Today the once dominant but now struggling games publisher THQ gave out some information via its earnings report for the second quarter of its 2013 fiscal year; and the news is both good and bad…bust mostly bad.
In the report THQ has stated they have have shipped 5 million units of its Saints Row: The Third to retailers across the world. Although that number isn’t actual copies sold to consumers, THQ have said that the third title in the Saints Row franchise has sold consistently well since its release in late 2011, and with a “Complete Edition” releasing this week, they expect a slight rise for the winter season.
Now for the bad news. THQ’s biggest title of the year was undoubtedly the sequel to the 2010 surprise hit, Darksiders, and Darksiders 2 was a lofty project for a struggling publisher to handle, and unfortunately, it wasn’t the hit they were hoping for. With a long production and a decent marketing push, Darksiders 2 under performed with THQ saying they shipped 1.4 million copies of the game to retailers. Again no specifics were given as to actual units moved, but earlier in production a Vigil Games employee stated they would need close to 3 million units to sell to make profits, a large number for any developer.
Darksiders 2 was critically praised averaging an 84 on Metacritic with game journalists, while earning an 8.1 with fans. It is truly a shame the game hasn’t performed better, as that series may have started out as a Zelda style action platformer, but had found its own voice with the sequel, and the possibilities for future ideas were vast. Overall THQ’s net sales were down from last years $119.6 million to sitting at roughly $91. million. The future is bleak for the studio as they also delayed titles such as “South Park and The Stick of Truth”, “Metro: Last Light”, and “Company of Heroes 2”.
There have been enough studio closures these past few years in gaming, and losing one of its longest lasting would be truly sad. Fans do yourselves a favor as well as help a struggling publisher last a little longer, and pick up one of THQ’s games this christmas. Saints Row: The Third is a blast to play, Darksiders 2 is a long journey that rekindles those fond Soul Reaver memories, and the original Metro was a unique first person experience. Hell even pick up WWE, anything to help these guys out.
Oh, and don’t pick them up used; that doesn’t help anyone except GameStop.