THQ Will be Dead Within Six Months, Says Take-Two [Update]

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As some of you have noted, Zelnick has since expressed regret for his words. He hasn't, however, retracted them.

"While discussing our strategy I spoke out of turn about someone else’s," Zelnick told Game Informer. "It was inappropriate and I regret it."

[Original Story]

The CEO of Grand Theft Auto publishers Take-Two, Strauss Zelnick, has said that THQ will cease to exist within the next six months, owing to their current financial problems.

The statement has prompted an angry response by THQ’s corporate communications vice president Angela Emery, who has suggested that Zelnick “would be better off commenting on his own business.”

Zelnick made the claim at the MIT Business in Gaming conference yesterday, indicating that poor quality games and an abundance of licensed titles are responsible for THQ’s troubles.

"THQ's strategy was licensed properties, first and foremost. License stuff from other people, whether it's UFC or WWE or a motion picture property, and make a game around that," Zelnick explained. "And our approach, since we took over the company, is 100 per cent owned intellectual property."

Zelnick said that making licensed games leaves publishers at the mercy of the license holder, who has complete control over the contracts. He added that although THQ has begun to change direction in that regard, it will still take a long time for it to come to fruition. Too long, in fact.

"The most important difference is quality,” said, comparing the two publisher’s fortunes. “Take-Two has the highest quality ratings among third-party publishers, according to Metacritic and most people in the industry. Quality really, really, really matters. THQ has had some good games, but their quality levels aren't even remotely... the quality hasn't measured up.

"THQ won't be around in six months," he concluded.

Zelnick’s comments have prompted a response from THQ, who were far from impressed. "Obviously, Mr. Zelnick's perception of THQ is outdated and inaccurate,” said corporate communications vice president Angela Emery. “His comments are irresponsible and false. Perhaps he would be better off commenting on his own business."

Regardless of either party’s comments, the fact is that THQ are struggling financially. The publisher has had to lay off a number of staff following the poor performance of some of their titles. They also recently scaled down plans for a Warhammer MMO, developing it into a single-player game instead.

[via Joystiq, Eurogamer]


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