January 24, 2013 by mattjozanovic
Franchises started under THQ and THQ’s development studios will continue in one way or another. Volition was purchased by Deep Silver. Relic was sold to Sega. Vigil, developer behind the Darksiders games, received no buyer, and it is likely that everybody from that studio will be unemployed when this is settled. However, THQ still owns the Darksiders IP and has stated that they may sell that at some point in the future. Still, I look back on all of THQ’s work, and its still painful to watch THQ become a shell of its former self.
Darksiders, Space Marine, the Saints Row games, and the Red Faction games are some of my favorites from this console generation. These games may not have been the most realistic, narrative-driven, or evocative, but there are few that can match these THQ titles in entertainment value and gameplay.
A lot of us have a soft spot for THQ games. And I don’t mean that I just had some fun playing them. I believed in those games so much so that I bought actual THQ stock. In hindsight, it may not have been my wisest purchase, but I was so convinced of the quality of THQ’s products.
THQ started as the humble developer of licensed games like the WWF Smackdown series. Accruing a steady income from licensed games, they created their own intellectual properties and acquired development studies. That is how THQ transform itself into one of the largest video game publishers in the world. Unfortunately, while sales of their original IPs were decent, they never had a standout hit that sold as well as the GTAs or the Halo titles.
Then came the uDraw. The uDraw is a graphic design tablet for the Wii that allowed you to draw pictures and have them translate to the TV screen. The device was very successful on the Wii selling over 2.3 million units. THQ wanted to bring uDraw to the PS3 and Xbox 360 as well, but they had severely overestimated demand for the device on HD consoles. Production and marketing of the device were a debacle, and it is widely considered by many as the reason for THQ’s ruin, though CEO Brian Farrell’s inability to handle the crisis also contributed.
THQ claims that they will march forward into the future, but what THQ was, to me at least, will never be the same.