Take-Two CEO: THQ won't be around in six months (Update: He's sorry)

Just a few days after THQ announced that it would be turning its unreleased Warhammer 40,000 MMO Dark Millenium into a single player game, things aren't looking any better. Things are looking so bad, in fact, that Joystiq is reporting that Strauss Zelnick, the CEO of rival studio Take-Two Interactive, told a crowd at MIT's Business in Gaming conference that THQ won't be around in six months.

Zelnick contrasted THQ's approach of licensing all of its properties from well known brands to Take-Two's all-original portfolio. “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.” Take-Two, of course, boasts blockbuster titles like the Grand Theft Auto series and Red Dead Redemption.

Zelnick also contrasted the quality of THQ's games to their own, mainly to show that games based on licensed properties tend to be on a lower tier than original creations. “Take-Two has the highest quality ratings among third party publishers, according to Metacritic and most people in the industry... THQ has had some good games, but their quality levels aren't even remotely [measuring up to THQ's].”

If that isn't harsh enough, Zelnick added that “THQ won't be around in six months.” Ouch – Michael Dell, anyone?

While we would normally just brush off such remarks as hubris between competitors, Zelnick raises some good points, particularly regarding THQ's track record of producing quality games, and regarding the quality of licensed games in general. Due to being rushed to the market, along with excessively controlling property owners, tie-in games are often somewhat lacking in quality.

Taking its dire situation into consideration, it's not hard to imagine THQ disappearing in the very near future. When a company guts one of the games it's betting its future on, you know it's in dire straits. The question is, what will happen to all of their properties (the Dawn of War series, in particular, has done a great job of breaking the mold when it comes to licensed games)?

Update 2:15 PM EST

Game Informer has received the following statement from Zelnick: "While discussing our strategy I spoke out of turn about someone else’s. It was inappropriate and I regret it."

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5 Comments

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Thats what you get THQ.

First you take an engine like Geo-Mod, rewamp it and turn the RF game intro a third person shooter, do they even know how many hardcore RF players they lost with that? And like I said in their forum, no matter what they say it wasnt a good decision, all those 3rd person fanbois screaming in their forum before Guerilla was released ****ed the game up bad. There you have it.

Brb, gonna go play some Rail in RF1

alwaysonacoffebreak said,
Thats what you get THQ.

First you take an engine like Geo-Mod, rewamp it and turn the RF game intro a third person shooter, do they even know how many hardcore RF players they lost with that? And like I said in their forum, no matter what they say it wasnt a good decision, all those 3rd person fanbois screaming in their forum before Guerilla was released ****ed the game up bad. There you have it.

Brb, gonna go play some Rail in RF1

I actually liked the 3rd person RF games better than the FPS games. The FPS games were quite terrible, IMO, even for their time.

xiphi said,

I actually liked the 3rd person RF games better than the FPS games. The FPS games were quite terrible, IMO, even for their time.

Terrible at what standards? Please do explain? And do bring a comparsion with another 2001 game, I dare you.

alwaysonacoffebreak said,

Terrible at what standards? Please do explain? And do bring a comparsion with another 2001 game, I dare you.

How about games that are even older than that? Quake 3, Unreal Tournament, Perfect Dark, Goldeneye 007, Halo, Half-Life, Medal of Honor, TimeSplitters. Most of those came out before 2001 and were way better than the bland RF fps games.

Edited by , Apr 7 2012, 12:58am :

xiphi said,

How about games that are even older than that? Quake 3, Unreal Tournament, Perfect Dark, Goldeneye 007, Halo, Half-Life, Medal of Honor, TimeSplitters. Most of those came out before 2001 and were way better than the bland RF fps games.

And most of them had a big development studios behind them, cash to dispose of as quickly as I change socks, Violition didn't on the other hand, go figure.