13 posts tagged business
THQ Files For Bankruptcy, Drama Ensues
Sitting through some time for this news because of the avalanche of data to collect, here’s some of the crucial things you need to know about what this means for THQ and a number of promising future titles.
THQ is auctioning off all four of its studios and assets for a minimum of $60 million and filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Companies are allowed to make higher offers, but the grand total must equate to more than $60 million. All four of THQ’s owned studios including Volition (known for Saints Row), Vigil Games (known for Darksiders), THQ Phoenix, and THQ Wireless are up for grabs, and all games currently in development by any of these studios are available for purchase as well. However, notice that none of THQ’s foreign (read: non-USA) studios are for sale, including Relic Entertainment (known for Warhammer) and THQ Montreal.
THQ President Jason Rubin addressed the sale in a lengthy explanation at THQ’s website, where he says
"The most important thing to understand is that Chapter 11 does not mean the end of the THQ story or the end of the titles you love," Rubin writes. "Quite the opposite is true, actually."
As a result of the bankruptcy, much of the legal information regarding the sale have gone public, and Polygon has found four separate titles that THQ were developing. Not all of these are available for purchase as part of the deal, but these are all noted to be brand new IP.
- Crawler, the working title for the new game being developed by Darksiders’ creators, Vigil Games.
- Atlas, the working title for a new game from Relic Entertainment, scheduled to release in calendar year 2014.
- Evolve, a new game from Left 4 Dead creators Turtle Rock Studios.
- 1666, the game currently under development at THQ Montreal, led by former Assassin’s Creed creative director Patrice Désilets.
Only “Evolve” and “1666” have trademarked names, and the other are both working titles. None of these titles have been formally announced before or since the announcement of THQ’s bankruptcy. Jason Rubin has also tweeted that Metro: Last Light, South Park: The Stick of Truth, and Company Of Heroes 2 are all still on schedule, though who may own those projects will be changing.
LA Noire Developer Has New Title Schedule For 2015
KMM Interactive (aka Team Bondi) is planning work on a new game titled Whore of the Orient, a similar narrative-based game with supposedly similar story-emphasized aspects that won’t begin full production until 2013. According to Kotaku, speculation is that the game will be released on the next-gen consoles and will likely be more linear and focused than large and expansive, but will still use the motion capture that set LA Noire apart from other games.
Many are still skeptical about the timeframe of the game, especially considering it took seven years to release LA Noire, but the 1930s Shanghai thriller still might possibly make that timeframe if the game is slightly more constrained than the sandbox behemoth that LA Noire was.
Not much else is known about the title, other than that the team is looking for some new prospective talent to help with development of the game.
Call Of Duty Makes $500 Million In First Day Sales
Activision announced today that the total first day sales have proven that Black Ops II and the Call of Duty series remain the biggest selling name of the year, with over half a billion dollars in sales just within the first 24 hours.
"With first day sales of over half a billion dollars worldwide, we believe Call of Duty is the biggest entertainment launch of the year for the fourth year in a row," said Bobby Kotick, Activision Blizzard’s CEO. "Life-to-date sales for the Call of Duty franchise have exceeded worldwide theatrical box office receipts for "Harry Potter" and "Star Wars," the two most successful movie franchises of all time. Given the challenged macro-economic environment, we remain cautious about the balance of 2012 and 2013."
The game is expected to continue selling high throughout the rest of the year due to the numerous holidays coming up, with more of the DLC Season Passes to also contribute to further sales numbers as well.
Bioware Mythic And Bioware Victory Drop Label
Two of the acquired EA studios have completely dropped the “Bioware” label from their studio names. Mythic announced that it dropped the label in order to reflect a new “change of focus”.
"Everything else stays the same - our passionate teams will continue to support and develop our existing titles as well as working on some new and exciting projects."
Victory Games did not release any type of statement, but their website has removed all images pertaining to Bioware or Bioware being present in their name. Victory Games was added to the Bioware roster back in 2011.
Now, there are five studios left from Bioware, all named after their respective location of operation- Austin, Edmonton, Montreal, San Francisco, and Ireland. It is unknown if any of these studios are going to drop the Bioware label.
This DS Mario Game Just Hit 5 Million Copies Sold… But It’s Not One You’d Expect
Ever wonder why Mario games tend to have stable prices in the market? It’s likely due to the fact that, years later, five million copies sell of a game that launched along with it. Super Mario 64 DS was released 8 years ago and just reached the 5 million copies sold mark in the US, the third Nintendo DS game to do so in the region according to NOA. This makes it one of the best selling DS games alongside the other two best sellers, Mario Kart DS (8.5 million copies) and New Super Mario Bros. (10.6 million copies)
In a move that has pros and cons, EA Labels president Frank Gibeau has come out and stated that the company will eventually abandon retail and go 100% digital in the near future. His reasoning as follows:
"It’s coming," Gibeau told GamesIndustry International. “We have a clear line of sight on it and we’re excited about it. Retail is a great channel for us. We have great relationships with our partners there. At the same time, the ultimate relationship is the connection that we have with the gamer. If the gamer wants to get the game through a digital download and that’s the best way for them to get it, that’s what we’re going to do. It has a lot of enhancements for our business. It allows us to keep more that we make. It allows us to do some really interesting things from a service level standpoint; we can be a lot more personalized with what we’re doing,”
Game streaming, facebook, and social aspects are all important aspects of EA’s strategy, and it will be targeting and catering to these demographics as well as its longstanding hardcore devotees. EA also looks at the example of the success(?) of its Origin client, which has been under fire from a lot of PC gamers since its inception and claimed invasions of privacy and exclusive content at fixed prices.
Let us know in the comments: Do you think this news will yield more positives or negatives, and how?