THQ Closes Five Studios, Cuts Staff at Two Others

[UPDATED] Publisher THQ is closing studios and laying off staff to improve its business in the current weak economy.

by James Brightman on Monday, November 03, 2008

THQ Closes Five Studios, Cuts Staff at Two Others

Update: THQ has now confirmed (via GameSpot) that it has indeed shut down several of its studios. Operations have officially ceased at Paradigm Entertainment, Mass Media, Helixe, Locomotive Games, and Sandblast Games. Furthermore, a number of staff were laid off at both Juice Games and Rainbow Studios. The exact number of project cancellations tied to the layoffs and studio closures is unknown at this time.

"It's just constantly trying to react dynamically to the market, whether it's because of things happening to our industry or the economic environment as a whole. It's making sure that we're set up over the next three to five years to be profitable and successful," commented a THQ spokesman.

Original story:

Although THQ has yet to confirm any of it, reports have quickly spread across the web today that the company is in the process of shutting down some of its studios. Kotaku claims that as many as five studios will be shuttered. Texas-based developer Paradigm Entertainment, which created Pilotwings 64 and most recently Stuntman Ignition, would appear to be the first one to go.

Additionally, according to Develop in the U.K., Warrington-based Juice Games – known for its Juiced racing franchise – will be laying off about a third of its staff. The move apparently is a result of the cancellation of a "high risk project." Unlike Paradigm, however, Juice is to remain open and will continue development on its other projects.

THQ is set to report its quarterly earnings this Wednesday, so it's likely we'll hear more about its studios and potential closings then.

THQ has yet to respond for comment, but the official THQ studios webpage now appears to list just 11 studios on the worldwide map (as opposed to 16 before). Studios that are missing from the map include Paradigm, Sandblast Games, Helixe, Locomotive and Mass Media.

via GAmeDaily

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