In THQ's second quarter earnings report, the company laid out some not-too-unexpected news regarding their 2013 slate, announcing that key titles in their line-up such as Company of Heroes 2, South Park: The Stick of Truth and Metro: Last Light have all been hit with delays.
As stated on the Business Wire in the earnings report, THQ's president Jason Ruben stated that...
“I firmly believe releasing our fourth quarter titles without extra time for polish in the current environment would lead to underperformance that could in turn lead to future additional capital shortfalls. But extending development schedules in order to make the best possible titles also has financial implications. Yet there can be no doubt which path has the greatest chance of leading to the long-term success of the company. We must follow the course that generates the highest quality games, and will establish THQ as a mark of quality for the consumer,"
South Park: The Stick of Truth has been pushed back from its March, 2013 release to an early fiscal 2014, which could mean a potential late spring, early summer release in calender 2013.
Company of Heroes and Metro: Last Light are also scheduled to now release in calender March of 2013. This isn't too surprising given that Metro: Last Light was already scheduled for an early 2013 launch.
Brian Farrell, THQ’s Chairman and CEO commented in the press release, saying...
“Clearly, THQ faces a number of opportunities and challenges,”... “I am confident about the opportunities that lie in our robust slate of games and in our studios. But we also face challenges operating with limited capital resources in the highly competitive market for games, and we are working diligently to resolve those challenges.”
The earnings report earned THQ a massive 50% drop-off in their stock value, bringing it down to $1.50 a share. The company's capital, as mentioned by Farrell, is now only a paltry $10.28 million.
The company supposedly has 10 titles scheduled for the 2014 slate, some of which includes an unannounced title from Turtle Rock, Homefront 2 and Saints Row 4.
If THQ was smart they'd hold off on those last two and save them for next-gen. There's literally nothing that can be done in an the open-world genre for today's gen consoles, and another on-rails, open-world game for the 360 and PS3 like Saints Row: The Third would probably hurt the brand more than help it.
THQ definitely has to play some financial Tetris to stay in the game, though. It will be interesting to see how the company strategically gets out of this bind.