THQ on the year ahead

"The video game sector as a whole grew in 2008 and clearly we did not participate fully in that growth. Unquestionably this is challenging time for THQ.

Saints Row 2 achieved a Metacritic rating of 82 and we marketed the game aggressively. The conclusion, when we focus make a great game and market it aggressively we succeed.

We intend to apply these three steps to the upcoming launch of game like Red Faction: Guerrilla and Darksiders. Our goal with each of these titles is to launch high quality games, market it aggressively into windows where we can win.

Second, we are the leaders in the fighting category and we are looking to expand this in two ways. We look into these new games based on the WWE brand and our first games spends on the ultimate fighting championship this spring. Specifically in March we look forward to launching a new game WWE Legends of Wrestlemania in conjunction with WWE’s Wrestlemania 25 event.

In UFC we have one of the most exciting new brands and we are delivering a fun, high quality game that truly captures the mixed martial arts sword.

In addition to executing on our product strategy we are taking actions to align our organization and cost structure.

During the third quarter we executed on our previously announced plan to reduce our fiscal 2002 forecasted annual spending by $120m. Given continued economic weakness and our cautious outlook we now plan to reduce costs by and additional $100m.

Specifically we plan to reduce product development spending by an additional $70m to studio dispositions and other project and headcount reductions. We also intend to reduce sales, marketing and corporate expenses globally though headcount and other cost reductions with targeted savings of an additional $30m annually.

Some of these actions have already taken place. Last week we downsized our THQ wireless operations by approximately 100 people and now on our focus to publish games only for high-end hand held devices.

In total with the two cost reduction actions combined we expect to reduce total spending by $220m and company wide headcount by approximately 600 people or 24 per cent of our workforce.”

Source: SeekingAlpha

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