THQ losses lead to 250 job cuts

US publisher THQ has confirmed that it is to cut 250 jobs following losses of $115.3 million for the three months ending September 30th.

Losses for the same period last year totalled just $7 million. Net sales for the period reached $164.8 million, down from the $229.3 million seen in the same period in 2007. The results were partially blamed on lower than expected global sales of movie tie-in Wall-E.

The news follows earlier reports of significant job losses at Warrington-based Juice games and claims of further studio closures. It also mirrors announcements of job losses at fellow publisher EA.

The company promised a significant business realignment” as a result, including the loss of 250 development jobs. A statement from the firm reads: As part of this realignment, THQ plans to focus on fewer, higher quality titles, and to align its organisation and cost structure accordingly.

The company is in the process of implementing its plan with the cancellation of several titles that were in development but had not been publicly announced, the closure of five studios and a reduction in product development personnel of approximately 250 people, or 17 percent of its studio staff, and the streamlining of its corporate organization to support the new product strategy.”

There were positives for the firm, however, with news that Volition title Saints Row 2 shipped more than two million units in its first two weeks on sale. It also successfully launched new Wii franchise De Blob, and saw improved returns from its online operations.

Nonetheless, THQ has pledged to reduce its fiscal 2010 forecasted product development spending by about $100 million. It also intends to cut its marketing and administration expenses by around $20 million.

We have made substantial progress in improving product quality and innovation, as evidenced by recent shipments of several well-reviewed games including De Blob and Saints Row 2,” THQ president and CEO Brian Farrell stated.

We are aligning our business to be more competitive in key consumer segments and address the current business environment. We expect the combination of a much more focused and competitive product line with a more efficient cost structure to put THQ back on the path to growth and profitability in fiscal year 2010.”

THQ also announced that it is now to release Red Faction: Guerrilla and Darksiders in the 2010 fiscal year, rather than in Q4 2009.

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