Roughly 22 hours ago the Twitterverse exploded when Kevin Dent sent out a tweet stating that THQ was about to cancel MMO War Hammer.
Kevin’s a veteran industry analyst and this little tweet has sent shockwaves through the gaming industry as he followed it up with some more interesting statements.
Never mind cancelling 1 game how about all of them[blackbirdpie url="https://twitter.com/#!/TheKevinDent/status/158454721651277824"]
Apparently they had already invested $20 million into War Hammer but it was a long way off and would still need at least another $100 million before it could be released to retail and that’s imply far more than THQ could handle.
He then tweeted[blackbirdpie url="https://twitter.com/#!/TheKevinDent/status/158455824543531010"]
Which obviously implies an imminent buyout and then it gets worse for THQ as apparently they are returning IP’s purchased from other companies as they won’t be able to fulfil their side of the negotiated deals.[blackbirdpie url="https://twitter.com/#!/TheKevinDent/status/158460060090114049"]
In fact according to Kevin THQ will have to be sold or go bankrupt by June this year.
The official response from THQ so far has been an ominous “No Comment” but some of the employees have been posting that they don’t think anything untoward is happening at THQ and if there is they haven’t been told about it.
Honestly I’m thinking Kevin is onto something as creating another MMO isn’t what the market wants at the moment and their last massive IP, Homefront, was a resounding flop and then they released the quite exceptional Saints Row 3 at the worst possible time leading to lower than projected sales figures.
How many missteps does a company get before it goes under and not to mention that THQ isn’t as big as you think it is.
According to Google Finance THQ’s market cap is sitting at a pretty paltry $45.41 Million, that compares abysmally to EA’s $5.98 Billion and Activision’s $14.01 Billion. Even Majesco Entertainment (who? – They make videogame peripherals) have a bigger cap at $121 Million.
So while $45 million is a ton of money for people like you and me it’s really not much when you consider a single AAA title can cost more than that to developer and publish.
Oh and that header image, that’s THQ stock price over the last 12 months, you can hardly see it anymore.
So are THQ going down or is this just a sick rumour that got far too much traction?[Update] Kevin has now posted that THQ are confirming they do have a 2014 slate and that they aren’t stopping Warhammer [blackbirdpie url="https://twitter.com/#!/TheKevinDent/statuses/158778702816227328"]
In addition, THQ has sent out a lenghty statement to the contrary, saying:
“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.”