Saints Row and Red Faction publisher THQ is cutting jobs, studios and games in a major way today, "strategically realigning" hundreds out of work and putting an end to the MX vs. ATV franchise.
THQ announced today that the company will increase "emphasis on high potential categories" at its five internal development studios and reduce its "focus on kids and movie-based licensed titles for consoles." Those high potential categories include whatever THQ Montreal and former Assassin's Creed creative director Patrice Désilets are working on; Volition's Saints Row: The Third and inSANE (the Guillermo del Toro game); Relic's Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine; Vigil's Darksiders II and Warhammer 40,000 MMO; and THQ San Diego, the studio behind WWE All Stars.
No longer on THQ's slate is the MX vs. ATV racing game franchise. The most recent entry, MX vs. ATV Alive, was released earlier this year. Seemingly also gone are properties like de Blob. Australian developer Blue Tongue is now closed as is THQ's Brisbane studio, which was working on a video game based on Marvel's The Avengers. THQ will also eliminate its development studio in Phoenix.
The publisher said last month that its Red Faction property is all-but dead as well, that it "[does] not intend to carry forward with that franchise in any meaningful way." In June, it closed Homefront developer Kaos Studios. THQ did not mention one of its other upcoming titles, the Valhalla Games-developed Devil's Third, which recently slipped to 2013.
There's a lot of talk of "right-sizing" and "leveraging" from THQ CEO Brian Farrell in the announcement, as well as the publisher's intention to "concentrate on fast growing digital business initiatives such as social games, mobile and tablet-based digital entertainment."
So, yeah, things are bad all over at THQ. Again.