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THQ Postmortem

MCV outlines what they call "the full story" of the collapse of THQ, the game publisher/developer that was just broken up due to bankruptcy. They hear from Jason Rubin, who served as president of the company during efforts to put it back on course, and he is frank in saying the made "massive mistakes," and that: "There are certainly things to be said about challenges in the mid-tier triple-A publishing business, but I don't think that conflating it with THQ's experience is helpful." Here's a bit of his take on what went wrong:

Unfortunately, the mistakes that were made long before I joined, like the incredible losses attached to uDraw, massive wasted capital in the unpublished MMO that was cancelled, sticking with children's and casual titles far after mobile and tablets had killed the business, bad, late, or otherwise inferior titles like Homefront, and a generally haphazard and inefficient approach to deal making, left the company with too much negative hanging on its books.

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28. Re: THQ Postmortem Feb 1, 2013, 12:46 killer_roach
Creston wrote on Feb 1, 2013, 12:41:
Beamer wrote on Feb 1, 2013, 12:01:
Creston wrote on Feb 1, 2013, 11:31:
Publishers add nothing to the gaming industry.


Except for, you know, the capital required to make a game like GTA, Saints Row, etc.

Had there been no publishers, that capital would still be there. Either it would have come from previous sales (like it does now), or from venture capitalists investing in the gaming industry (like it does now). Or do you think that RICIETOEOETELELLOo coughs it up out of his own pocket or something?

The article mentions that THQ's publishing part was THREE-HUNDRED people. That's 300 salaries and benefits etc that every single game published by THQ has to cover. Imagine if that hadn't been there. The reason EA never makes any money (other than the fact that it's fudging the books) is because there's about 1800 parasites hanging like remoraz off every game they make.


Basically, publishers are venture capitalists with sector-specific marketing and logistics expertise. In the event of the failure of an EA or an Activision, I think that leaves enough of a void for one of the previously-mentioned mid-size players to try to step up, or for an actual venture capital firm to acquire the industry-specific talent to run some stuff from their end.

In short, meet the new boss, same as the old boss.
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