Take-Two CEO Predicts THQ To Be Finished In Six Months
Earlier today, Take-Two Interactive CEO, Strauss Zelnick, took part in a ‘Fireside Chat’ at the MIT Business in Gaming Conference (via Joystiq), where he compared his own company to THQ, and predicted a bleak future for the publisher of Homefront, Darksiders and Metro. If nothing else it’s interesting to discover what an industry insider thinks of the recent reports of trouble from the company, and how Take-Two has managed to avoid facing a similar scenario. He began by talking about the different foci of the publishers:
“THQ’s strategy was licensed properties, first and foremost. License stuff from other people, whether it’s UFC or WWE or a motion picture property, and make a game around that. And our approach, since we took over the company, is 100 percent owned intellectual property.”
He went on to mention that creating games based on existing properties isn’t necessarily a profitable process due to the necessity of renegotiating licenses, and the increasing costs that is associated with that. Despite this, he did admit that THQ’s move into original IPs was worthwhile, but they had failed to capitalise on it by supplementing much of their business with licensed games. Along with this, Zelnick took a shot at the perceived quality of THQ’s games and how better receved Take-Two’s have been:
“The most important difference is quality. Take-Two has the highest quality ratings among third-party publishers, according to Metacritic and most people in the industry. Quality really, really, really matters. THQ has had some good games, but their quality levels aren’t even remotely … the quality hasn’t measured up.”
He finished with the proclamation that “THQ won’t be around in six months”, though that is doubtful, given what is already on their slate for the remainder of this year.
THQ later responded to his comments with the following reply:
“Obviously, Mr. Zelnick’s perception of THQ is outdated and inaccurate. His comments are irresponsible and false. Perhaps he would be better off commenting on his own business.”