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THQ: "No Room" For Mediocre Games In This Industry

Thankfully, in this industry, quality sells. In fact, for the most part, the better the game, the better the sales (please bear in mind I said, "for the most part").

And don't think for a second that game publishers aren't aware. THQ has several promising titles on the horizon, and they're all the more promising now that we know the publisher's mentality: mediocrity just doesn't sell. So maybe we should all be a bit more excited about stuff like Red Faction: Armageddon and Saints Row 3. THQ Global Publishing Executive VP Ian Curran put it bluntly:

"We can't afford anymore to bring mediocre games to market. There's no room for them. You're either a standout, best in class, or you die. We won't bring bad games to market anymore. You can't spend $30, $40, $50 million on a bad game and expect to make a return."

Curran says one of the differences THQ has made is that they simply won't release a game until they're convinced it's top-notch quality. Simply put, "we will not release it until it's best in class and everybody's going to be blow away by what we have." He did mention the upcoming Saints Row 3; telling everyone the wait will be "worth it." Recently, the company has produced Metro 2033 and Darksiders but one gets the feeling that Curran and Co. are aiming even higher for the immediate future. They're also apparently working on a "high profile AAA multiplayer co-op action combat project" for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, so stay tuned for the unveiling...  No, we don't know what it is.

Regardless of what you think of past THQ games, you have to admit that such a philosophy is encouraging for consumers.

Tags: thq, quality games, industry

7/22/2010 9:10:03 PM John Shepard

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Comments (42 posts)

frostface
Thursday, July 22, 2010 @ 9:55:21 PM
Reply

Wasn't a big fan of Darksiders, but I do like the attitude of not releasing games prematurely. I hope Bethesda adapt that same attitude when we get Fallout New Vegas, is it so hard to at least test your games before releasing them?

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kraygen
Thursday, July 22, 2010 @ 10:22:20 PM

amen, bethesda is bad about releasing gimped games and then not fixing them.

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Fane1024
Saturday, July 24, 2010 @ 12:02:11 PM

Totally true. However, they're still great games.

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manofchao5
Sunday, July 25, 2010 @ 12:28:11 PM

i believe THQ when they say this
red faction guerilla is one of my favorite games alongside battlefield bad company 2
they made one of my favorite gameboy advance games, scooby doo cyber virus whatever but it didnt suck and thats all i cared

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eLLeJuss
Thursday, July 22, 2010 @ 10:05:54 PM
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Sooooooo... does this mean they aren't gonna make games for the wii anymore? lol

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StangMan80
Friday, July 23, 2010 @ 12:17:26 AM

LOL, Yes Wii games suck big time.

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kraygen
Thursday, July 22, 2010 @ 10:22:54 PM
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Actions speak louder than words, if they finally release something less than mediocre I'll believe them.

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kraygen
Saturday, July 24, 2010 @ 12:14:31 AM

lol I guess I meant better than mediocre, not less. oops.

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Snaaaake
Thursday, July 22, 2010 @ 10:24:58 PM
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Never was a fan of any THQ game.

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maxpontiac
Thursday, July 22, 2010 @ 10:43:41 PM
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I agree with that statement big time. In this economy, poorly developed games will mean poor sales.

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DeathOfChaos
Thursday, July 22, 2010 @ 10:55:26 PM
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What do they mean by that statement? I see lots of games released that are as good as a bowel full of sawdust, but they sell like hotcakes...

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, July 22, 2010 @ 11:03:22 PM
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Then why make that Armageddon game?

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booze925
Thursday, July 22, 2010 @ 11:15:13 PM
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holy crap! haze is a perfect example! it was a very mediocre game who's developers became unemployed after release!
holy crap! MAG is a perfect example! it was a very mediocre game who's developers-
oops, NEVERMIND

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Godslim
Friday, July 23, 2010 @ 9:42:16 AM

i didnt even think its was that good....i loved timesplitters and so was expecting big things....soon as i played the demo i was instantly thinking no way am i gonna buy this

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carl0975
Friday, July 23, 2010 @ 7:38:15 PM

If you think MAG was a mediocre game, than you have no taste when it comes to FPS games.

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Jawknee
Thursday, July 22, 2010 @ 11:22:30 PM
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THQ= Mediocrity.

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Kangasfwa
Thursday, July 22, 2010 @ 11:22:53 PM
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"high profile AAA multiplayer co-op action combat project"

Space Marines! :D

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RebelJD
Thursday, July 22, 2010 @ 11:40:37 PM
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Just like in every other market, genre, field, etc, there will be those who stand out, due to their excellence, and those that stand out due to their inconsistencies. Not everyone can be the the Los Angeles Lakers, the New York Yankees. Not everyone can be a Mercedes Benz, Or BMW. Some just fall under the category of mediocrity even at their best attempt. That's why some people become a coach because they can't be the Michael Jordan, and some people become the director because they can't be the star.

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Highlander
Friday, July 23, 2010 @ 12:02:45 AM
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Every game can't be a AAA title. What doesn't make sense to me is to spend $50 million on a game project that's simply mediocre. If you know it's mediocre (and let's be honest, they should) do something, don't just drift onward and pretend it's no longer mediocre when you release. Good god, some tighter planning and management please. A 'mediocre' game that sells 500,000 to 1,000,000 copies still generates anything from 30 to 60 million in gross takings Unless they're spending more than 10 million developing a game, selling 500,000 copies should make a tidy profit.

Seems like game makers need to carefully manage their own expectations that every game be a AAA title or nothing. Perhaps they don't need a team of 100 developers and testers polishing a game for a year before release, perhaps they simply need to make sure the thing works, accept a few rough edges and not expect 2 million sales.

Agree with this comment 4 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Temjin001
Friday, July 23, 2010 @ 12:08:31 AM
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FYI: I just read on IGN that Cole is getting his old look back for inFamous 2

Agree with this comment 5 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Jawknee
Friday, July 23, 2010 @ 1:42:35 AM

Just when i finally made peace with his change.

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WolfCrimson
Friday, July 23, 2010 @ 1:45:41 AM

What? Really?! Can you provide a link?

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Jawknee
Friday, July 23, 2010 @ 2:16:55 AM

just visit IGN dot com Crims. Its on their home page.

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Kangasfwa
Friday, July 23, 2010 @ 5:18:47 AM

The guy said it was similar to the old Cole, not the same...

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StangMan80
Friday, July 23, 2010 @ 12:16:37 AM
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I don't plan on picking up neither of these games and I don't think I ever will.

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Qubex
Friday, July 23, 2010 @ 1:41:22 AM
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Well that philosophy is exactly what influences my purchasing decisions... This is what the industry has been aiming for, quality, and not quantity.

A $2.99 PlayStation mini may be cheap, but I believe you could class it as AAA if it exudes quality and is very addictive. Small cheap games don't necessary have to be bad... There is place for both sub $10 games and $60 games, and both could be classed AAA if they are really really good and stand out...

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

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Highlander
Friday, July 23, 2010 @ 9:39:07 AM

Agreed. Perhaps it's time for the folks doing the project management of game development to focus on the quality of the product, not just the graphical quality? And perhaps it's time or them to stop believing their own hype about a game being AAA and instead focus on delivering the best game they can, and letting the market decide if it's AAA. to me, a game that receives general acclaim is a AAA game - regardless of actual sales.

Sales do not determine the quality of a game. However they might be taken as a measure of quality, or at least perceived quality.

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___________
Friday, July 23, 2010 @ 3:45:59 AM
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dam straight!
but than they never have released a bad game.
saints row 2 is 10 times more fun than GTAIV, for once a game lets you let your hair down and do sh*t you would not dream of doing in real life.
thats the whole point no?
i dont play games to drive carefully make sure i dont crash otherwise ill go flying out the windscreen and die.
no, i play games to go wising down the highway at 200MPH weaving in and out of cars, than leap off a cliff into the sea!

same goes for the missions, thats what made saints row 2 so good.
i mean hiring a sewer tank and spraying the streets with poo.
CLASSIC!
still a little disappointed we did not get that trophy patch they promised us!

or even red faction guerrilla, the combat in that was infuriating as f*ck! because there was no cover system.
BUT running around mars, driving a garbage truck through a lookout tower.
i mean what more could you ask for!

its a shame they did not let you use a walker once you finished the game just for the fun of it.
thats one thing i hate about games, they create this really cool powerful weapon than only let you use it for .02% of the game!
yea there really powerful and that would unbalance the game but so what!?
if you have already finished the game, why not let us just go crazy and have fun?
i dunno about anyone else but i dont replay a game for the challenge, or to say ive finished it multiple times.
i play games again for the fun of it, i mean dead space was so much more fun the second time around because i had all my upgraded weapons.
GOW3 would of been so cool if you could start the game again with all your upgraded weapons.

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Highlander
Friday, July 23, 2010 @ 9:40:54 AM

"no, i play games to go wising down the highway at 200MPH weaving in and out of cars, than leap off a cliff into the sea!"

Sounds like Burnout Paradise to me...

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Jawknee
Friday, July 23, 2010 @ 11:43:19 AM

sigh...yet another pointless mini review no one cares to read.

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___________
Saturday, July 24, 2010 @ 10:50:52 AM

burnout is about SO much more than weaving in and out of traffic.
its about the exploration.
its about the collectibles.
its about choosing the best vehicle for the job.
its about choosing the best route, the fastest car does not always win.
plus GTA is not suppose to be a driving game, its suppose to be a open world styled gang game.
i dont play open world styled gun games to drive carefully making sure i dont crash otherwise ill go flying out the windscreen!
where is the fun in that?

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Lawless SXE
Friday, July 23, 2010 @ 4:04:44 AM
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WWE Games *cough*. Ok, I understand the philosophy, but THQ doesn't even register when I think of big name publishers. I get that they have released a couple of good games, but the only THQ games I've ever purchased were WWE 2007 and 2010 for PSP and Worms: Open Warfare 1 and 2, for the PSP. It's not that I don't like the company or whatever, just that the games they make don't appeal to me, I guess.

A very good philosophy though, and one that I would agree with completely aside from the fact that not every game can be a AAA title. If it was then what would we use as our guilty pleasure games? Ah well, I guess I'm talking crap.

Peace.

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Imagi
Friday, July 23, 2010 @ 4:44:49 AM
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Took them a while but they worked it out in the end. I still expect bad movie tie-in games from them though.

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Zorigo
Friday, July 23, 2010 @ 5:05:24 AM
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I thought this was an unsaid given rule. with games of top quality being released quite often
(often in the sense that its just about as much as your wallet can take at THIS rate) then no one is going to worry for poor games.
Thats why not many proper gamers pay attention to movie tie-ins. they're never top quality. they're for casual gamers/ fans of the series (the recent transformers game, the toy story game etc etc)

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Scarecrow
Friday, July 23, 2010 @ 12:53:18 PM
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Last THQ game I bought waaaaaaas WCW Thunder

And the game sucked...

THQ seriously sucks....

Hopefully this new philosophy of only releasing good games is true.

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RadioHeader
Friday, July 23, 2010 @ 1:52:36 PM
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"$30, $40, $50 million" or in RDR's case; $100 million!

What does all that money get spent on? Do game developers only eat diamonds?

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sunspider13
Friday, July 23, 2010 @ 2:20:18 PM
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Don't mind THQ. I have to admit that I liked Darksiders, it was a fun experience.

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A2K78
Saturday, July 24, 2010 @ 1:01:25 AM
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"Thankfully, in this industry, quality sells. In fact, for the most part, the better the game, the better the sales (please bear in mind I said, "for the most part")."

I can name tons of examples on the PS2 where you're completly wrong.

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A2K78
Saturday, July 24, 2010 @ 1:01:26 AM
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"Thankfully, in this industry, quality sells. In fact, for the most part, the better the game, the better the sales (please bear in mind I said, "for the most part")."

I can name tons of examples on the PS2 where you're completly wrong.

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A2K78
Saturday, July 24, 2010 @ 1:11:59 AM
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"We can't afford anymore to bring mediocre games to market. There's no room for them. You're either a standout, best in class, or you die. We won't bring bad games to market anymore. You can't spend $30, $40, $50 million on a bad game and expect to make a return."

Somebody should tell this guy that regarless of the quality, games theses day are largely unprofitable. For petes sake, games such Uncharted 2 and Killzone are high quality titles, but have been unprofitable.

Overall I love how the game industry is currently shooting itself in the foot with the high cost of making games the unprofitable nature of them.

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___________
Saturday, July 24, 2010 @ 10:54:50 AM

unprofitable?
dude you do realize even uncharted 2 a game that sold 2M units is well in the green zone!
lets say uncharted 2 cost 100M bucks to make, it did not im sure it cost less than that but what the hell.
ok 2M units multiplied by 60 bucks, LCD, other territories games cost more than that but most copies would of been sold in the US so what the hell.
2M units multiplied by 60 bucks brings us to 120 million bucks, now IF uncharted 2 cost more than 120M bucks than ok it was not profitable but i seriously doubt it cost that much to make!
and thats uncharted 2, how about take in GTAIV or MW2 which sold well over 13 million units!
if your game sells 1M units your pretty much well profitable!

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PHOENIXZERO
Sunday, July 25, 2010 @ 11:19:33 PM
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So I guess this only applies if the game isn't something involving a license right? If not then what does that say about the Smackdown series?

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