THQ CEO Brian Farrell knows his company was in a bad way and part of getting back onto the road to recovery is proving that they know what to do next. The company was in freefall after it announced that its little UDraw experiment had failed miserably, costing the company millions of dollars. Ultimately that led to a series of studio closures, layoffs, and sales of major licenses like UFC. On Monday the company announced that it would do a one-for-ten stock split July 9 to keep it from being booted off the NASDAQ.
Speaking to Gamasutra, THQ CEO Brian Farrell acknowledged the challenges the company faces, but also said that the worst part of the trouble is past them:
"We want to show the shareholders that the heavy lifting is done," says THQ CEO Farrell. "The last six months have been an exercise in great pain and suffering. We feel like we're getting there. We've taken a lot of negative things in the press – and frankly a lot of that was deserved. This company has changed. We have strong, new leadership. Look at our fourth quarter earnings. … It's starting to come together."
While the reverse stock split will probably deal with the issue of being delisted from the stock exchange, Farrell knows that there is more work to be done to deal with the company's laundry list of problems:
"I've been doing this long enough to know that …at the end of the day, the product will drive the stock price," he says. "When it will happen, we don't control that. So the focus is on getting great products both in the near term and the long term."
He goes on to say that the company is not betting everything on AAA titles like the next Saint's Row title or Crytek's new Homefront game to get them out of the hole:
"I think there's a real opportunity in the changing business models we see happening in the marketplace for a smaller and more agile company like us to position ourselves quite differently," he says. "We think there's a real opportunity – particularly in the digital space on the core gamer side [and] especially on emerging platforms like the PC and some of the things we see coming down the road, where there's an opportunity for core games that are not just [made with] the highest budgets, but [offer] alternate pricing and business models There's a place to attract the core gamer there."
You can read the rest of what Farrell has to say on Gamasutra, but the most noble thing Farrell says is that he knows that the buck stops with him when it comes to THQ's current situation:
"There is no question who is responsible for where THQ is right now. That's with me," he says. "That said I feel equally responsible for getting this company out of it."