THQ spends big to reclaim lost ground

Ben Parfitt
THQ spends big to reclaim lost ground

Watch out Activision and EA: THQ says it will retake a place amongst the gaming elite with a line-up to envy its rivals.

The firm was once a Top Five publisher but has seen its market share shrink in recent years. The company has spent the last 18 months transforming its business, recruiting top talent and experimenting with new business models.

But THQ’s new era truly begins next week with the arrival of Homefront, a new FPS that MCV understands is being backed by a £2m UK marketing spend.

“Homefront is really the first title under this new regime,” said CEO Brian Farrell. “This really is a new THQ and we are proud of what we have accomplished.

“The flow of high quality products for the next three years is amazing. We have Homefront, shortly after that Red Faction, MX vs ATV, Space Marine, then Saints Row. It just goes on. I’d stack that pipeline up against anyone else’s in the industry.

“We are going to emerge as the magnet for talent. Top creative makes for great games. And we will be one of the industry leaders three to five years from now. We will change and we will experiment with business models. But at the end of the day, if we make great games then we will find our consumer and a business model that works.”

Despite being a new FPS IP, UK retailers have told MCV they have high expectations for Homefront. Asda’s games buyer Ben Montgomery said: “THQ is launching in an extremely tough market to crack, with strong established titles such Call of Duty dominating. However, the more I see of Homefront the more I feel that product can challenge these established titles.”

He added that it “has the potential to be the standard for FPS in 2011 and is a much needed new IP within this competitive market.”

HMV’s commercial manager for games Jonathan Hayes added: “Homefront offers a different take on most FPS games out there, which should help it stand out and allow THQ to build on this to create an effective franchise over time.”

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Tags: THQ , marketing , homefront

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