THQ closes two studios, MX vs ATV axed

10 Aug 2011  by   John Robertson
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200 employees laid off following studio closures in Melbourne and Brisbane.
Melbourne-based Blue Tongue Entertainment and THQ Brisbane are being shut down in what THQ are calling a “strategic realignmnet.” 200 people are being laid off as a result.
The development arm of THQ Digital Studios Pheonix – responsible for the MX vs. ATV series – is also being cut with THQ stating that they have “decided not to actively pursue further development [of MX vs. ATV] at this time.” The QA division of the Pheonix studio will remain, however.
This move comes as THQ plans to shift its output away from licensed children’s games and movie tie-ins to concentrate on “broad appeal” multiplatform IPs.
“With this realignment, we are narrowing our focus to high-quality owned IP with broad appeal that can be leveraged across multiple platforms, and to work with the best talent in the industry,” THQ CEO Brian Farrell said in an statement.
“By right-sizing our internal development capacities for our console portfolio, our five internal studios are focused on delivering high-quality games with talented teams driving the execution of those titles to market,” Farrell continued. “As we have outlined in our business strategies, we are making shifts to reduce movie-based and licensed kids’ video games in our portfolio, which underscores our strategy to move away from games that will not generate strong profits in the future.”
Earlier this year THQ also shut down Homefront developer Kaos Studios and Warhammer 40K: Kill Team’s THQ Digital Warrington. 
Presumably then, THQ is concentrating on the potential successes of its five internal studios and high-profile IPs: Saint’s Row: The Third and Insane dev Volition, Warhammer 40K: Space Marine, Company of Heroes and Dawn of War III dev Relic, WWE All Stars’ THQ San Diego, Darksiders II team Vigil Games and an as-yet unannounced IP from the newly formed THQ Montreal.

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