Some have put the blame for THQ’s collapse on larger market factors squeezing the whole AAA gaming industry. However THQ’s now former president Jason Rubin thinks the company dug its own grave.
“I think it is incorrect to attribute THQ’s predicament with overall changes in the industry,” said Rubin. “To be sure, all triple-A publishers have been under pressure, but THQ had every chance to survive had it not made massive mistakes.”
“Unfortunately, the mistakes that were made long before I joined, like the incredible losses attached to uDraw, massive wasted capital in the unpublished MMO that was canceled, sticking with children’s and casual titles far after mobile and tablets had killed the business, bad, late, or otherwise inferior titles like Homefront, and a generally haphazard and inefficient approach to deal making, left the company with too much negative hanging on its books.”
“THQ had to be restructured to survive, and unfortunately, the restructuring ended up in an asset sale rather than an acquisition. There are certainly things to be said about challenges in the mid-tier triple-A publishing business, but I don’t think that conflating it with THQ’s experience is helpful.”
When asked if luck could have helped the company with a breakout hit, Rubin said, “I think that luck plays a role in success and failure, but THQ’s decisions and execution were the major reason for its failure,” he argues. “It would be a cop out to say that bad luck was the predominant force. Could Homefront have caught a nerve and sold 10 million copies It’s possible I guess, but probably not without better production. And it’s hard to attribute a canceled MMO to bad luck. That was simply a bad decision in a sea of bad decisions.”