North American Publisher THQ Closes “De Blob” Studio Blue Tongue
THQ in their efforts to stay financially afloat and to transform their studio image away from licensed kids titles/movie-based entertainment properties to a “Triple-A” publishing house turns yet again to slash-and-burn techniques following a major press release issued by the Californian publisher.
The publishing giant has closed down the following studios in their efforts to slim down: THQ Brisbane, Phoenix, and Blue Tongue.
Blue Tongue, as many Nintendo fans and Wii owners may fondly remember, developed the “De Blob” franchise that debuted on Nintendo’s white motion console released in 2008, elevating to a multiplatform blockbuster sequel released in 2011. Set plans for THQ were to include a Nintendo 3DS version of “De Blob 2” that featured 2.5D platforming elements but with the closing of the studio the franchise’s existence is left up to question at this time of writing. (Though by the image of the Australian developer’s website, Blue Tongue paints a not-to-happy outcome for the IP’s future.)
Overall, the sacking of all three studios combined to a whopping 200 industry personnel working at THQ to be laid off. This lies in wake the dire financial circumstances the company is in. THQ as of now is worth only $120 million USD while the company is $100 million USD in debt and according to NDP data lost almost $40 million USD last quarter.
THQ claims in their press release that these actions were necessary to “narrow our focus to high-quality owned IP with broad appeal that can be leveraged across multiple platforms, and to work with the best talent in the industry” and that this will “underscore our strategy to move away from games that will not generate strong profits in the future.”
Besides the potential death of a popular franchise that was started on a Nintendo platform, this brings into question THQ’s banking on Vigil Games, for whom they listed to be developing the upcoming Darksiders II as a launch title for Nintendo’s upcoming Wii U platform set to launch sometime next year.
We at the American Division of Nintendo Scene hope, upon reflecting on other THQ studio closers such as New York-based Kaos Studios for the financial bomb that was Homefront, that Vigil’s launch title for the Wii U is not left with the same fate if the sales do not meet THQ’s high demand for Tripple-A quality sales in the current American-Western dominated market.
- Report: THQ Shuts Down Homefront Developer (thegamesplace.wordpress.com)
- THQ Dumping MX vs. ATV, Laying Off 200 in Realignment (1up.com)
- THQ closes 2 studios, sheds 200 jobs (latimesblogs.latimes.com)