THQ announced this week "a strategic realignment" of its internal studio development teams – which in laymen's terms means it has shut down a studio or two and cancelled some long-standing game project. The company announced that it was shelving the MX vs. ATV franchise, closing two studios in Australia, and laying off the development team at the company’s Phoenix location. The Quality Assurance team in Phoenix will remain. The closures will mean 200 layoffs, according to THQ.
THQ said this was done in part because it is in "the process of transitioning its portfolio away from licensed kids titles and movie-based entertainment properties."
"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. 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," said Brian Farrell, President and CEO, THQ. "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.”
"We will continue to evaluate our capital and resources to concentrate on fast growing digital business initiatives such as social games, mobile and tablet-based digital entertainment," Farrell added.
THQ noted in its announcement that "all affected employees are eligible to apply for open positions within the company globally."
For developers in Australia this is probably not much of an option – for obvious reasons.