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THQ Inc. (Toy Head-Quarters) (NASDAQ: THQI) is a worldwide international American developer and publisher of video games. Founded in 1989, the company develops products for video game consoles, handheld game systems, as well as for personal computers and wireless devices.
The company publishes internally created and externally licensed content in its product portfolio. THQ's internally created franchises include Saints Row, Frontlines: Fuel of War, Red Faction, MX vx. ATV, Company of Heroes and others. The company also holds exclusive, long-term licensing agreements with leading sports and entertainment content creators including World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), Games Workshop (Warhammer 40,000), Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), Nickelodeon and Disney-Pixar. It has announced net sales of $830.0 million in 2008, down from $1,030.5 million in the year previous. Net losses were $431 million for the 12 months ending March 2009, down from $35.3 million in the year previous.
History[edit | edit source]
Trinity Acquisition Corporation was founded in 1989. In 1991, it merged with T*HQ (Toy Head-Quarters), a toy manufacturer and video game company founded around the same time as Trinity Acquisition. The combined company initially adopted the name T*HQ but was eventually renamed to THQ in the mid-1990s.
The company began building out its internal product development capabilities in September 2000 with the acquisition of Volition, Inc. located in Champaign, IL. Since then, THQ's internal studio system has grown to eleven studios across the globe with distinct capabilities across all viable gaming platforms. Studios such as Relic Entertainment, Paradigm Entertainment, Juice Games, Kaos Studios and Volition., who work on games for next-generation consoles as well as PCs.
THQ's global distribution network includes offices in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific as follows: United States, Canada and Mexico; Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom; Australia, Japan, and South Korea. Key THQ Wireless brands include Star Wars, WWE and certain Disney-Pixar properties. THQ Wireless serves content via many major carriers worldwide including Sprint, Motorola, Nokia (N-gage), AT&T, Sony-Ericsson, Orange in Europe and others.
Major franchises include games based on THQ's long standing licensing relationships with WWE, Disney/Pixar and Nickelodeon. The company also holds long-term rights to Bratz from MGA Entertainment and Warhammer 40,000 from Games Workshop.
In 2006, THQ acquired Vigil Games.
On May 10, 2007, THQ reported its highest annual sales figures and net profits ever for the fiscal year which ended March 31. THQ's revenues reached over $1 billion.
In March 2008, THQ announced they were to develop the world's first ever cheer-leading game using the Wii Balance Board.
On November 3, 2008 the company closed five of its internal studios.
In August 2009, THQ acquired Midway Studios San Diego for $200K. The sale of the studio includes all assets, except for the TNA iMPACT! video game.
In February 2010, they announced that Juice Games and Rainbow Studios would be part of a reshuffle, and would now bare the title THQ Digital Warrington and THQ Digital Phoenix respectively. It is said 60 members of staff face redundancies between THQ's US Rainbow studio and the UK Juice Game's studio.
Subsidiaries[edit | edit source]
Studios[edit | edit source]
- Blue Tongue Entertainment in Melbourne, Australia, founded in 1995, acquired in November 2004.
- THQ Digital Studios Warrington in United Kingdom, founded as Juice Games in 2003, acquired in 2006.
- Kaos Studios in New York, NY, started in 2006.
- Midway Studios San Diego in San Diego, California, acquired in August 2009.
- Relic Entertainment in Vancouver, BC, founded in May 1997, acquired in May 2004.
- THQ Digital Studios Phoenix in Arizona, founded as Rainbow Studios in 1996, acquired in 2001.
- THQ Studio Australia in Brisbane, Australia, started in January 2003.
- Universomo in Tampere, Finland, founded in 2002, acquired in May 2007.
- Vigil Games in Austin, Texas, founded in 2005, acquired in 2006.
- Volition. in Champaign, Illinois, founded in November 1996, acquired in September 2000.
Divisions[edit | edit source]
- External Development Group (XDG) was founded in 2006 to streamline THQ's outsourcing initiatives. In 2008, the group opened a headquarters in Shanghai, China to transition from traditional business to business outsourcing methods to a form of distributed development.
|Type||Children's division of THQ|
Cars Mater-National Nicktoons: Globs of Doom All Star Cheer Squad WALL-E Naked Brothers Band Drawn to Life: SpongeBob SquarePants Edition
- Play THQ is the family division of THQ, founded in 2007. Its first game was Cars Mater-National. Additional games published include licensed material such as SpongeBob SquarePants featuring Nicktoons: Globs of Doom, WALL-E, Avatar: The Last Airbender - Into the Inferno, and original properties such as Lock's Quest. Play THQ is best known for publishing Disney/Pixar and Nickelodeon games.
- THQ Wireless
- ValuSoft in Minneapolis, MN, founded in 1997, acquired in 2002
Defunct[edit | edit source]
- Big Huge Games in Timonium, Maryland, founded in February 2000, acquired in January 2008, sold to 38 Studios in May 2009.
- Concrete Games in Carlsbad, California, founded in 2004, closed January 2008.
- Heavy Iron Studios in Los Angeles, California, founded in 1999, spun off in March 2009. List of THQ games
- Helixe in Burlington, Massachusetts, founded in July 2000, closed November 2008.
- Incinerator Studios in Carlsbad, California, founded in 2005, spun off in March 2009.
- Locomotive Games in Santa Clara, California, founded as DT Productions in 1997, then Pacific Coast Power and Light, acquired in 1999, closed November 2008.
- Mass Media in California, founded in the late 1980s, acquired in 2007, closed November 2008.
- Outrage Games in Ann Arbor, MI, founded as Outrage Entertainment in December 1997, acquired April 4, 2002, closed in 2004.
- Paradigm Entertainment in Addison, Texas, founded in 1998, acquired from Atari in May 2006, closed November 2008.
- Sandblast Games in Kirkland, Washington, founded in August 2002 as Cranky Pants Games, closed November 2008.