Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Wayback Wednesday: THQ!

Sure, they created amazing games such as Red Faction and Saints Row, but sadly THQ went out with a fizzle, as they went bankrupt last year. Still, lets take a look at their amazing history!

It all started in 1990, when Jack Friedman started T*HQ, a toy company. However, Friedman bought the creators of the original Prince Of Persia, Broderbund, and dipped their toes into the world of gaming, starting in 1991 when they developed their first game, Peter Pan and the Pirates, which was actually a more important title than you'd think, as it gave T*HQ a secure stream of money. By the end of the year they made over $30 million in profit thanks to their partnership with Nintendo, and by 1992 T*HQ were making games based of Ren & Stimpy and Wayne's World, and they were secure until 1995, when they lost money because the Sega Genesis was beating the SNES, and a new CEO was appointed, who immediately fired half the staff and instead of making games for the new Sega Saturn and Nintendo 64, they made games for people who still had their SNES or Genesis. A bold move, but it worked!

Come 1997 and T*HQ were now THQ, and THQ were making 3D games galore, but nothing they made was really spectacular. That was until later that year, when they managed to strike up a deal with WCW to make some of the best dang wrestling games ever, namely WCW Vs. The World and WCW Vs. nWo: World Tour, which was one of the biggest money makers THQ ever had. WCW/nWo Revenge soon came out, and everyone loved it, but then EA stole WCW's license, and THQ were forced to buy WWF, which then went on to be THQ's biggest line of games, with such hits as WWF No Mercy, and THQ kept on publisher WWF/WWE games right until WWE 13, when they went bankrupt and handed over the reigns to 2K Games.

Once the noughties rolled around, THQ were buying many companies like Volition, who were future creators of the GTA-but-waaay-more-immature game Saints Row. Up until 2008, THQ were in their Golden Age, publishing a constant stream of WWE games, while thinking up new titles like MX vs. ATV and Metro 2033, but then in 2008, the sun started to set for THQ, with the recession kickstarting THQ's descent. Many bad decisions were made, with THQ trying to make AAA kids games that cost $60, which no one would buy, they were being way too cocky by bigging up all of their titles, and then having them all come crashing down.

In an attempt to keep their heads above water, THQ decided that they would need a new innovation; Nintendo could do it with the Wii, so why couldn't THQ, creators of the most innovative wrestling games and master of innovation do it? Well, that lifejacket was the uDraw, and since you can pick one up for about £10 now, you can tell it didn't go down well. Since the Wii was a family console, THQ should've just made uDraws for the Wii, but instead they invested tons of money in making it for the Xbox 360 and PS3, therefore losing all that money.

In the aftermath, THQ had to sell their studios, stop many of their series like Red Faction, and eventually went out with a poof in January 2013. However, it wasn't all bad, as many people didn't lose their jobs, with many developers joining other developers like Volition joining Koch Media and THQ Montreal joining Ubisoft.

So for publishing games like Saints Row, Metro, Red Faction, MX vs. ATV, Company of Heroes and the WWF/WWE series, we salute you!

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