It’s the season of financial calls, those big hunks of newsmeat that we, as proud, sophisticated journalists can throw ourselves into face first, devouring every last shred before leaving them with just a few errant numbers and a conversation between the CEO and the investors about where they should go to dinner after the call is done. After EA’s mixed bag of Battlefield 3 (good) and The Old Republic (bad), THQ are up next.
Turns out they’re doing a little better than you might expect. They even made a profit. But they’ve cancelled Guillermo Del Toro’s Insane, the first videogame from the director of such excellent films as Hellboy, Hellboy 2, Pan’s Labyrinth and the oft overlooked but very excellent Chronos.
Del Toro gets to keep the rights to the name and the IP, but it’s unclear whether he gets to take the code along with him, which would certainly make it much more likely that it might find a home somewhere else. There’s an excellent discussion about game design between him and Ken Levine of Irrational that made it seem like this wouldn’t just be some director coming in and trying to make a game like a film, so it would be a shame if it never saw the light of day.
But it’s not all doom and gloom for THQ. Along with making a profit of $15.4 million, “in the last 60 days all four of our internal studios began working on new titles that represent the type of product that we believe will make THQ successful in the future”, so states Jason Rubin, President of THQ.
Those four internal studios being Relic Entertainment, makes of Company of Heroes, Dawn of War and Homeworld. Then there’s Vigil Games, who are making Darksiders 2, which is THQ’s big bet for the next few months. They’re also doing that Warhammer 40k MMO that isn’t an MMO anymore, but instead an action RPG. Although with The Old Republic doing so questionably, that might be a smart move. Volition, makers of Saints Row (and upcoming Enter the Dominatrix), Red Faction and Freespace are the third, with THQ Studio Montreal making up the last.
So while it’s clearly very early days for those new games, it’s certainly looking like THQ aren’t going to spontaneously combust any second, which it certainly felt like earlier in the year. Maybe we’ll even see a Homeworld sequel yet, in a decade or two.