THQ executive vice-president and CFO defends Australian studio closures

News: 

THQ executive vice-president and chief financial officer, Paul Pucino, has defended his company's decision to axe a number of internal studios this year, including Homefront developer Kaos Studio, THQ Digital Warrington in the UK, Blue Tongue Entertainment in Melbourne, THQ Studio Australia in Brisbane, and THQ Digital Phoenix in Arizona.

Pucino says that "fewer is better" is the best strategy for studio numbers, and that they plan to bring out less, bigger triple-A titles with only one or two original IPs every year. Sequels will be given a two to two and a half year gap between releases.

When explaining the closures of the two Australian studios, Pucino explains how the local studios and the titles they were working on didn't fit in with this new direction. From Edge...

(Pucino) "The two we just shut in Australia were working on games that aren't consistent with our strategy anymore - one on a movie tie-in, one on a kids' game," Pucino said, also pointing to the strength of the Australian dollar as a deciding factor. "Our strategy now is bringing fewer, bigger triple-A titles to market: one or two original IPs each year, and sequelling them every two to two-and-a-half years."

Pucino says that the publisher intends to ramp up their Montreal studio from 150 to 400 employees in the next few years, where games will be developed for 40 percent less compared to their other studios due to Montreal's generous tax credits. For the report, head on over to Edge at next-gen.biz.

Comments

souri's picture

It's probably worth adding that Square Enix has only recently announced their plans to boost up their Eidos Montreal studio to 680 employees, making it the third-largest games developer to settle there. Ubisoft has 2,100 in Montreal, and EA has 800. Incredible numbers.

Anonymous's picture

I think the closure had a lot more to do with this quote from Gamasutra:
"He said that when THQ bought those studios 10 years ago, the Australian dollar was "about half the U.S. dollar." Now that exchange rates aren't as favorable today, operating those studios was not cost effective, he said."

http://gamasutra.com/view/news/37104/THQ_Fewer_Studios_Is_Better.php

THQ has been bleeding money year after year and the games under development in Aus still had a long way to go before they were complete. They needed to do some surgery to stop the flow.