MCV have reported that troubled publisher THQ is at risk of being dropped from the NASDAQ share listings.
Under the usual rules of these share listings, THQ needs to maintain a share price of above one dollar a share to remain untroubled on the listings; if the share price drops below that for more than 30 days, NASDAQ have the power to remove THQ from their listings.
This is but one of many problems that THQ have had in recent months; the failure of Red Faction: Armageddon, coupled with difficult financial overheads and having to deny it had cancelled its entire 2014 line-up, has seen many turn away from this publisher.
Which would be a shame, as THQ – in my opinion – has played a blinder this generation in terms of new IP. Metro 2033, Saints Row and Darksiders didn’t exist last generation; the focus for THQ has been largely on new and diverse properties. This is a risk that many gamers have lamented EA and Activision for not doing; delivering new and interesting and often very good games.
And sadly, it doesn’t seem to be paying off.
Of course, THQ is still one of the largest publishers and it may still, even if shares don’t pick up, be able to convince NASDAQ that it is worth remaining on the listings. As long as it can convince them that they are in it for the long haul, there is every opportunity available for THQ to if not bounce back, at least maintain the status quo.
I just think it is sad that a company that in recent years has been proudly investing in new products and ideas is having problems that may be a result of that high-risk strategy. In a world where we often lament the a-typical recycling of ideas, THQ has been bolder than most. And it appears to be doing them no good either.
Part of me wonders if this is symptomatic of the industry line that new IP needs to be backed with a reliable old name almost simultaneously. Another part of me wonders if THQ has perhaps gone too far the other way – taking too many risks, too much new product, that it has failed to ground itself in a more stable financial cycle.
I sincerely hope this is the end of THQ’s “Annus Horriblus”. Because with Darksiders 2 looking stellar, and the sequel to Metro 2033 looking amazing as well, THQ really don’t seem to deserve this.
Here is hoping 2012 is the fight back – I, for one, will be supporting THQ by buying their games.