Take-Two Boss Believes THQ Will Go The Way Of The Mayans Soon
Speaking at the MIT Business in Gaming conference, Strauss Zelnick, CEO of publisher Take-Two, slammed publisher THQ by pretty much predicting its demise.
The big cheese of the publisher that brought us such greats as the Grand Theft Auto and BioShock said that his company’s focus on wholly owned intellectual property versus THQ’s focus on licensed games was a key factor in their differing fortunes, as was the quality of their final products.
Zelnick reasoned that even if you do a great job on licensed property, your margins will diminish in the long term because each time you have to renegotiate the terms of the license, meaning you’ll be charged more for a brand you helped to establish and grow.
“The most important difference is quality,” he said. “Take-Two has the highest quality ratings among third-party publishers, according to Metacritic and most people in the industry. Quality really, really, really matters. THQ has had some good games, but their quality levels aren’t even remotely … the quality hasn’t measured up.”
He added: “Strategy didn’t work and the execution was bad. To put it another way: the food was no good and the portions were small.”
Zelnick concluded with these words: “THQ won’t be around in six months.”
Harsh, right? That said, it’s probably true given THQ’s recent financial troubles, which have led to hundreds of job cuts as well as a few product cancellations.
Whatever happens, I just hope that Darksiders 2 releases before THQ goes the way of John Romero’s career after Daikatana.