publish games is because they appear to support PS3 like Kadayi pointed out. )

Wizardry
16-01-2012, 12:33 AM
I'm wondering if I should have any interest in this story. Has THQ ever released an RPG? Do they own any RPG intellectual properties?

The JG Man
16-01-2012, 12:36 AM
I hear Darksiders 2 is going to have RPG-lite elements...I'm sorry, couldn't resist.

Not as you would describe, I believe. This list (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_THQ_games) should give you a good perusing opportunity. Bare in mind for anyone else looking, that obviously doesn't necessarily include all their owned IPs.

sabrage
16-01-2012, 12:45 AM
*facepalm* fine. I was wrong on them. I clearly had misunderstood their situation. Couldn't you be a bit nicer about correcting others mistake tough?
I respond to bluntness in kind.

I wonder what's going to happen to their third-party publishing plans: Devil's Third, South Park RPG, Insane... I'm actually more interested in those than anything they're developing internally.

Wizardry
16-01-2012, 12:45 AM
Not as you would describe, I believe. This list (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_THQ_games) should give you a good perusing opportunity. Bare in mind for anyone else looking, that obviously doesn't necessarily include all their owned IPs.
Thanks. A quick scan through didn't reveal anything of value for me.

I wonder what will happen to that South Park RPG Obsidian are currently making.

arathain
16-01-2012, 12:48 AM
Althea, I'm a little confused about your stance on DoW2: Retribution; while there has been quite a bit of DLC it has been mostly cosmetic, entirely optional, and judging by the forums and the opponents I meet online, rather popular.

I have purchased precisely none of it, and still play regularly. What is the issue?

The JG Man
16-01-2012, 12:50 AM
Obsidian have enough clout with their name combined with the fact they only need publishing funding, that someone else will probably pick them up if necessary. As a wild guess, I could see it as something EA would do under their Partners scheme (saying without knowing exactly what that entails). Absolutely no idea about Devil's Third. Perhaps one of the Japanese publishing groups? Konami, Capcom?

EDIT: Gonna have to agree with arathain. It's one of the few IPs where having purely cosmetic stuff is exactly the kind of thing that appeals to that specific player base. As far as I'm aware, the only DLC that can give you any sort of advantage is that designed for the co-operative Last Stand mode.

SirKicksalot
16-01-2012, 12:51 AM
Deep Silver had the best-selling new IP of 2011.
I doubt European publishers would pick up anything big from THQ except for the strategy IPs and Metro. It wouldn't make sense to separate most of the hot properties from their studios IMO. THQ doesn't own interchangeable devs like EA or Ubisoft do, nor do they own multiple similar IPs to have multiple studios help each other 2K style.

The South Park RPG is safe because Viacom funds it. THQ is the distributor. Speaking of which, they have a fantastic distribution channel. I guess that's what the big publishers will fight over, not the studios and IPs.

That Itagaki guy in charge of Devil's Third said he's happy that he's not working with Japanese publishers anymore. Let's see how things turn out for him lol

alms
16-01-2012, 12:52 AM
Even if it is Sunday, or more because it is Sunday and by saying something, it could stop a massive market crash tomorrow morning.

AFAICT tomorrow's MLK day and NASDAQ will be closed.

Kadayi
16-01-2012, 12:56 AM
Whilst Valve aren't a publisher, they have gone on the record as saying they could cease development operations and still be in profit with Steam.

No one doubts that Steam isn't profitable. However if Gabe were to fold development operations, I doubt Chet and Eric and the rest of their development staff would be on salary for long.


In addition, they have consumed development studios before; granted, they're not exactly large ones when they do, but they could definitely handle extra talent if they saw it fit. Whilst it is unlikely, I wouldn't say put Valve out of the running entirely for getting a group such as Relic.

Publishing is a massive undertaking. Albeit Steam is big, if you're going to make AAA games you need to sell multi-platform and have a definite retail presence (The only reason why games like Metal Gear solid and Uncharted done come to the 360 & PC is because Sony heavily subsidize them in order to keep them platform exclusive). I just don't see Valve wanting to get into that space, especially with the next console generation likely 6 months to a year away in terms of announcements.

Wizardry
16-01-2012, 01:00 AM
No one doubts that Steam isn't profitable.
I do.10char

The JG Man
16-01-2012, 01:01 AM
AFAICT tomorrow's MLK day and NASDAQ will be closed.

Fair enough. That gives them an extra day. They have since put out a response from their PR, saying they're not aware of any cancellations, but that doesn't mean it's not happening.

I entirely agree, Kadayi. The reason I specifically highlighted Relic is because of their focus on PC titles. It wouldn't be too drastic a change to have them do PC only stuff. Anything they sell at retail would be sold with the partners who sell Valve's stuff at retail anyhow (which I believe is EA) and...well, it's not like they don't have somewhere to put a DD version! Like I said though, it's highly unlikely, but if any of those three studios stood any chance of being picked up by Valve, I'd say it was them.

Dexter
16-01-2012, 01:07 AM
Excellent news.

"THQ: We'll crush pre-owned threat" -

THQ CEO Brian Farrell: "We believe this will increase our digital revenue, engage players with our games for a longer period of time and reduce the impact of used games." http://www.computerandvideogames.com/259308/thq-well-crush-pre-owned-threat/


He didn't add: "This and other comments from our company will widen the gap between us and our paying customers. However, we will milk them for as long as we can via dlc, on disc dlc and any other scam that we can think up. That could include hats somewhere down the line."

Ever stopped to think for a moment that exactly those lost sales on the "Used Market" might have been the ones required to keep the company afloat and this actually *proves* their point? I find it perfectly understandable that Publishers want to stop this practice. I'd still really like to be able to lend my games to other people or trade between friends etc. but there's a big difference between that and gross corporate exploitation of the "used games" model at no or very low personal risk for the companies involved.

There's this and that was a few years back, couldn't find any new numbers: http://venturebeat.com/2010/08/19/game-retailer-gamestop-misses-earnings-target-despite-huge-used-game-sales/


GameStop is making its move into digital distribution and online games as well, but the vast majority of its revenues still come from brick-and-mortar stores. About 36.9 percent of sales are new games, but used games are now 31.4 percent of sales. Used games also account for the biggest profits.

That was almost a 50/50 split in sales right there, it likely is by now.

And there's this: http://www.gamespot.com/news/56-of-console-gamers-dont-pay-for-games-study-6343451

Lukasz
16-01-2012, 01:13 AM
Ever stopped to think for a moment that exactly those lost sales on the "Used Market" might have been the ones required to keep the company afloat and this actually *proves* their point?
If the loss of sales because of used market bankrupted them it just means that they were having much much bigger problems than that and it was a straw which broke the camel's back.

Smashbox
16-01-2012, 01:18 AM
Very sad news for the industry. Despite some bad decisions, THQ has put out a very formidable roster of titles over the years. Sad to see them go.


I'm wondering if I should have any interest in this story. Has THQ ever released an RPG? Do they own any RPG intellectual properties?

I can only assume this is a joke or my head will explode.

deano2099
16-01-2012, 01:20 AM
I'm wondering if I should have any interest in this story. Has THQ ever released an RPG? Do they own any RPG intellectual properties?

Nah, they didn't start publishing games until 1994 after people stopped making RPGs.

LGM
16-01-2012, 01:21 AM
Sounds crazy, but I saw this coming in the 1990's. This is the company that published Time Killers and the Lawnmower Man games, after all. I am stunned they lasted this long.

deano2099
16-01-2012, 01:27 AM
Ever stopped to think for a moment that exactly those lost sales on the "Used Market" might have been the ones required to keep the company afloat and this actually *proves* their point?

Right, but clearly all they proved is that you can't stop the 'pre-owned threat'.

Also, had they 'won' and somehow stamped out pre-owned games throughout the market, we'd see Gamestop shutting down and one could say "aren't the sales they lost from the pre-owned market the reason they're closing stores?"

The fact is, neither the publishers or the retail stores are doing well right now. And they're both being forced to try and cannibalize the other's profits in order to stay afloat. So you have publishers pushing stuff like Project $10, and retail stores charging prices for pre-owned stuff that's hardly discounted from new stock.

Because they both know that they can't solve this by charging more for games as the consumer won't tolerate another price rise. But game development costs are still going up.

Lukasz
16-01-2012, 01:34 AM
But game development costs are still going up.
Should they?
excluding inflation, I wonder would it be possible to make a game and profit from it by having a budget of 1993 game. Isn't the rising costs of development fault of the industry itself by trying to outdo each other by spending more and more on bigger projects?

The JG Man
16-01-2012, 01:38 AM
I cannot remember where on earth the quote is from, so you'll have to go with me; I remember watching a video from one decent developer who was saying that development costs probably won't go up too much come the next gaming generation. The reason being is that they're already working on things like HD graphics, full scripting/audio and so on. The jump to that was the biggest, so the next jump shouldn't be anywhere as big from last gen to this one.

Wizardry
16-01-2012, 01:45 AM
I can only assume this is a joke or my head will explode.
Why? Is there an obvious one I'm forgetting?

deano2099
16-01-2012, 01:46 AM
Should they?
excluding inflation, I wonder would it be possible to make a game and profit from it by having a budget of 1993 game.

Of course. Indie games do it all the time. But again, it's the publicly traded companies thing. It's not okay to keep making profitable games every year and paying shareholder dividends. You have to make more profit every year to generate 'growth' so that the value of shares goes up. Which means investing more and more in the flashiest games and marketing the shit out of them, to the point where one failure kills you.

Dexter
16-01-2012, 01:47 AM
Right, but clearly all they proved is that you can't stop the 'pre-owned threat'.

Also, had they 'won' and somehow stamped out pre-owned games throughout the market, we'd see Gamestop shutting down and one could say "aren't the sales they lost from the pre-owned market the reason they're closing stores?"

The fact is, neither the publishers or the retail stores are doing well right now. And they're both being forced to try and cannibalize the other's profits in order to stay afloat. So you have publishers pushing stuff like Project $10, and retail stores charging prices for pre-owned stuff that's hardly discounted from new stock.

Because they both know that they can't solve this by charging more for games as the consumer won't tolerate another price rise. But game development costs are still going up.
They *will* stop the "pre-owned threat", it's just a matter of time and unlike "stopping piracy" they have the power and technology to do so by simply introducing one-time use keys and Digital Distribution platforms. Both the platform owners (Microsoft, SONY, Nintendo) and the publishers/developers have nothing to gain from the "Pre-Owned" business and everything to lose (licensing costs not being paid, no money going back to the creators, losing even more market share etc.)
It's just a longer process as they have to get people used to the idea, which they started with things like Project 10$, Uplay Passport, SONY PSN Pass etc. and will increase their efforts once the next generation of consoles comes out.

Personally I wouldn't care much if every big chain of retail game sellers would go down tomorrow, it would suck for the people employed but they'd likely get interchangable jobs again soon after. They have no place in the creative process and could aswell be entirely replaced with Digital Distribution. By eating the winnings of the publishers/studios (while those can be and are often-times "assholes" too) they're just acting like parasites.

deano2099
16-01-2012, 02:09 AM
Personally I wouldn't care much if every big chain of retail game sellers would go down tomorrow, it would suck for the people employed but they'd likely get interchangable jobs again soon after. They have no place in the creative process and could aswell be entirely replaced with Digital Distribution. By eating the winnings of the publishers/studios (while those can be and are often-times "assholes" too) they're just acting like parasites.

Like so many dedicated 'gamers' that do all their shopping online and so, you completely underestimate how damn important it is for publishers to have visibility for their games on the high street. It's not even like music or film, where even if the high-street vanished, there would be visibility on TV and radio and so on. I'm with you as far as wanting it to happen, but only because I want to see bottom drop out of the entire twisted, broken industry and start again from scratch.

vinraith
16-01-2012, 02:11 AM
I'm wondering if I should have any interest in this story. Has THQ ever released an RPG? Do they own any RPG intellectual properties?

Nothing that would qualify as relevant by your somewhat rarified standards. The closest two that pop up on a search are that South Park RPG coming out this year (maybe) and Titan Quest from poor, defunct Iron Lore.

Shane
16-01-2012, 02:11 AM
Fucking balls of god, Metro 2033: Last Light was the only other game I was looking forward to other than Stalker 2.

soldant
16-01-2012, 02:13 AM
Should they?
excluding inflation, I wonder would it be possible to make a game and profit from it by having a budget of 1993 game. Isn't the rising costs of development fault of the industry itself by trying to outdo each other by spending more and more on bigger projects?
As Deano said you could do that quite easily. But at the same time if all we ever did was stick with 1993 standards and tiny development costs, gaming wouldn't be advancing much. For all the good things that have come out of the indie sector, there's a lot of fairly uninspired platformers and action games which don't do anything particularly new or entertaining. I mean you're not going to get Planescape: Torment, Morrowind, Deus Ex or anything like that from the indie community. The big budget games still have their place because they can be incredibly entertaining too and have the budget to do new things.

The sad part is that a lot of devs are too content to make Call of Duty 20: North Korean Invasion. There's definitely a market for games that don't follow that kind of brain-dead formula (look at the success of Skyrim) but they're not bloody well doing it!

The JG Man
16-01-2012, 02:13 AM
Metro will be released. It's too close to release to cancel. What's unlikely though is seeing as much advertising for it as there might have been. Post-release support may only be within a short window, however.

EDIT: That being said, they'll be wanting to make as much from sales as possible in the next 12-18 months to try and cut down on their debts and improve sale potential. Hence why games are still due to come out for a fair bit.

Mistabashi
16-01-2012, 03:05 AM
Fucking balls of god, Metro 2033: Last Light was the only other game I was looking forward to other than Stalker 2.

4A Games isn't owned by THQ, so besides a possible lack of promotion I can't see it being affected by this in any way.

somini
16-01-2012, 03:34 AM
Sad news indeed. Medium-size publishers are always needed to keep EA and Actiblizzard in check.
Now, analysing what they have, does anyone knows anything about Patrice Desilets(designer of AC1 and 2) that left Ubisoft Montreal to create his own studio? he was working in a new IP, but with this I guess he is free. Any chance of him returning of AC3? One can dream.
The Saint Row IP could perfectly be bought by Rockstar. uDraw is obsolete, now that WiiU is coming. Most big IP will be picked up by someone, and nearly finished games can perfectly be published by some other publisher, perhaps.
Worst case scenario, EA or Activision just gobbles them up and rips them apart.

sabrage
16-01-2012, 03:45 AM
The Saint Row IP could perfectly be bought by Rockstar. uDraw is obsolete, now that WiiU is coming. Most big IP will be picked up by someone, and nearly finished games can perfectly be published by some other publisher, perhaps.
Worst case scenario, EA or Activision just gobbles them up and rips them apart.
Our worlds are all mixed up! Here:

Worst case scenario, the Saint Row IP could be bought by Rockstar.

Voon
16-01-2012, 03:53 AM
......fuck

The JG Man
16-01-2012, 03:55 AM
does anyone knows anything about Patrice Desilets

As far as I'm aware from reading around, he left Ubisoft/the AC team due to personal differences. It's unlikely he'd return there. I believe the brand new studio opened up with him in charge though will be quite the sale, as it seems to have some decent talent in it. Otherwise, boned.


Most big IP will be picked up by someone, and nearly finished games can perfectly be published by some other publisher, perhaps.

Well the idea is that any titles released before 2014* will still be released by THQ in a bid to recoop as much as possible to pay off their debt. Whether that comes to be is another thing. Some of the IPs will definitely be going up for sale though.

*None of this rumour-telling has said when in 2014; my money is on it being either the start of the calendar year or the end/start of the economic one. If it's the latter, that means some times due out before then in early 2014 may still go ahead, if they last that long.

EDIT: Rockstar wouldn't pick up Volition/the Saints Row IP. They have no need for it, other than to destroy it as competition, which makes no sense because there are plenty other decent sandbox games.
EDIT 2: uDraw was obsolete with the HD versions they did for the PS360. They bombed unbelievably hard and were a significant cost. As in, it alone cost THQ numerous $ in the stocks.

somini
16-01-2012, 04:01 AM
Too bad, I was hoping for a return to the roots with AC3, now that they lost another Creative Director. Let's see if Ubi doesn't fuck up another series...

ZIGS
16-01-2012, 04:22 AM
http://gamingeverything.com/13920/thq-comments-on-shutdown-rumors/

Is this legit?

Off-topic: somini, saudações Lusas :)

SirKicksalot
16-01-2012, 04:25 AM
Patrice Desilets' Montreal studio is in a good position. They have around 200 employees right now, the plan was to have 500 by 2015. They have major talent there and enjoy delicious Canadian tax breaks. Anyone would like to own a studio like this. Their game is in pre-production now.

I'm quite sure the canceled games are from the 2014 fiscal year, which for THQ starts in July 2013. That would make most sense. I guess they'll keep running on fumes for a while and meanwhile axed every game still in early stages of production plus the giant, expensive MMO (which they may shop around instead of just killing). That doesn't mean they won't go tits up in a matter of months, of course.

Edit: and even if it turns out they're not canceled, that doesn't mean much given their financial situation.

The JG Man
16-01-2012, 04:37 AM
Oh jeez, I made an error there with that. Q2/3 2013 makes that dramatically worse!

Anyhow. Gamasutra posted on Twitter:
THQ has not cancelled its 2014 lineup and has not made any decisions regarding the planned MMO.

The phrasing on that is weird. Surely, if the MMO was fine, just say so? Maybe I'm reading too much into that?

Kotaku have been given some PR spiel by THQ. Quoted:

THQ has not cancelled its 2014 line-up, and has not made any decisions regarding the planned MMO. 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.

So perhaps this rumour was, just that. That being said, THQ are not out of the woods yet. They still have a shocking stock rating that needs to be addressed badly. This could simply be words to assuage investor fears whilst they shit bricks trying to work out what to do next.

EDIT: Oh, and it seems like they may be trying to sell the WH MMO. Sources speaking to GamesIndustry.biz have suggested Dark Millennium Online, which was first announced in 2007, is currently being offered for sale to other companies. (http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2012-01-15-thq-shelves-all-titles-slated-for-2014-rumour)

coldvvvave
16-01-2012, 07:32 AM
Isn't it a good time for Relic to buy the Homeworld ip? Unless they did already( I'm pretty sure I remember reading something about that last year).

Kadayi
16-01-2012, 08:00 AM
I do.10char

*gets popcorn*
*pulls up chair*

Go ahead Steven Morrissey, tell us all about how Steam isn't profitable for Valve. I'm fascinated to hear.

The JG Man
16-01-2012, 08:13 AM
Isn't it a good time for Relic to buy the Homeworld ip? Unless they did already( I'm pretty sure I remember reading something about that last year).

Well I had another look around and...I can't tell. According to Wikipedia, Relic obtained the IP back from Vivendi, but all the sources for material I can find on that matter suggest that it was THQ who acquired it (pretty depressing that that was at least 4 years ago and nothing was done with it, but still) for Relic to use. From what I can tell, THQ still owns the IP, not Relic. That being said, if a sale did go ahead, it is not totally unreasonable to suggest that THQ could 'throw in' the IP with Relic.

I'm not certain though. It is very possible the rights were given directly to Relic.

thesisko
16-01-2012, 08:57 AM
*gets popcorn*
*pulls up chair*

Go ahead Steven Morrissey, tell us all about how Steam isn't profitable for Valve. I'm fascinated to hear.

You used a double negative in your post. Wizardry doubts that Steam is losing money.

Althea
16-01-2012, 10:01 AM
Deep Silver and Kalypso are small guns compared to 2k, Ubi, EA, Activision. They do not have millions of dollars, very diverse range of products, capability to target every part of the market.
Deep Silver do have a diverse range of products, and quite a lot of market prominence in the US and EU. Whilst only a very few titles (Dead Island) will get massive marketing campaigns, they generally enter the market with little fanfare. Koch Media, the company who owns Deep Silver, apparently had 337m Euros in 2009. As far as I'm aware, this has only gone up. I don't know how well Kalypso are doing, but I've not heard reports anything is amiss.



Sony's game division is pretty much built around supporting their own hardware. There's little incentive for them to outlay for developers who atypically work on titles for other platforms, because the audience for those titles tends to lie outside of their PS3 user base (releasing Saints Row 4 exclusively on PS3 wins no one any favours).
I'm not sure what you're trying to say here. Are you saying PS3 gamers are different to 360 gamers? Saints Row 4 exclusivity might not happen, but it happened for the first title on the 360. The PS3 is also getting an exclusive title from Rockstar (Agent). Still, they have SOE (Sony Online Entertainment) who deal with EverQuest, EverQuest 2, Free Realms, Clone Wars Adventures and some other MMO titles. They're not exactly doing badly there. Microsoft Game Studios is the exact same thing for the 360, but again, they hold parts of the market and get millions of sales from certain IPs.


Valve are a developer, not a publisher (and have shown little inclination to become one despite the success of steam).
Valve are a publisher - they self-publish all of their titles, with EA being the retail distributor (and had porting duties for the PS3 version of The Orange Box) through the EA Partners programme. Valve are simultaneously a publisher and a developer, but largely they only publish their own in-house titles or ones done in conjunction with the mod community.


Also I'd go with Lukasz assessment of Paradox. I like me some M&B Warband as much as the next man, but they are a very small operationn that work within certain limitations catering to a particular end of the market. They've been very successful at it, but they're not in a position to bankroll any of THQs AAA studios through an 18 month cycle plus manage distribution and marketing without enormous financial risk of their own.
I'm not suggesting they're going to bankroll anyone, simply that they're doing very well.

My point was this - THQ dropping out of the market will make a few percent difference in the size of the market that publishers have at most. Even if EA and Activision ended up being the last two major AAA publishers, they still wouldn't have a 50/50 share of the market, or anything close to that, because of the sheer number of middle-list publishers around. Kalypso, Deep Silver, Paradox and so on - they will all have their share of the market, whether it's as broad as Deep Silver or as specialised and niche as Paradox.


Althea, I'm a little confused about your stance on DoW2: Retribution; while there has been quite a bit of DLC it has been mostly cosmetic, entirely optional, and judging by the forums and the opponents I meet online, rather popular.

I have purchased precisely none of it, and still play regularly. What is the issue?
Only some of it is cosmetic - there's five £5 skin packs (Word Bearers, Death Korps, Ultramarines, Dark Angels, Craftworld Ulthwe), six wargear packs for The Last Stand, another six for campaign and there's also the Tau Commander for a whopping £6.50. Is it all entirely optional? Yes, like DLC generally is. I find the pricing absolutely abhorrent, though, considering what you get. £5 for a bunch of skins/tweaked models? Really, THQ? Really? £6.50 for a single commander for a single game mode, really? £1 for a couple of items for a single race for campaign mode? Jeez. The pricing is completely ridiculous, and there's a lot of it around. My problem is that THQ thought it a great idea to exploit the game for DLC and then give it an inflated price. According to Steam, the price for all of the DLC - if bought separately - is just shy of £50. £50 for one playable unit, some skins, and a host of weapons. Do you not see why it's so ridiculous?

Space Marine is on £17.20 for a couple of skin packs, some weapons and a tweaked Exterminatus game mode, which itself is £6.50. Again, pretty much all optional, but still inflated for what it is.

And then there's Saints Row the Third. £22 of DLC so far, still much, much more to come.

deano2099
16-01-2012, 11:54 AM
Only some of it is cosmetic - there's five £5 skin packs (Word Bearers, Death Korps, Ultramarines, Dark Angels, Craftworld Ulthwe), six wargear packs for The Last Stand, another six for campaign and there's also the Tau Commander for a whopping £6.50. Is it all entirely optional? Yes, like DLC generally is. I find the pricing absolutely abhorrent, though, considering what you get. £5 for a bunch of skins/tweaked models? Really, THQ? Really? £6.50 for a single commander for a single game mode, really? £1 for a couple of items for a single race for campaign mode? Jeez. The pricing is completely ridiculous, and there's a lot of it around. My problem is that THQ thought it a great idea to exploit the game for DLC and then give it an inflated price. According to Steam, the price for all of the DLC - if bought separately - is just shy of £50. £50 for one playable unit, some skins, and a host of weapons. Do you not see why it's so ridiculous?

Abhorrent? Really? Because it's a bit expensive? Nothing is crucial, nothing gives you an advantage online, as you say it's totally optional. And it's selling at that price. If THQ felt it would see significantly more sales at a lower price they'd charge less. But it wouldn't because people like you still wouldn't buy it anyway (because it's just cosmetic) and the big fans that really want to customize their armies will buy it regardless.

Althea
16-01-2012, 12:06 PM
nothing gives you an advantage online
Last Stand DLC, perhaps? Some pretty good gear there, at least in terms of the lower levels.

But yes, I do find it abhorrent. It's more about the principle than anything. THQ got it into their heads that they could sell a lot of DLC at high prices, and they've done that for a number of their recent titles, and when people buy it, they're pretty much saying "Yes, THQ, cover me with your DLC-y goodness!", so THQ continue to do it. Saints Row the Third's "Forty Weeks of DLC" thing is pretty much the epitome of it.

FuriKuri!
16-01-2012, 12:17 PM
I'd argue it wouldn't be an authentic Warhammer(R):40,000(TM) experience without spending egregious amounts of money on tiny and mostly cosmetic bits and pieces. ;)

Preorder bonus content aside I'm yet to buy any DLC from THQ and haven't felt it really detract from my gaming experience. Evidence suggests that this practice didn't really pay off so maybe others will take heed.

Every time I read about one of these giants falling it does give me pause with the whole digital purchases thing... We're all gonna get absolutely screwed with this one of these days.

deano2099
16-01-2012, 12:42 PM
Last Stand DLC, perhaps? Some pretty good gear there, at least in terms of the lower levels.
It's just alternative options though for different builds. And Last Stand is co-op anyway so it's hardly pay-to-win.


But yes, I do find it abhorrent. It's more about the principle than anything. THQ got it into their heads that they could sell a lot of DLC at high prices, and they've done that for a number of their recent titles, and when people buy it, they're pretty much saying "Yes, THQ, cover me with your DLC-y goodness!", so THQ continue to do it. Saints Row the Third's "Forty Weeks of DLC" thing is pretty much the epitome of it.

But if people are buying it, they're clearly happy to pay that price so what's the problem? I can see it being annoying from an "I quite want that but can't really afford it" perspective but I don't see any huge moral issue. The value of things changes depending on the customer and the situation. A coke costs more in a pub than a supermarket, and more again from a hotel minibar. That's annoying, but it's not really abhorrent.

I get that maybe stuff should be priced more closely to the actual cost and development time, but the issue with that people only want it one way. They want the DLC priced for $1 because it's clearly only comparable to 1/60th of the game, but if the developers turn around and say okay, but the main game will now by $90 because that more accurately reflects the money spent on it then people will get upset.

Having DLC that rich people can buy that is ultimately useless subsidise the cost of the main game for the rest of us is just fine with me.

arathain
16-01-2012, 05:54 PM
While I don't really want to sidetrack the thread, I think it's worth stating my thinking on stuff like this. Games in general, and game DLC in particular are as close to being pure luxury products as anything ever is. If you create something cool that no-one needs I think you have the right to charge whatever you want for it. Anything. And there is no ethical dilemma attached- it is a morally neutral act to charge $3000 for horse armour, or whatever. This is so because I have the free choice not to buy, and a large, varied competitive market of other products. In these circumstances, as a whole, laws of supply and demand will set the prices anyway.

I love the DoW2 DLC. I think the work on the race packs is of exemplary quality (the Ultrmarines Chapter pack in particular, is magnificent). I've been tempted by some of the Last Stand gear (exploding teleporting Mek? Sounds great!). I haven't bought any of it, because the price is too high for me. I do not resent this in the slightest.

As a side note, while I think charging Haitians vast sums for building materials after a severe earthquake is consistent with supply and demand, and actually abhorrent. Having your attractive DLC at slightly above impulse purchase price is, at worst, merely irritating.

Rii
16-01-2012, 06:07 PM
While I don't really want to sidetrack the thread, I think it's worth stating my thinking on stuff like this. Games in general, and game DLC in particular are as close to being pure luxury products as anything ever is. If you create something cool that no-one needs I think you have the right to charge whatever you want for it. Anything.

I've never heard anyone suggest otherwise.

arathain
16-01-2012, 06:15 PM
Rii, in particular I was responding to Althea's description of THQ's DLC practices as 'abhorrent'.

Mistabashi
16-01-2012, 06:16 PM
I was trying to think of a way of expressing just how silly it is to use words like "abhorrent" to describe the pricing and availability of DLC, but it seems arathain has already done a better job at communicating my thoughts, so just go back and read that if you haven't already.

Hanban
16-01-2012, 06:35 PM
Maybe... Just maybe this will somehow lead to Homeworld 3. I have hope!

SirKicksalot
16-01-2012, 06:36 PM
THQ's PR statement is a textbook example of good PR.

"THQ has not cancelled its 2014 line-up, and has not made any decisions regarding the planned MMO. 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."

The only thing here that actually has any relevance to yesterday's circus is that they still plan some 2014 line-up. Everything else is just pure marketing and a torrent of words designed to distract attention from the actual problems.

The best part is this though: And coming up next, we have two great titles for the first half of the year including UFC Undisputed 3 and Darksiders 2.

metalangel
16-01-2012, 06:54 PM
My recent experience of THQ is thus:

Saints Row 2 was a great, deep, freeform game with tons of customization and tons of stuff to do. Saints Row 3 stripped a lot of the stuff out and added tons of scripted setpiece missions.

Red Faction Guerilla was a great, destructive freeform game. Red Faction Armageddon took that and put it in a cave.

Frontlines: Fuel of War was a hardcore Battlefield-style shooter from the makers of Desert Combat. Homefront took that and turned it into a far more restrictive CoD-alike but with some vehicle combat.

MX vs ATV: Reflex was a fun offroading game with tons of different vehicles and events. MX vs ATV: Alive made most of the stuff on-disc DLC.

They thought they'd chase the moron money, by taking good games and making them simpler so idiots could better understand them, and would happily part with their money to glue the missing parts back on. It didn't work out. Oh well.

SirKicksalot
16-01-2012, 07:14 PM
Saints Row 2 built upon the original's city and engine. SR3 was a fresh start - and Volition had less people working on it.
RFA was a direct response to the mountain of complaints against RFG and while being linear it was still a great destructive freeform game. Fact.
It's undeniable that both SR3 and RFG have great mechanics, plenty of unique twists on the gameplay formula, excellent production values and polish. If some people dismiss RFG saying it's a "cave shooter" then they deserve all the Homefronts and shitty COD clones thrown at them. A classic case of not seeing the forest for the trees.

DigitalSignalX
16-01-2012, 08:54 PM
Maybe... Just maybe this will somehow lead to Homeworld 3. I have hope!

Agree. Insensitive fan-boy that I am, I'd find the economic equivalent of THQ burning to the ground completely palatable if it meant HW3 in some form.

Serenegoose
16-01-2012, 09:04 PM
Rii, in particular I was responding to Althea's description of THQ's DLC practices as 'abhorrent'.

Calling something abhorrent doesn't stop anyone doing anything. I think it's a bit repulsive too, but unfortunately things I find repulsive don't get banned. They just don't get bought by me, either. How very cruel of me.

deano2099
17-01-2012, 01:12 AM
Calling something abhorrent doesn't stop anyone doing anything. I think it's a bit repulsive too, but unfortunately things I find repulsive don't get banned. They just don't get bought by me, either. How very cruel of me.

My issue is you can't get much stronger than 'abhorrent' really. And there are companies who's attitude towards DLC is far, far worse than THQ (pay-to-win, stuff cut from the game and re-sold, etc).

Nalano
17-01-2012, 02:49 AM
My issue is you can't get much stronger than 'abhorrent' really. And there are companies who's attitude towards DLC is far, far worse than THQ (pay-to-win, stuff cut from the game and re-sold, etc).

Frankly, I was kinda surprised just how quick Unrav assumed that THQ was dying because of DLC. Pass me whatever she's smoking, 'cause damn.

Dave L.
17-01-2012, 03:53 AM
RFA was a direct response to the mountain of complaints against RFG and while being linear it was still a great destructive freeform game. Fact.
I don't think you know what 'freeform' means. RF:A was a linear corridor shooter. Fact.

The complaints about RF:G were that the story was a bit naff (though not terrible) and the difficulty curve was weird. The open world gameplay combined with the destruction mechanics were almost universally praised, and the competitive multiplayer was very well liked. RF:A threw out the open world ENTIRELY, the destruction mechanics were reduced to little more than flavour (unless you almost exclusively used the magnet gun), the story was shit, and the competitive MP was tossed out.

When I think about what was originally planned for RF4 (a game that improved and expanded upon RF:G's gameplay) versus what we got, it still makes me furious.

hamster
17-01-2012, 08:55 AM
Rfg was cool though perhaps a little monotonous here and there. The solution was to add more variety to the missions, more toys to play with, cooler side missions, cooler game world with collectables and stuff like that. In short they were amiss by quantity not quality. Instead they did RFA.

Althea
17-01-2012, 08:56 AM
Frankly, I was kinda surprised just how quick Unrav assumed that THQ was dying because of DLC. Pass me whatever she's smoking, 'cause damn.
Um... no. I never said that.

SirKicksalot
17-01-2012, 10:34 AM
I don't think you know what 'freeform' means. RF:A was a linear corridor shooter. Fact.

The complaints about RF:G were that the story was a bit naff (though not terrible) and the difficulty curve was weird. The open world gameplay combined with the destruction mechanics were almost universally praised, and the competitive multiplayer was very well liked. RF:A threw out the open world ENTIRELY, the destruction mechanics were reduced to little more than flavour (unless you almost exclusively used the magnet gun), the story was shit, and the competitive MP was tossed out.

When I think about what was originally planned for RF4 (a game that improved and expanded upon RF:G's gameplay) versus what we got, it still makes me furious.

I took "freefrom" as "freeform combat" not "open world". I don't know why people claim the combat is dumbed down when despite the cave setting there is so much stuff to destroy and so many weapons it's ridiculous. No better third person shooter was released in 2011. As far as I'm aware work on it started before RFG was released.

However I'm very bitter about the incredible DLC weapon being restricted to that mini-campaign. You can throw entire buildings at foes! Fuck balance, this is amazing!

Chorltonwheelie
17-01-2012, 10:45 AM
Excellent news.

"THQ: We'll crush pre-owned threat" -

THQ CEO Brian Farrell: "We believe this will increase our digital revenue, engage players with our games for a longer period of time and reduce the impact of used games." http://www.computerandvideogames.com/259308/thq-well-crush-pre-owned-threat/


He didn't add: "This and other comments from our company will widen the gap between us and our paying customers. However, we will milk them for as long as we can via dlc, on disc dlc and any other scam that we can think up. That could include hats somewhere down the line."

Meanwhile, in the real world....I picked up the THQ bundle in a Steam sale for a song. That's Metro, STALKER, Saints Row, Homefront (ok, nobody's perfect) and loads more. I'd be unhappy if that kind of quality for that price disappeared whilst the publishing behemoths continued to dominate and grow.

This is a shame on all sorts of level's.

Althea
17-01-2012, 11:10 AM
Right, I'm now a bit more awake so I'll have a go at addressing the posts referring to my point about DLC.

Perhaps the word abhorrent was a little extreme (which I didn't realise at the time), but I feel my point still stands. I find THQ's attitude to DLC amongst the worst in the business, with only Paradox really beating them in terms of the number of DLC releases, and those ones are often on sale on GamersGate or elsewhere, and tend to be more reasonably priced (but not always, of course), but Paradox also make up for it to some degree by quickly releasing a collection of the content/expansions, and one could argue that their niche status in the market probably justifies it to some degree.

THQ, though? Their pricing is high on a content-per-dollar level, and with games like Dawn of War II it does have an impact. The wargear packs that came with the initial retail release affected the balance at the start of the campaign, and there's the six Last Stand item packs that give you gear that is perhaps above the kinds of things you get in the first number of character levels. The five skin packs they released add little (if anything) beyond cosmetics for a single game mode. Do you need them all? No, of course not, and the Tau Commander is some welcome diversity for Last Stand, but that doesn't justify their pricing, in my opinion. £6.50 for a single unit? I understand they have to pay for development, balancing, bug fixes, voice work, design and so forth, but a lower price would look better (say, £3) and would drastically lower the entry barrier, and as such may make them more profit.

Saints Row the Third is the other extreme. Pre-release it was announced there would be forty weeks of DLC, and judging by the Season Pass that would take place over the course of a year. Three of those DLC packs are accounted for in the Season Pass, which itself is £13. To date, if you bought the DLC released (except the Season Pass), that would cost you £13. If you bought the Season Pass instead of GenkiBowl, that would be almost £22. This is still with a year of content to go, some of which will be free and some of which won't. They're charging for cheat unlocks, cosmetics, missions, and not one pack is what I would call "reasonably priced". They wish to charge £1.50 for a hat and a gun, £2 to unlock cheats and so on. This will continue to increase in price as the months go on.

Space Marine? 70p for two weapons that were pre-order bonuses, 70p for some pre-order skins, and then they're charging £2 for a single skin for one play mode. On top of that, they want £6.50 for what is basically a reskinned Exterminatus mode in which you play Chaos vs Imperium rather than the Space Marines vs Orks mode that comes with the game. By the Emperor's arse...

I think 2K were almost as bad, if not worse, with Mafia II and Civ V, and Microsoft/Lionhead with Fable III - but THQ are (or maybe were) becoming one of the worst for it. Their pricing is high, the quality is perhaps moderate to fair at best, and I don't want to see companies like EA, Ubisoft or even Zenimax/Bethesda jumping on that train, because I think it is a slippery slope and one that could affect the games we buy in the future, perhaps to the point where we're sold a base game with content stripped out that we have to add in with DLC.

Nalano
17-01-2012, 04:18 PM
Um... no. I never said that.

Oh, so your entire point was just sour grapes?

Jeez, you need to lighten up.

Shane
17-01-2012, 04:28 PM
Jeez, you need to lighten up.

The same could be said for you too, Nalano. You seemingly get riled up on seeing criticism about game publishers' policies, whether they be directed at Valve or, in this case, THQ.

Smashbox
17-01-2012, 04:31 PM
The same could be said for you too, Nalano. You seemingly get riled up on seeing criticism about game publishers' policies, whether they be directed at Valve or, in this case, THQ.

I don't think that's actually accurate, at least in terms of my own observations.

Nalano
17-01-2012, 04:38 PM
The same could be said for you too, Nalano. You seemingly get riled up on seeing criticism about game publishers' policies, whether they be directed at Valve or, in this case, THQ.

I don't paint all DLC as the same, and I don't paint all DLC as evil. This isn't Bioware's execrable in-game advertising nor RTW's pay2win. This isn't even "it's on the CD but behind another paywall*," or "day one free DLC to fuck secondary sales." It's just something extra.

If Unrav can't get into a game not because the game is incomplete but because there exists somewhere an add-on for it that she doesn't have, that's really more on her than on the company. It's not like Harry Potter would be less interesting to read just because there exists - and I don't have - a special themed Harry Potter leather book jacket sold separately.

As for Valve, while I've certainly argued that Valve's DRM is less intrusive than other DRM, I never told people they were wrong and inferior gamers for choosing not to use Steam. The only other recent argument I can think of for Valve is when people complained that it took five whole hours during the night on a holiday weekend to them to point out that the free crap they were giving away has run out.

*fun fact: Win7 full version for $215 and Win7 upgrade version for $90 have the same information on the discs.

Althea
17-01-2012, 04:43 PM
If Unrav can't get into a game not because the game is incomplete but because there exists somewhere an add-on for it that she doesn't have, that's really more on her than on the company. It's not like Harry Potter would be less interesting to read just because there exists - and I don't have - a special themed Harry Potter leather book jacket sold separately..
Um... When have I said it's stopped me playing a game I own? It's certainly been a factor in me NOT buying a game (Saints Row the Third), but far from the only deciding factor.

Nalano
17-01-2012, 04:46 PM
Um... When have I said it's stopped me playing a game I own? It's certainly been a factor in me NOT buying a game (Saints Row the Third), but far from the only deciding factor.

"Can't get into a game," ie: disinterest in the game. The concept doesn't exclude not buying it.

Althea
17-01-2012, 04:49 PM
"Can't get into a game," ie: disinterest in the game. The concept doesn't exclude not buying it.
"Can't get into a game" suggests I have it and can't get into it.

Nalano
17-01-2012, 05:23 PM
"Can't get into a game" suggests I have it and can't get into it.

If you choose to keep reading it that way, I can't stop you.

Althea
17-01-2012, 05:26 PM
Pot calling the kettle black, Nalano.

Nalano
17-01-2012, 05:54 PM
Pot calling the kettle black, Nalano.

The thing about sour grapes is that, while you're welcome to not buy whatever for whatever reason, arguing that yours is a universal, objectivist position is fraught with peril.

"I find THQ's attitude to DLC amongst the worst in the business," is a strong statement, when "worst in the business" would surely include the companies whose base, core games suffer due to it. I find the loss of a companion NPC or functionality or whole sections of the game to be suffering, and the addition of a skin - as your repeated examples of DoW2 tend to be - to be tangential at best.

I'm just wondering how the moral hammer falls more strongly for something that isn't necessary, isn't noticeably absent, isn't particularly functional, and isn't even marketed that strongly, when we have so-called "F2P" games to yell about.

hamster
17-01-2012, 06:51 PM
I guess it isn't too bad since the DLC is cosmetic - one would say that the stuff is optional and intended for a fairly devoted audience that knows what they're getting into. But perhaps the right thing to do is to release it for free rather than nickel and diming. Still, i'm sure plenty of other devs have gone much further and flagrantly abused DLC for extra $$$.

Dave L.
18-01-2012, 01:29 AM
IAs far as I'm aware work on it started before RFG was released.
So which is it? 'RFA was a direct response to the mountain of complaints against RFG,' or 'Work started before RFG was released?' Because it can't be both. Also you are factually incorrect about when work started on RF4.


On top of that, they want £6.50 for what is basically a reskinned Exterminatus mode in which you play Chaos vs Imperium rather than the Space Marines vs Orks mode that comes with the game.
Have you even played Chaos Unleashed? It's a hell of a lot more than a reskin. You think Imperial Psykers, chainsword guardsmen, Killa Kans and Deff Dredds were in the game already? Or were easy to model, animate, and balance?

sabrage
18-01-2012, 01:37 AM
So which is it? 'RFA was a direct response to the mountain of complaints against RFG,' or 'Work started before RFG was released?' Because it can't be both. Also you are factually incorrect about when work started on RF4.
They couldn't have started development, and then made a series of design decisions to address the complaints directed towards Guerilla?

Nalano
18-01-2012, 02:02 AM
They couldn't have started development, and then made a series of design decisions to address the complaints directed towards Guerilla?

About as easy as starting to make an airplane, and then switching halfway to make a minivan.

CuriousOrange
18-01-2012, 02:14 AM
No. It's not like that in the slightest.

In fact, reading the making of Half Life, Half Life 2 and Portal 2, this happened at least once in the development of each of these games.

DigitalSignalX
18-01-2012, 02:18 AM
About as easy as starting to make an airplane, and then switching halfway to make a minivan.

You can find one of these in LA Noire, the worlds first production minivan was actually designed after the Ford Tri-Motor airplane:

http://www.ohtm.org/35StScarab.jpg

Just sayin. (=

Nalano
18-01-2012, 02:19 AM
In fact, reading the making of Half Life, Half Life 2 and Portal 2, this happened at least once in the development of each of these games.

Well, to be fair, the way they described it, it sounded like they were trying to build a Mini Cooper and ended up with one of those huge helicopter-submarine-skidoo contraptions a la Cargo: The Quest for Gravity and had to pare it down to something drivable.


You can find one of these in LA Noire, the worlds first production minivan was actually designed after the Ford Tri-Motor airplane:

I'm just gonna go ahead and take credit for the reference. :p

Althea
18-01-2012, 09:04 AM
Have you even played Chaos Unleashed? It's a hell of a lot more than a reskin. You think Imperial Psykers, chainsword guardsmen, Killa Kans and Deff Dredds were in the game already? Or were easy to model, animate, and balance?
No, I haven't played it, but I didn't say "just a reskinned" - The keyword is "basically". Yeah, they would have added to it and spiced it up, but not to a level that requires a £6.50 purchase.

Do I think it would have been "easy" to do that? For me, no. For Relic? Well, considering they're an established development studio using their own engine and years of experience with balancing things, I would rather hope it wasn't particularly difficult.

vecordae
18-01-2012, 05:33 PM
From personal experience: Adding four additional high-detail models, textures, and animations can easily cost a company twenty grand and can pull modelers, animators, and artists off of other projects for a week or more. The cost goes up if you need to hire a professional voice actor to create voice assets and account for time spent testing and balancing. Then you need to account for ongoing support and the cost to maintain the servers. After you do figure out about how much it will cost to put the DLC together, then you need to figure out how many are likely to sell, take into account how big a cut your distribution channels are going to take, and then set your price accordingly.

So, in our example of Chaos Unleashed, let's assume it will cost 70 thousand dollars worth of time and effort to put it together and make it available. While I pulled that number straight from my wisdom-hole, it's not an unreasonable amount. You've sold 1 million copies of your game so you know you aren't going to sell more than one million copies of your DLC. Usually, you can only reliably count on 10% to 15% of your customer base buying the DLC inititally and your digital distribution partner gets a 10% cut of whatever you sell. So, you price your DLC based on the development cost, the amount it will cost to facilitate the transaction (fees to Visa, your distributor's cut, etc), and the amount of money you need to make to keep the lights on and create more stuff, and you'll want it to be as high as the market will tolerate. So, in this case, you've spent 70 grand to create the content and ensure it works and another 10 grand on making sure your customers can buy it. You need it to make at least 250,000 dollars in profit in the first month in order to pay for the next bit of DLC and keep your studio profitable for the next month. 330,00 dollars divided by 100,000 units (that's 1/10 of the number of copies that have been sold) means you need to sell the DLC for at least 3.30. Since that's pretty cheap, we can probably afford to bump that up to 4.99 without losing an appreciable sales, thus keeping our profits up and letting us make more games because, oh man, did that first one cost a lot to produce.

It varies from studio to studio and is highly dependent upon the studio's financial situation, though. Valve tends to produce free DLC (which people STILL complain about anyway) because their revenue stream isn't dependent on DLC income in order to maintain studio profitability. They feel that they will sell more copies of the base game if free DLC is included as an advantage of buying their games. THQ is obviously in a very different sort of situation.

So, is the pricing abhorrent? Not anymore so that marketing forces in general are abhorrent. Besides, it's all optional. You don't need to have those things to enjoy the game as it was conceived. They are hoping that you enjoyed the original game enough to help fund additional content and future games by buying add-on bits. Do game companies want to be rich? Yeah. Are they sitting atop huge piles of money while laughing at all the idiots that bought their DLC? Are they doing so in a snooty accent? Probably not.

deano2099
19-01-2012, 01:30 AM
No, I haven't played it, but I didn't say "just a reskinned" - The keyword is "basically". Yeah, they would have added to it and spiced it up, but not to a level that requires a £6.50 purchase.

Do I think it would have been "easy" to do that? For me, no. For Relic? Well, considering they're an established development studio using their own engine and years of experience with balancing things, I would rather hope it wasn't particularly difficult.

Out of interest, are you suggesting that Relic/THQ would have made more money if the DLC was cheaper, as it would have sold more widely? Because I can certainly accept that as possibility (though I don't personally agree) but if you just think it should be cheaper because, in your opinion, it's not worth that much then... well the state THQ is in at the moment kinda debunks that no?

Dave L.
19-01-2012, 01:42 AM
No, I haven't played it, but I didn't say "just a reskinned" - The keyword is "basically". Yeah, they would have added to it and spiced it up, but not to a level that requires a £6.50 purchase.Don't be dense. It is not, in any way shape or form, 'basically' a reskin, for the reasons I already laid out. It's a new scenario for the Exterminatus mode, with new units and new arenas. And the Chaos Unleashed pack includes three new maps for the competitive MP modes (of which there are now three, and soon to be five). This shit ain't cheap to make, especially when you factor in that they've had to make it for three platforms.

Althea
19-01-2012, 09:54 AM
Don't be dense. It is not, in any way shape or form, 'basically' a reskin, for the reasons I already laid out. It's a new scenario for the Exterminatus mode, with new units and new arenas. And the Chaos Unleashed pack includes three new maps for the competitive MP modes (of which there are now three, and soon to be five). This shit ain't cheap to make, especially when you factor in that they've had to make it for three platforms.
The Chaos models are already in-game, the IG/Space Marine models are already in-game, so they just had to make the extra units. The maps might have taken them a week or a month, we don't know. The core gameplay, has it changed? No? Well, why is it *not* basically a reskin, then? Change the PC Marines for Chaos Marines, change the Orks for IG/SM, and new maps. It's not like they've created a whole new game mode and a whole new complete set of everything from scratch, is it? They switched it around, spiced it up - Bam, new game mode.


Out of interest, are you suggesting that Relic/THQ would have made more money if the DLC was cheaper, as it would have sold more widely? Because I can certainly accept that as possibility (though I don't personally agree) but if you just think it should be cheaper because, in your opinion, it's not worth that much then... well the state THQ is in at the moment kinda debunks that no?
That is what I'm saying. I'm saying if you lower the price, you lower the barrier for entry and you increase sales. You might make 10k sales at £5, but 20k at £3. That's more profit, is it not? Of course, estimating the numbers here, but if you look at how well sales do, it's the same logic. Titles sell a lot during sales because the barrier for entry is lowered and more people are comfortable buying it at that price.

gundrea
19-01-2012, 10:04 AM
That is what I'm saying. I'm saying if you lower the price, you lower the barrier for entry and you increase sales. You might make 10k sales at £5, but 20k at £3. That's more profit, is it not? Of course, estimating the numbers here, but if you look at how well sales do, it's the same logic. Titles sell a lot during sales because the barrier for entry is lowered and more people are comfortable buying it at that price.

Increased sales does not equal increased profit. The keyword in your third sentence is might. Pricing is a difficult business and even analytics only help somewhat but they're a good start. If you think the the pricing is too high on the dlc then show me why, don't tell me.

Althea
19-01-2012, 11:30 AM
Increased sales does not equal increased profit. The keyword in your third sentence is might. Pricing is a difficult business and even analytics only help somewhat but they're a good start. If you think the the pricing is too high on the dlc then show me why, don't tell me.
Well, if the development costs are the same and you sell 10k at £5, that's £50k. 20k at £3 is £60k. Obviously, you made more money with the latter. They're not figures that are particularly grounded in fact, except I've assumed that roughly half the price = twice the sales.

But how can I show you that the pricing is too high? Take it into context with the other developers and publishers. It's more opinion and judgement than any actual mathematical formula. Just Cause 2 had some fairly poorly-priced DLC, with two or three weapons being £0.89 each, which I find pretty high for what they are. I only have them because I was bought JC2's Complete Edition on sale, though. Space Marine is better value barely (two weapons for £0.69).

Fine, let me state my point thusly:
THQ are a company who, in my opinion, charge high prices for their DLC based on a content-to-price ratio. Whilst this DLC is not required for the game on any level, some of it can serve to give some sort of advantage in either single-player/co-op or multiplayer (Dawn of War 2) or it is a way for the developer to "spice up" the gameplay (Tau Commander, Chaos Unleashed) whereas some other developers would release said game modes for a low price or bundle them free in patches (e.g. Coffee Stain Studios, who have added different modes, weapons and maps to Sanctum for free, including multiplayer itself). They are not the only publisher to act like this - 2K have, to a lesser extent, done this with Civilization V - but they are one of the more prominent examples.

My problem with THQ's attitude to DLC is that we criticise Bethesda for Horse Armour, even this many years on, yet lap up or pay no heed to the number of packs THQ have currently released for Dawn of War II: Retribution, Space Marine and Saints Row the Third, nor their open approach to giving games months upon months (a year or so in SR3's case) of content. If they succeed in this endeavour, it may encourage other publishers to take on this business model themselves and further drag the DLC model into the dirt. We should instead, in my opinion, focus on developers and publishers who don't abuse the DLC model to make a quick buck from their customers (Bethesda/ZeniMax, as an example), instead releasing high-quality and high-content DLC packs.

deano2099
19-01-2012, 12:53 PM
That is what I'm saying. I'm saying if you lower the price, you lower the barrier for entry and you increase sales. You might make 10k sales at £5, but 20k at £3. That's more profit, is it not? Of course, estimating the numbers here, but if you look at how well sales do, it's the same logic. Titles sell a lot during sales because the barrier for entry is lowered and more people are comfortable buying it at that price.

Fairplay, though worth noting the DLC was on sale on Steam over Christmas, and if you can make 10k at £5 and then another 10K at £3 later on you're even better off that in either previous scenario.

Nalano
19-01-2012, 07:44 PM
My problem with THQ's attitude to DLC is that we criticise Bethesda for Horse Armour, even this many years on, yet lap up or pay no heed to the number of packs THQ have currently released for Dawn of War II: Retribution, Space Marine and Saints Row the Third, nor their open approach to giving games months upon months (a year or so in SR3's case) of content.

Bethesda's Horse Armor was non-intrusive. Bioware's campfire quest giver was not. There's nothing inherently evil with Bethesda's DLC - unless there's something evil with merchandising in a general sense - because you could ignore it at will. Hell, were it not for RPS, I might not have known it existed at all, and I own a copy of Oblivion.

The debate around the Horse Armor debacle was essentially "is it worth the price," and while general consensus was "no," not all DLC has to be generally accepted. After all, I don't think shiny gems are a good investment, yet there's an entire industry around them.

Smashbox
19-01-2012, 07:45 PM
Bioware's campfire quest giver

FUCK that guy.

Nalano
19-01-2012, 08:14 PM
FUCK that guy.

Exactly.

10char

deano2099
19-01-2012, 09:11 PM
Bethesda's Horse Armor was non-intrusive. Bioware's campfire quest giver was not. There's nothing inherently evil with Bethesda's DLC - unless there's something evil with merchandising in a general sense - because you could ignore it at will. Hell, were it not for RPS, I might not have known it existed at all, and I own a copy of Oblivion.

The debate around the Horse Armor debacle was essentially "is it worth the price," and while general consensus was "no," not all DLC has to be generally accepted. After all, I don't think shiny gems are a good investment, yet there's an entire industry around them.

Horse Armor has become something of a meme that's lost it's original meaning... the thing is, when Oblivion was announced, and Bethesda announced this "DLC strategy" before the term DLC had even entered into consciousness, people were excited. It was a new way of doing expansion packs. It was intriguing. It wasn't a dirty word. And it turned out to be armor for your horse, and the response was "that's a bit expensive" and "shit, is it all going to be naff like this". The thing is, Bethesda were going into a completely new market. And of course you pitch the product as expensive as you think you can get away with. Because if you can't, and you have to make it cheaper, that's fine. But if you set the bar low and people would have paid more, you've screwed yourself as raising it after the fact looks like you're gouging consumers.

The JG Man
31-01-2012, 02:46 PM
Bumpity bump.

THQ are being threatened of being delisted (http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=461349) from NASDAQ, which sufficed to say is rather bad.

Ignorant Texan
31-01-2012, 03:22 PM
Bumpity bump.

THQ are being threatened of being delisted (http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=461349) from NASDAQ, which sufficed to say is rather bad.

That's an understatement. The company dies at that point, unless it already has a bankruptcy plan ready for filing. Any guesses on who winds up with Relic?

The JG Man
31-01-2012, 03:45 PM
I've theorised that Sega could make sense as an acquisition, considering they have quite an interest in the PC strategy market, but in reality it's anybody's game.

ZIGS
31-01-2012, 04:31 PM
I just hope Darksiders 2 and Metro Last Light come out unscathed from all this, though ideally, THQ won't die because we NEED it. I don't want a future where 80% of all blockbuster titles are published but only 2 companies

The JG Man
31-01-2012, 04:40 PM
All 2012 releases are secure. How much advertising they get is up for debate, but the games not just will be coming out, but need to. THQ needs to get as much value in as it can if it has any hope of bouncing back which, realistically, is unlikely to happen.

ZIGS
31-01-2012, 04:57 PM
All 2012 releases are secure. How much advertising they get is up for debate, but the games not just will be coming out, but need to. THQ needs to get as much value in as it can if it has any hope of bouncing back which, realistically, is unlikely to happen.

They still might get rushed, specially Metro, since it doesn't even have an estimated release window (other than 2012 of course)

The JG Man
31-01-2012, 05:55 PM
Unlikely. They're so close to the end of development that rushing them out now would simply be counter-productive.

Shane
31-01-2012, 05:58 PM
...rushing them out now would simply be counter-productive.

This is THQ we are talking about, they are good at fucking things up.

Ignorant Texan
31-01-2012, 06:14 PM
... rushing them out now would simply be counter-productive.

Not when you're attempting to raise as much cash as possible to improve your position during bankruptcy/liquidation. A bankruptcy trustee will be charged with raising the maximum amount of 'value' in a liquidation to cover creditors, from senior secured debt(IE, bond-holders), down to the chumps with a worthless stock in their portfolios, finally ending with their employees and the vendors this will really hurt(IE, janitorial service(s), the people who supply the employee cafe, etc..). The last thing someone in that position is worried about is QC and protecting 'brands'.


EDIT:If the July 23 date is correct(NYSE delists after 30 days under 1USD), then THQ has time to work this out. Or not. Mark this post as a speculation as to what happens if they are delisted from the NASDAQ. Until that happens, the JG Man is correct, they have every incentive to release those games in as flawless a state as possible.

Mistabashi
31-01-2012, 06:21 PM
This is THQ we are talking about, they are good at fucking things up.

It's worth noting that THQ doesn't own 4A games, they're just publishing Metro (and presumably financing it, at least in part). A development & release schedule will already have been agreed, so while THQ could very well put a lot of pressure on the devs to release sooner they can't make demands that would contradict what has already been agreed - a contract is legally binding for both parties.

I would however expect they'll try to milk it as much as possible financially, so expect to see some minor but over-priced DLC and lots of pre-order bonus content, and on the flipside expect to see THQ aggressively pricing the game on their own storefront (much like what happened with Saints Row 3, which they were selling for £15 over christmas and throwing in the 3 major DLCs to boot).

Kodeen
31-01-2012, 06:29 PM
Unlikely. They're so close to the end of development that rushing them out now would simply be counter-productive.

Maybe, maybe not. JoWood did this with Gothic 3, and while they still went under eventually, it did seem to stem the tide for a little while.

The JG Man
01-02-2012, 12:29 PM
The idea of not needing protecting brands or pushing them out for quicker sales doesn't make sense in an industry where the biggest titles are not one-off hits looked forward to, but huge franchises on their Nth sequel. Darksiders 1, for instance, did not sell amazingly; if 2 gets bad reviews because the quality testing is poor, not only will it likely decrease overall sales, but the value of the franchise should it be sold off later would be significantly reduced, if not entirely unsellable. In theory, selling it quicker to stem the tide makes perfect sense, but I believe this is not one of those cases where the theory holds up to real world practice. In this circumstance, I'd love to be wrong and wouldn't mind being so.

That being said, it gets worse: likely 170+ being laid off from THQ (http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-02-01-thq-to-announce-170-layoffs-today-report). I wouldn't even say the beginning of the end as it feels much more like the middle.

sabrage
01-02-2012, 01:52 PM
The idea of not needing protecting brands or pushing them out for quicker sales doesn't make sense in an industry where the biggest titles are not one-off hits looked forward to, but huge franchises on their Nth sequel. Darksiders 1, for instance, did not sell amazingly; if 2 gets bad reviews because the quality testing is poor, not only will it likely decrease overall sales, but the value of the franchise should it be sold off later would be significantly reduced, if not entirely unsellable. In theory, selling it quicker to stem the tide makes perfect sense, but I believe this is not one of those cases where the theory holds up to real world practice. In this circumstance, I'd love to be wrong and wouldn't mind being so.

The first Darksiders didn't get great reviews, really. Somehow, copying Zelda gets you "derivative" while releasing identical games every year gets you "biggest entertainment release of all time."

Porcupeth
01-02-2012, 02:10 PM
I hope THQ gets out of this ok. Metro and W40K are some of the best current gaming franchises

Shane
01-02-2012, 03:47 PM
Heck, Metro 2033, along with the first Deus Ex, is the best linear shooter I've ever played.

sabrage
01-02-2012, 03:54 PM
Deus Ex... linear shooter
Wait, what?

Althea
01-02-2012, 03:55 PM
The first Darksiders didn't get great reviews, really. Somehow, copying Zelda gets you "derivative" while releasing identical games every year gets you "biggest entertainment release of all time."
Darksiders seems to be doing OK. It has a sequel coming out this year, it's a semi-cult hit and its novel tie-in prequel thing comes out via a major (genre) publisher in May.

sabrage
01-02-2012, 03:58 PM
Darksiders seems to be doing OK. It has a sequel coming out this year, it's a semi-cult hit and its novel tie-in prequel thing comes out via a major (genre) publisher in May.
The sequel would imply that sales got by just fine despite middling reviews, but thanks for spelling it out.

The JG Man
01-02-2012, 04:03 PM
Yeah it's a little weird. I'm led to believe that DS1 did around 1m, but it's hard to say; whenever it's been on sale on Steam, it's sold well and it certainly has a lot of anticipation built up around it (and from reading around, I'm not the only person looking to it more after playing the latest Zelda). The irony is, a game that would help them recoup their loses is one they may not be able to advertise too well. Fortunately it's got some word-of-mouth going in the industry and enthuthiasts so that'll probably filter through; the same is likely true of the next Metro title.

As an aside, Darksiders being derivative wasn't at all bad, just like anything else being derivative isn't necessarily bad. The only issue is if it's done badly and for many, including myself, it was done extremely well. Improvable? Damn straight, but the sequel certainly looks to be addressing that. It also has the advantage of being a not abundant genre (unfortunately) especially for the PS360/PC giving it some extra weight and potential audience...one would hope.

Roufuss
01-02-2012, 04:05 PM
Darksiders did 171,000 on the 360 alone when it launched January 2010... it cracked the NPD at #10. The PS3 version was #14 (but no numbers listed), no clue about PC in terms of sales.

I'd say, by now, it definitely has cracked a million across all three platforms so it was relatively successful and has a strong brand name.

Shane
01-02-2012, 04:06 PM
Wait, what?
Yea, Deus Ex, even Metro actually, don't really focus much on the shooting aspects, do they? Let's just say they are my favorite linear action games.

sabrage
01-02-2012, 04:07 PM
As an aside, Darksiders being derivative wasn't at all bad, just like anything else being derivative isn't necessarily bad. The only issue is if it's done badly and for many, including myself, it was done extremely well. Improvable? Damn straight, but the sequel certainly looks to be addressing that. It also has the advantage of being a not abundant genre (unfortunately) especially for the PS360/PC giving it some extra weight and potential audience...one would hope.
Apparently everyone misread my post. Darksiders sold well despite middling reviews that were directly targeted at the copied mechanics, which were ironically taken from some amazing games and lifted Darksiders out of its mediocre trappings.

In other words, video game reviewers are idiots.

sabrage
01-02-2012, 04:07 PM
Yea, Deus Ex... linear action game
Now you're just trolling.

Wizardry
01-02-2012, 04:11 PM
Now you're just trolling.
But it is linear. Look at the mission structure. Complete one mission, get moved on to the next. It's one of the biggest fallacies in the gaming community that Deus Ex in non-linear.

The JG Man
01-02-2012, 04:14 PM
it definitely has cracked a million across all three platforms so it was relatively successful and has a strong brand name.

Unfortunately not. A game isn't 'successful' now unless it sels 3-5m+. Nice one, industry! Those initial sales though were not exactly stellar. Or maybe they were? It's bloody hard to tell. I guess by the time it initially came onto PC, the people who got it immediately were the ones waiting for it. It'd have been interesting to have seen that initial value.


In other words, video game reviewers are idiots.

Amen. I've pretty much given up on conventional reviews now; RPS' because there's no rating system to adhere to, TB's 'WTF is...' and the GiantBomb quick looks and general forum observations will do it for me.

This is getting a bit off-topic though. I imagine come tomorrow we'll know a lot better the THQ situation.

Porcupeth
01-02-2012, 04:16 PM
It's linear in the sense that it's not open world. But it's open...ended.

sabrage
01-02-2012, 04:18 PM
But it is linear. Look at the mission structure. Complete one mission, get moved on to the next. It's one of the biggest fallacies in the gaming community that Deus Ex in non-linear.
See? Clearly a troll.

Voon
01-02-2012, 04:21 PM
To me, Deus Ex's non-linearity=going from A to B with, i don't know, one bajillion ways to get there?

Wizardry
01-02-2012, 04:22 PM
See? Clearly a troll.
What's really going through your head:

"Does... not... compute. Journalists... say otherwise. Comfort procedure... activated. Denial. Call Wizardry... a troll.

Ahhhhhhhhh. Much better."

sabrage
01-02-2012, 04:26 PM
Frankly, I'm not sure how you managed to convince everyone else you're not a troll. The Daniel Day-Lewis of trolling, but a troll nonetheless.

coldvvvave
01-02-2012, 05:42 PM
See? Clearly a troll.
Aren't you the one trolling here? Deus Ex is a linear game. Saying that it has lots of ways to get somewhere is like saying that in CoD you can kill same enemy in a dozen of different ways. In reality Deus Ex was linear with a couple of irrelevant storyline branches. Still great game, though, no disrespect meant.

Wizardry
01-02-2012, 05:50 PM
Yeah, I mean it's non-linear compared to the vast majority of FPSs. That's a given. But it's not really a non-linear game if you consider its RPG elements. It has a strict mission structure. You can't go to Paris before Hong Kong, for example, nor can you backtrack to a previous location.

sabrage
01-02-2012, 06:43 PM
From a gameplay perspective, it is non-linear.

I don't get off on choosing where I go next (frankly I don't give a shit,) but rather what I do.

The JG Man
01-02-2012, 10:38 PM
Well, we have our answer. It wasn't 170 jobs.

It was 240 (http://subcathoin.tumblr.com/post/16883143488/massive-layoffs-leadership-pay-cuts-hit-thq). CEO is also taking a 50% pay cut. (The link is Brian Crecente's blog, him being the former editor of Kotaku. I'm going to go out on a limb and say he's got that information correctly.)

For some perspective, I think that's around 1/5 of their work force. That may be out by a few hundred.

SirKicksalot
01-02-2012, 10:39 PM
His source is a THQ document (http://investor.thq.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=96376&p=irol-SECText&TEXT=aHR0cDovL2lyLmludC53ZXN0bGF3YnVzaW5lc3MuY29tL 2RvY3VtZW50L3YxLzAwMDA4NjU1NzAtMTItMDAwMDA1L3htbA% 3d%3d), so yeah. Wow.

sabrage
01-02-2012, 10:41 PM
Well, we have our answer. It wasn't 170 jobs.

It was 240 (http://subcathoin.tumblr.com/post/16883143488/massive-layoffs-leadership-pay-cuts-hit-thq). CEO is also taking a 50% pay cut. (The link is Brian Crecente's blog, him being the former editor of Kotaku. I'm going to go out on a limb and say he's got that information correctly.)

For some perspective, I think that's around 1/5 of their work force. That may be out by a few hundred.
I have to say, I'm a little impressed that their CEO's salary was only 720k. I wonder what multiple of that Kotick makes.

deano2099
02-02-2012, 12:45 AM
But it is linear. Look at the mission structure. Complete one mission, get moved on to the next. It's one of the biggest fallacies in the gaming community that Deus Ex in non-linear.

Much like the highly linear original Wizardry trilogy then, where you would complete one game then move on to the next. Sure, how you finished each game was non-linear but the overall series was just three adventures in a row.

Porcupeth
02-02-2012, 12:45 AM
"Reached for comment Wednesday, a THQ spokesperson said that company’s five studio teams won’t be impacted by the layoffs. Those studios are Relic Entertainment, THQ Studio San Diego, Vigil Games, Volition and THQ Studio Montreal."

As long as this part is true, i'm okay with it.

Wizardry
02-02-2012, 12:48 AM
Much like the highly linear original Wizardry trilogy then, where you would complete one game then move on to the next. Sure, how you finished each game was non-linear but the overall series was just three adventures in a row.
You don't need to complete the previous game to import your characters into the next.

SirKicksalot
02-02-2012, 12:52 AM
San Diego makes fighting games. They survived Midway's collapse, they'll survive this one too.

Tomorrow's investor call is going to be fun! Especially since some disgruntled employees sent the investors an e-mail explaining why THQ's management are a bunch of idiots.



I have to say, I'm a little impressed that their CEO's salary was only 720k. I wonder what multiple of that Kotick makes.

Kotick's salary is around a million dollars. He earns a lot more from various benefits and investments, not all of them related to gaming.

sabrage
02-02-2012, 10:46 PM
Well, Last Light just got pushed back to next year. Maybe it won't be identical to the first one now, because that was my impression from the trailers.

ZIGS
02-02-2012, 11:37 PM
Source: http://www.joystiq.com/2012/02/02/metro-last-light-delayed-to-q1-2013/

Also, I'm ok with this. I honestly was thinking the development time for this was too short, specially considering they're "tacking on" multiplayer to please the masses

SirKicksalot
02-02-2012, 11:39 PM
The company has 50% less employees than a year ago. Fucking Homefront, eh?
They're also "looking for a partner" for Dark Millenium. Who the hell would agree to that? I can only see some random Asian company buying it, not one of the Western publishers.
48 million dollars cash left, planning to end fiscal year with 25 and no debt. Betting on Metro and UFC. Have you seen the retarded online pass for UFC? Yeah, they're fucked.

sabrage
03-02-2012, 12:07 AM
I wish they'd bet on Stalker 2 instead. Yeah, it'd bankrupt them, but maybe we'd actually see the game.

Dave L.
03-02-2012, 03:30 AM
Have you seen the retarded online pass for UFC? Yeah, they're fucked.

Online passes have actually proven to be pretty lucrative. And since only about a third of console players actually play online multiplayer, there aren't that many people who will be up in arms about it.

sabrage
03-02-2012, 03:32 AM
Online passes have actually proven to be pretty lucrative. And since only about a third of console players actually play online multiplayer, there aren't that many people who will be up in arms about it.
Well, considering that the Xbox is the worst online pass of all, and that's the console of choice among "gamers" these days, it's not a big surprise.

ZIGS
03-02-2012, 05:08 AM
http://www.gameinformer.com/b/news/archive/2012/02/02/thq-outlines-games-plan.aspx

So, apparently they didn't cancel any game at all. Also, I didn't know Devil's Third was coming out for PC as well!

Net_Bastard
03-02-2012, 07:25 AM
The studio I'm most worried about is Volition. They haven't had many good things happen to them lately (Red Faction canned, SR3 rushed for the holidays) and it would be a shame for them to go. I did read a Gamesradar article about how Square Enix could pick up Volition. That seems like it would be the best case scenario. Square Enix had tried for a while to not have their name associated to mediocre JRPG's for a while now, with games like the cancelled Gun Loco and the SE-published Just Cause 2, so picking up the Saints Row studio would be perfect.

Hensler
04-02-2012, 03:58 PM
Did Space Marine make a profit? I loved the game, but it seemed to be dead on arrival in the marketplace, and I wonder if that has something to do with the new doubts regarding the Warhammer 40k MMO.

Althea
04-02-2012, 04:01 PM
Did Space Marine make a profit? I loved the game, but it seemed to be dead on arrival in the marketplace, and I wonder if that has something to do with the new doubts regarding the Warhammer 40k MMO.
No, it's probably more to do with the game being a bit load of eh.

For a studio's first non-strategy game, it's stunning, but it dragged on too damn long and was too damn boring.

Icarus
04-02-2012, 04:30 PM
The game was locked out of Steam in the UK (GW's home freaking market), the preorder bonuses were stupid, and the PC version is peer-to-peer multiplayer because Relic/THQ refused to provide dedicated servers, which kills pretty much every game with ridiculous amounts of lag.

Althea
04-02-2012, 04:40 PM
The game was locked out of Steam in the UK (GW's home freaking market)
Notice how the only games - bar one or two - which had Steam problems in the UK were THQ ones?

Icarus
04-02-2012, 04:42 PM
Notice how the only games - bar one or two - which had Steam problems in the UK were THQ ones?

Yeah, I noticed that. Even mentioned it to one of the THQ PR spods at MCM expo in the Saint's Row 3 booth, and his response was a nervous laugh and something about backroom lawyers.

Althea
04-02-2012, 04:45 PM
and his response was a nervous laugh and something about backroom lawyers.
Only non-THQ game I can think of was... um... Brink? Retribution released OK though, right?

Argh. Well, bloody THQ, anyway. I think it's bad for the staff and the devs, but THQ have not made it easy for themselves.

Icarus
04-02-2012, 04:48 PM
Only non-THQ game I can think of was... um... Brink? Retribution released OK though, right?


Retribution was fine, bar a release-day cockup for Europe where Scandinavians could play the game for 8 hours before THQ decided it shouldn't be out yet and flipped the switch again. I think it only slipped through because it was pushed as an expansion pack instead of a new game.

Edit: Oh, and the time where 'everyone who ordered the Collector's Edition will get the Dark Angels DLC for free' turned into 'everyone who ordered the CE direct from THQ will get the DLC for free' and the entire fanbase exploded. I don't know if it was Relic or THQ that cocked that one up, but it was an enormous PR failure.

The only other non-THQ game I can think of with UK-based Steam shenanigans was Arkham City, where it was available, then unavailable, then the UK had it's own edition, then preorders disappeared from game libraries altogether and argh.

SirKicksalot
29-03-2012, 07:29 PM
Well, this was unexpected: (http://investor.thq.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=96376&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1678267&highlight=)

AGOURA HILLS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Mar. 29, 2012-- THQ Inc. (http://cts.businesswire.com/ct/CT?id=smartlink&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thq.com&esheet=50222686&lan=en-US&anchor=THQ+Inc.&index=1&md5=b9da7ad3ee03b311498d85c164bcba31) (NASDAQ:THQI) today announced that it has refocused Warhammer® 40,000®: Dark Millennium™ from a Massively Multiplayer Online game to an immersive single player and online multiplayer experience with robust digital content, and engaging community features. Further product details, platforms and release timing will be announced at a later date.

----

As a result of this change, team sizes at two THQ internal studios will be reduced by 79 full-time employees at Vigil Games in Austin, Texas, and 39 employees at Relic Entertainment in Vancouver, B.C.

Drinking with Skeletons
29-03-2012, 07:38 PM
@SirKicksalot:

WHOA. That...sounds much better than an MMO, frankly. Perhaps something like the Elder Scrolls, but in the WH40K setting? With a full--but separate--multiplayer mode?

I will not get my hopes up about this I will not get my hopes up about this

The JG Man
29-03-2012, 07:39 PM
I wonder how significant that employee count is on the original teams. I'm guessing they were there for the infrastructure of an MMO and now that it won't be one, they're obviously off. That may not damage the core teams...that being said, that's obviously bad news.

Interesting what direction the game has gone in now. It's obviously a result of the shift in the MMO market towards F2P and if it's supportable or not, whilst a one-off audience for a retail product is likely a stronger gambit. Hell, I know I'm more interested now.

And then THQ and Vigil/Relic. Well, this may prove to be a smart decision, but I can't imagine it'll be doing much to allay the fears of THQ's situation. Curious to see what this will do to stocks/shares.

FriendlyFire
29-03-2012, 07:51 PM
How dare they touch Relic?!

It's perhaps one of their few consistently excellent studios.

Heliocentric
29-03-2012, 08:05 PM
Let's hope they cut marketing / admin and not talent.

Nalano
29-03-2012, 08:12 PM
Let's hope they cut marketing / admin and not talent.

Bahahahahaha. Cut admin?

SirKicksalot
29-03-2012, 08:14 PM
I wonder how significant that employee count is on the original teams. I'm guessing they were there for the infrastructure of an MMO and now that it won't be one, they're obviously off. That may not damage the core teams...that being said, that's obviously bad news.



Vigil was a 190 people team, Relic 150.
Someone who's not working right now should start a LinkedIn hunt and see the damage unfolding in real time.

mentor07825
29-03-2012, 08:32 PM
How low do share prices have to go before they're removed from the Stock Exchange? Because when that happens they're fucked.

The JG Man
29-03-2012, 08:53 PM
Vigil was a 190 people team, Relic 150.

According to viewing NeoGAF and info taken from LinkedIn, 193 and 154 respectively. That takes it down to 114 and 115 respectively. That's a significant cut. It's worth noting though that Vigil was originally set-up to produce DMO, so it's no surprise they took the hardest hit. I would be incredibly surprised if this affects the core Darksiders 2 team, especially so close to release (although expect more afterwards?) whilst Relic, obviously THQ's resident Games Workshop buddies, likely had a team dedicated to assisting Vigil; the Space Marine engine is one created by Vigil (same one as Darksiders) which may have been used for DMO.

Whatever, it's bad.

And mentor07825, not for some time. THQ aren't in GAME's scenario quite yet, but they're a lot worse off than they ever have been.

mentor07825
29-03-2012, 08:56 PM
Not good :( I hope they manage to stay afloat. One of the few publishers out there that I actually enjoy buying games from.

The JG Man
29-03-2012, 09:01 PM
Well the concerns at the beginning of this thread have certainly quietened down, so it's hard to say what's really going on in that front. The fact they're redesigning DMO has several ramifications:
1. It was looking at one point to be sold off. This obviously hasn't happened, meaning a possible injection of cash and removal of haemorrhaging hasn't happened.
2. Its original release date was something like 2014. Depending on what assets are already around, when this redesign happened and how much content there is, it could be out sooner, perhaps next year. This would provide a source of income sooner rather than later, necessary for an ailing company.
3. By no longer being an MMO, it removes a lot of the cost involved in creating an infrastructure to support it, made up for what will be a relatively minor shortfall in helping marketing the game on release.

All in all, it could end up being a successful decision that saves THQ from losing money. It could of course be a last-ditch effort to help save a company that is screwed.

mentor07825
29-03-2012, 09:08 PM
All in all, it could end up being a successful decision that saves THQ from losing money. It could of course be a last-ditch effort to help save a company that is screwed.

A bit like Mortal Kombat vs DC?

Althea
29-03-2012, 09:56 PM
Well, I'll say this. If I can afford when it (finally) comes out, and if I can play a female guardsman, THQ can count on me buying it at full price.

NathanH
29-03-2012, 11:14 PM
I'll buy five full-price copies for a Sister of Battle.

BrothaBear
30-03-2012, 01:30 AM
Warhammer mmo dead? ah well too good to be true anyways,

So much for joining godfather nurgles army..

frenz0rz
30-03-2012, 02:38 AM
Oh god no, not Relic!

At least bring out another expansion for Dawn of War 2 please guys. Its been nearly 6(!) years since I've bought a game where I can fight for the Greater Good!

Jerusahat
30-03-2012, 06:04 PM
Not directly related to THQ, but you were talking about games with problems on Steam (Brink and Skyrim mysteriously disappeared from pre-order), and I caught an interesting tweet (https://twitter.com/#%21/ID_AA_Carmack/status/184649976721309697) John Carmack made a few days ago.


Region locking on Steam is either because of a deal with a local retailer, or the market is too small to deal with tax collection. We have the same tax issues on the App store – many companies just don’t collect the tax, but Zenimax is scrupulous about it.

We've all suspected it, but it's nice to see an industry bod admit the back-room deals are going on.

The JG Man
30-03-2012, 06:40 PM
Well I can't imagine the Uk is too small to deal with tax collection...

Althea
30-03-2012, 06:41 PM
Collect the tax? I'm not sure what he means by that.

Jerusahat
30-03-2012, 06:47 PM
The costs of processing sales tax (registration, accounting etc) - if the market is too small, it'd negate the profit.

SirKicksalot
05-04-2012, 10:45 PM
'THQ won't be around in six months,' says Take-Two CEO Zelnick (http://www.joystiq.com/2012/04/05/thq-wont-be-around-in-six-months-says-take-two-ceo-zelnick/)

And then proceeds to explain what they did wrong.

rpg_fann
06-04-2012, 06:09 AM
I wonder if this is good news or bad news.

The JG Man
18-04-2012, 04:34 PM
Down but not out, is the name of the game. (http://investor.thq.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=96376&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1684259&highlight=)

They've cut expected loses down and if upcoming releases sell to expectation, THQ can start recovering somewhat. Their first game out in the financial year is Darksiders 2, which has just been postponed to release in August from it's late June release date. A damn shame, but they cite polish as a reason, so I'm cool with that.

Heister
18-04-2012, 04:37 PM
Down but not out, is the name of the game. (http://investor.thq.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=96376&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1684259&highlight=)

They've cut expected loses down and if upcoming releases sell to expectation, THQ can start recovering somewhat. Their first game out in the financial year is Darksiders 2, which has just been postponed to release in August from it's late June release date. A damn shame, but they cite polish as a reason, so I'm cool with that.

I'll be getting a preowned console copy of Darksiders 2 off of amazon.

Winged Nazgul
18-04-2012, 04:43 PM
I'll be getting a preowned console copy of Darksiders 2 off of amazon.

Way to kick them while they're down. But I guess I'm no better. I usually wait until their titles go deep discount on Steam before I buy them.

Heister
18-04-2012, 04:50 PM
Way to kick them while they're down. But I guess I'm no better. I usually wait until their titles go deep discount on Steam before I buy them.

I do that too! Don't worry about it though. They'll make it back on dlc. Besides, I've read that Steam sales are pretty good for developers too - http://www.wired.com/gamelife/2012/04/opinion_kohler-we-need-no-one/

From that article:
"Ben Kuchera wrote this week at Penny Arcade about how Steam, the digital game shop for PCs, is fundamentally transforming the way developers think about buying and selling games (http://penny-arcade.com/report/editorial-article/how-valve-devalued-video-games-and-why-thats-good-news-for-developers-and-p). “If you launch a game at $20, and the price goes down to $5,” he writes, “you need to sell four times as many games to make the same money, right? Surprisingly, developers see sales an order of magnitude higher than they expected after severely cutting the price of the game after launch. They don’t just sell four times as many games, they may sell 20 times as many, or more.”"

Kodeen
18-04-2012, 07:15 PM
Steam sales are usually at least a few months after release. Will THQ be around long enough to benefit from them?

Hypernetic
18-04-2012, 08:41 PM
Steam sales are usually at least a few months after release. Will THQ be around long enough to benefit from them?

....

They would still get the money from any sales of existing or soon to be released products. What happens with the money after that depends on any number of factors such as if they are in debt and how they proceed with shutting down the company. It's not as if Valve would get to keep the money it makes from selling their games... lmao.

Kodeen
18-04-2012, 08:47 PM
It's not as if Valve would get to keep the money it makes from selling their games... lmao.

That's not what I meant. If THQ ends up going into administration before any big sales take place, their portion of the profits isn't going to go the bottom line, it would likely go towards debt holders.

Hypernetic
18-04-2012, 08:49 PM
That's not what I meant. If THQ ends up going into administration before any big sales take place, their portion of the profits isn't going to go the bottom line, it would likely go towards debt holders.

It will either way, unless you think a Steam sale will somehow miraculously save the company.

Kodeen
18-04-2012, 08:52 PM
I mentioned Steam sales because of Heister's comment. THQ is likely to remain alive and independent at least till August, so purchases at that time help the company. However, as Heister pointed out, people often wait for sales, and I was stating that those sales might be too late to do THQ any real good.

shaydeeadi
19-04-2012, 08:40 AM
http://www.develop-online.net/news/40537/THQ-confident-after-firm-exceeds-sales-estimates
Maybe Steam helped a little bit.
I hope 2033:LL is safe.

Ravelle
19-04-2012, 09:55 AM
The Warhammer MMO isn't dead though, it's going to be a singple-player game with a co-op feature which is great.

Althea
19-04-2012, 10:21 AM
Might help to compare the announcement of that with the majority of dates in this topic.

DWZippy
19-04-2012, 10:50 AM
As long as Voliton and relic are okay.

The JG Man
19-04-2012, 02:42 PM
Relic received some cut-backs, but probably in relation to the team supporting Dark Millennium. It wasn't a small cut though, so who knows. If I remember accurately, Volition were left untouched.

arathain
19-04-2012, 04:31 PM
It seems Relic have stopped patching/supporting Dawn of War 2. Understandable given the circumstances, but kind of a shame. The multiplayer is pretty close to having a decent balance, but the last couple of patches introduced a couple of bugs and things that obviously need trimming, which will now never happen.

Dave L.
30-05-2012, 12:31 AM
Pretty huge shakeup today (http://www.joystiq.com/2012/05/29/thqs-bilson-exits-as-jason-rubin-takes-prez-spot/). Bilson was pretty much the architect of THQ's Core Games Strategy over the past couple of years, overseeing some pretty high profile failures (Homefront, Red Faction: Armageddon, and Space Marine. And if rumours are to be believed the failure of those games was largely down to his creative interference), but also one or two huge successes (Saints Row the Third, and the first UFC game). He was probably also largely the one pushing the 'more DLC, more often, for more money' model, which, while obscenely profitable, probably wasn't going to be sustainable at that level for very much longer. Dave Davis was Bilson's right hand man.

I'll be very interested to see what changes Rubin is able to make to THQ.

jnx
30-05-2012, 06:12 AM
I'd think that Space Marine at least returned what was invested to it. RF:A and Homefront though, those are probably the worst failures of the years they were launched.

Althea
30-05-2012, 08:47 AM
Maybe THQ can improve, then.

That DLC model took the piss on a horrific level. Saints Row the Third has something like £35 worth of DLC if bought separately, but it goes down to a (slightly) more reasonable £25-30(ish) if you buy the collected packs. DoW2:R was a joke in that department, too. Most of it was pointless or gave you a little boost, and perhaps that makes it even worse.

I reckon SR3 was only successful because of its marketing and it's really the only rival GTA IV has had. I've certainly enjoyed what I've played, and I've put something like 20hrs into it already, but there is a *lot* that needed doing to it. Space Marine was kinda the same - it was good, but needed a *lot* of additional work, not to mention how bloated it is (2 DVDs, numerous GBs of patches).

Dave L.
30-05-2012, 08:54 AM
Space Marine is a weird one. At the end of the quarter of its releas THQ touted that it was doing better than expected with 1.2 million units shipped across all three platforms, but every quarter since then they've said it was a disappointment.

And those numerous gigs of patches were primarily about adding a bunch of free content. 3 new multiplayer game modes for free is nothing to sneeze at. If the rest of THQ's DLC was built on that model (one big free thing that everybody gets launching alongside the paid stuff), I don't think nearly as many people would be complaining about it.

Althea
30-05-2012, 09:12 AM
I would, obviously ;)

My point was more that the game has a massive install size (as does Portal 2, for that matter) for little obvious reason, and whilst I'm fine with free DLC (who isn't?). But... three modes? Are you sure? Exterminatus was free, then there were two added ones (Dreadnoughts and Chaos Unleashed).

Vexing Vision
30-05-2012, 09:30 AM
Space Marine is a weird one. At the end of the quarter of its releas THQ touted that it was doing better than expected with 1.2 million units shipped across all three platforms, but every quarter since then they've said it was a disappointment.

Watch your terms there... "shipped units" does not equal sales, it equals the amount of pre-orders from retail stores.

If these units do not sell, THQ does not make money.

roryok
30-05-2012, 10:28 AM
Games Workshop do seem to have an aversion to being directly involved

I picture them sitting in a darkened room full of models and codex books, and any time anyone mentions video games they slap their hands over their ears and start shouting "if I don't need dice its not a game!"

Althea
30-05-2012, 10:30 AM
I picture them sitting in a darkened room full of models and codex books, and any time anyone mentions video games they slap their hands over their ears and start shouting "if I don't need dice its not a game!"
Wizardry works for GW?

NoodleFighter
30-05-2012, 11:22 AM
Relic should be picked up by Sega, Paradox or 1C. As for 4A games they should get picked up by 1C or Paradox.

Hirmetrium
30-05-2012, 11:24 AM
I would, obviously ;)

My point was more that the game has a massive install size (as does Portal 2, for that matter) for little obvious reason, and whilst I'm fine with free DLC (who isn't?). But... three modes? Are you sure? Exterminatus was free, then there were two added ones (Dreadnoughts and Chaos Unleashed).

At one point, I believe a capture the flag mode was added for free. The other two you mentioned are also around as DLC, yes.

I will say, Space Marine is a painful reminder of a game that fell short of greatness. I played it loads, it was very exciting and enjoyable, but there just seemed to be endless problems with online population, a very poorly designed set of unlocks for some weapons (multikills with a meltagun, which is HILARIOUS) and some serious lag issues. This was compounded when the co-op DLC arrived late, didn't let you work on your weapon unlocks (so those of us who had grinded to level 41 found it a bit redundant) and ultimately just reminded us of the painful lag issues.

Finally, when all the other DLC arrived, it was priced high enough that nobody wanted to buy it - cutting the online populace down even further and cutting it in half. Considering you can't even control which map you pick, that meant that online games were unpredictable and if you didn't have the DLC you might as well not play.

Homefront sold 1mil units in the end - but it wasn't the big hit THQ needed. In addition, the less said about Red Faction: Armageddon the better. After guerrilla, it seemed the property was set. Guess I was wrong. With a bit of luck, when THQ recovers, they can again make a brilliant Red Faction game.

As for Dawn of War 2, from what I understand a majority of the team that worked on it were made redundant. I honestly don't know what everyone else is working on at the moment, if its DMO or DOW3. I'd prefer it was the later, because at this point DMO should of been cancelled (who knows, that's likely only a few days away with a new VP of core games).

Also, Relic are entirely owned by THQ. There is no way that anybody can "pick them up". If THQ go down, Relic are likely to go with them. It isn't even up for discussion, as one of THQ's most profitable and decent studios.

jnx
30-05-2012, 11:24 AM
And someone should give Volition money to make a PC only Freespace 3.

The JG Man
30-05-2012, 11:57 AM
I don't know where the "team that worked on DoW 2 were made redundant" line has come from across the internet. The part of teams cut were clearly to do with the changing of Dark Millennium On...Offline. All teams involved with that were cut.

That being said, either this move is someone bailing before the water gets too high, or there's a chance THQ can be recovered. It's still gravely in risk of dropping out of the stock listings. If that happens, then we can start talking about studios being sold off. As it stands, they can still recover.

orcane
30-05-2012, 12:16 PM
They can, but I'm not sure selling Penthouse pet DLCs for Saints Row etc. is a good plan in the long run, for a time when they may have recovered and need customers again who might remember "almost dead THQ's" actions.

Hirmetrium
30-05-2012, 01:45 PM
I don't know where the "team that worked on DoW 2 were made redundant" line has come from across the internet. The part of teams cut were clearly to do with the changing of Dark Millennium On...Offline. All teams involved with that were cut.
Because, as a man who does nothing but hang around in the Relic community, suddenly everyone we knew who had communicated with us (Thunder, Noun, EgonSpengler) had left, the balance guy who moved off DOW2 to another "project" was gone as well. Granted, its not like the entire DOW2 team disappeared - but you have to understand how integral and important these people were to the community, and how they were constantly feeding information and taking it back as well. Without these people, we have to build new relationships with their replacements (if they are even replaced) and there's no guarantee that Relic will ever listen to the community again as a result. One of the Relic tech guys used to help us resolve a lot of technical issues, as he worked on the game. He was gone too (Pulse.r).

From an external perspective, it looks like everyone who worked on DOW2 got moved to DMO, then fired when it it was "retooled" into a single player game. Which is why this statement comes up.

I don't say these things lightly - I say them because as a Relic fan it hurt me. I love that crappy argumentative fractured split over 3-5 different forums community. I still love them. But the fact of the matter is, anybody whom we counted as a long standing developer of the DOW franchise left. And yeah, thats the video game industry... but it still sucks.

All I can say is thank god that the hard working folk at THQ who interface with Relic are still there. I can at least still get some details out of them. And they definitely deserve to stay after all the effort they put into DOW2.

Sorry, I got my panties in a twist. You can return to normal now.

P.S. Don't worry about THQ stock. They have it covered. (https://www.google.co.uk/url?url=http://www.mcvuk.com/news/read/thq-to-avoid-nasdaq-delisting-with-reverse-stock-split/096829&rct=j&sa=X&ei=hxbGT-ilMar74QS42dWUBQ&ved=0CDAQ-AsoATAA&q=thq+reverse+split&usg=AFQjCNEdMGxeNv7dNCuTXvkWWQBX8w8RuA&cad=rja) Their investors would be idiots not to approve this. Delisted stock isn't worth shit.

victory
30-05-2012, 03:25 PM
I mentioned Steam sales because of Heister's comment. THQ is likely to remain alive and independent at least till August, so purchases at that time help the company. However, as Heister pointed out, people often wait for sales, and I was stating that those sales might be too late to do THQ any real good.
Surely there's no fixed time for sales. If THQ is struggling now, why not have a sale now?
In a timeframe of weeks, they could also make other kinds of moves to boost sales. For instance, patch out DRM and put some of their bestselling titles on GoG. I would certainly buy a bunch of games if they did this.

SirKicksalot
05-06-2012, 01:39 AM
http://i.imgur.com/K1X9Z.jpg

ColOfNature
05-06-2012, 01:43 AM
Bad form indeed. What were the San Diego mob working on?

edit: UFC and WWE games, apparently.

RobF
05-06-2012, 01:44 AM
UFC, I think. License was announced as being passed to EA earlier.

The JG Man
05-06-2012, 01:57 AM
Pretty awful. Bury it on probably the busiest E3 day...or not, because the internet doesn't exactly have quiet days.

RobF
05-06-2012, 02:00 AM
Yeah, it's fairly grim stuff indeed. Not that there's ever a good time to shutter a studio but trying to do it quietly when no-one's looking is pretty shitty behaviour.

Lukasz
05-06-2012, 05:36 AM
Surely there's no fixed time for sales. If THQ is struggling now, why not have a sale now?
In a timeframe of weeks, they could also make other kinds of moves to boost sales. For instance, patch out DRM and put some of their bestselling titles on GoG. I would certainly buy a bunch of games if they did this.
ten dollars for each stalker would sell shitton on gog.

but i presume management is not actually aware of that kind of thing.

victory
05-06-2012, 06:07 AM
ten dollars for each stalker would sell shitton on gog.

but i presume management is not actually aware of that kind of thing.
I'd personally like to see them put up Metro 2033, Dawn of War (+II) complete editions, Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance.

Binho
05-06-2012, 06:51 AM
Know two people who worked there, and got laid off. Two weeks ago, they were saying 'our studio has the UFC license. We'll be fine!' Poor them :(

Luckily, THQ is trying to find a place for at least one of them in a different studio. And unlike 38 Studios/Big Huge Games, they are getting paid for this month, severance payment next month, and also getting paid for any vacation days they hadn't used. Don't know if he should stay on a ship though, which while perhaps not sinking, has at least sprung some major leaks.

Althea
05-06-2012, 09:59 AM
I'd personally like to see them put up Metro 2033, Dawn of War (+II) complete editions, Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance.
Considering DoW2 relies on GfWL for its multiplayer (and Steamworks for Retribution), DRM free ones won't be possible unless they rewrite the multiplayer system, which I doubt will happen.

Shane
05-06-2012, 10:36 AM
Wasn't UFC one of THQ's big hitters? I always thought it to be a very successful IP.

orcane
05-06-2012, 12:57 PM
Even if it was, can't make UFC games without the license.

Namdrol
05-06-2012, 01:04 PM
Wasn't UFC one of THQ's big hitters? I always thought it to be a very successful IP.

yup, but they did not own the IP.