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THQ's Financial Woes, Metro Pushed Back

A light, a tunnel. Do you see?

Times are hard at THQ and that’s relative to the general hardness of the hour for the majority of people who rely on one of the world’s known currencies to secure food and shelter. The publisher is under threat of NASDAQ delisting, with its stock currently below $1 a share, and over the next year 240 staff will be losing their jobs. The company has shared its release schedule, which shows that Metro: Last Light is now scheduled for an early 2013 release. Other releases of note are the new game from Left 4 Dead’s Turtle Rock. That’s due between April 2013 and March 2014, as are Dark Millennium Online and Del Toro’s inSANE. Before April 2013, it’s Metro and “unannounced core titles”.

Losses in the last quarter were $55.9 million, compared to $14.9 million in the equivalent quarter the previous year. However, with the success of Saints Row: The Third, the company has stated its commitment to “core IP” rather than continuing its ill-fated move into family-focused titles, particularly those on the uDraw GameTablet.

By outlining a release schedule that looks so far ahead, THQ will be hoping investors have faith that it will be able to survive until its next batch of major releases are ready to make some money. As for Dark Millennium Online, which was rumoured to be cancelled recently, Eurogamer confirm that a partner is being sought to help complete the title.

As I see it, THQ now need to convince all and sundry, developers included, that they have the resources in place to fund their upcoming titles. It’s sad that the successful release of the madcap glory of Saints Row: The Third hasn’t been enough to mitigate the disastrous losses from uDraw’s 360 and PS3 release, but hopefully it will help refocus the remaining resources on titles of similar quality.

The stated reason for the lengthy delay to Metro, which has been pushed back from a summer 2012 release, is a need for more polish. Perhaps that’s a positive sign, with the publisher not feeling it necessary to rush titles to release. 4A Games have commented: “[The release] may be a little later than you were expecting, but trust us – the wait will be worth it! You’ll be hearing a lot more about Metro: Last Light closer to E3, so please be patient. We can’t wait to show you what we’ve been up to.”

As always in these situations, we wish the very best to those whose jobs may be affected.

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Adam Smith

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