November 4, 2010 at 4:58 PM
Game developer THQ announced some pretty massive losses for its second fiscal quarter — $47 million, to be exact.
For those of you who are like me and can't possibly fathom having that kind of money (much less losing it), this is a pretty big deal. Even for THQ, which technically started in 1989 under the name Trinity Acquisition Corporation, this is a sizable chunk of change since the last truly successful franchise it's released was "Red Faction," which has been losing popularity since 2001. Naturally, "Saint's Row" met with marginal success, but it was mostly overshadowed by Rockstar's immensely popular "Grand Theft Auto" series. And "UFC: Undisputed" has some pretty big chances in the future, but it won't be able to compete with long-time fighters like "Tekken" or "Soul Calibur." Basically, things aren't looking good.
And this news couldn't come at a worse time. THQ is in the process of creating a brand spankin' new massively multiplayer online role-playing game, "Warhammer 40,000: Dark Millennium Online." It'll be the first high-profile science fiction MMO since LucasArts' and Sony's "Star Wars: Galaxies," which was pretty much a flop, especially in the wake of Blizzard's masterpiece "World of Warcraft."
But as THQ embarks into the wide world of MMORPGs, it's going to need every penny it can possibly glean. Losing money at this point is simply not an option, especially when "Dark Millennium" is slowly trundling closer and closer to , its release date. The company is going to have to worry about the launch, advertising, maintenance and, most importantly, player subscription, to name a few fiscal concerns. As "World of Warcraft" still jealously guards a massive slice of the MMO pie, and with the "Cataclysm" addition currently in beta testing, THQ is going to have to be especially aggressive in getting subscribers.
To be clear, this loss isn't to say that THQ is going to go out of business. THQ still one of the megalithic gaming companies ruling the landscape of consoles and PCs. But millions in losses aren't going to make launching a new project easy, especially one that requires such an intense amount of scrutiny and planning like an MMORPG.
And considering the trailers released about the game (which you can find here: http://www.darkmillenniumonline.com/) and its website, "Dark Millennium" looks pretty great. It's a darker "Star Wars," a grittier "World of Warcraft" for people who enjoy being immersed in entirely exotic science fiction universes with bizarre and interesting sights and creatures. Basically, this game is potentially the only one that can dethrone the long-lived reign of Blizzard.
Hopefully, THQ can get some more revenue in the new quarter. Otherwise, the next millennium is probably going to be pretty dark for them.
Check out the article for yourself here: http://gameinformer.com/b/news/archive/2010/11/03/thq-posts-47-million-loss-for-quarter.aspxComments