THQ can’t seem to catch a break recently, as the company let go over 100 employees from Vigil Games (best known for their work on Darksiders,) and Relic Studios (Company of Heroes.) The massive layoffs happened simultaneously with the announcement that the long awaited Warhammer MMO would be redesigned as a mostly single-player RPG with some multiplayer elements.
THQ has been going through a rough patch over the last few years, and despite the popularity of games like Saints Row and Metro 2033, the company has struggled to turn a profit and has shut down many of it’s worldwide development studios over the last few years; in this year alone THQ has had to close down their offices in Phoenix and Melbourne, in addition to shuttering development company Kaos Studios (best known for Homefront). Poor sales and critical reception of the latest Red Faction game caused THQ to cancel any further titles in that once popular series. The future doesn’t look too bright for the company either, as THQ is currently facing the threat of being delisted from the NASDAQ stock exchange due to the rapidly depreciating value of their shares.
As for the Warhammer MMO, THQ was apparently unable to find a partner company to help finance the project, hence it’s restructuring into a single player RPG. Honestly, it’s probably a good move, considering the company doesn’t seem like its in any position to directly compete with the likes of World of Warcraft or The Old Republic, but I’m sure there are plenty of Warhammer fans out there who are already holding a vigil at their local Games Workshop over the loss of the MMO. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of MMO’s, but I’m always up for a quality single player RPG, so hopefully we’ll get a quality solo experience as a silver lining to all this bad news.
It’s currently unknown if these layoffs will effect other THQ titles, including the highly anticipated Darksiders 2, but I’m sure we’ll hear more about that in the coming days. Finally and more importantly, it’s always bad news when people lose their jobs, so I’d like to extend my condolences to everyone affected by the layoffs.