It looks like THQ’s financial woes continue unabated, despite the fact that the publisher and developer recently axed 240 jobs as a cost-cutting measure.
The firm’s just announced that it’ll be creating a longer line at the unemployment office, to the tune of 118 people from THQ studios Relic Entertainment and Vigil Games.
79 people at Darksiders II developer Vigil have lost their meal tickets, with Dawn of War developer Relic losing 39 staff.
In a statement, THQ said "Vigil Games will continue to focus on both this game and the critically-acclaimed new title, Darksiders II, scheduled for release this summer. Relic Entertainment continues to focus its development expertise on THQ’s franchises including Company of Heroes and Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War."
While the staffing cuts thankfully won’t affect Darksiders II ( a game I’m rather looking forward to!), it will significantly impact the future of the Warhammer 40,000 MMO, subtitled Dark Millennium. In fact, it’ll no longer be an MMO – which must come as terrible news for fans of Games Workshop’s sci-fi fantasy universe. Instead, it’s being retooled as a more traditional game with single player and multiplayer campaigns.
"… based on changing market dynamics and the additional investment required to complete the game as an MMO, we believe the right direction for us is to shift the title from an MMO to a premium experience with single and multiplayer gameplay, robust digital content and community features,” says THQ boss Brian Farrell – who recently took an arrow to his paycheck.
"Because we believe strongly in the high-quality and vast creative work that is in production, this is the right decision for both our portfolio and for gamers devoted to this powerful property."
That’s probably a good call. MMO’s are incredible money sinks and it’s too risky a venture for a company that’s already on its knees. All of these studio closures and job losses point to s sign that the video game industry is a troubled one. Maybe Dennis Dyack is right – and soon there won’t actually be a video game industry to speak of.