Long time video game publisher THQ is currently going through some serious issues that are resulting in the company laying-off employees from several different branches including Austrailia and the closure of their office in Japan.
Currently, around 240 employees have been laid off by the company as a result of THQ‘s restructuring of their business plan – to be aimed toward core games rather than kid games. The restructuring is not affecting any of the internal studios that work under THQ, only the publisher itself.
The restructuring would be in line with THQ’s position that the company isn’t dead and that their game line up through 2014 is not in jeopardy. The growing pains are very evident, with many sales, administrative, and general personnel getting let go from their jobs – with severance payments. Layoffs will continue until the end of March, where THQ expects the changes to be mostly finished – with further, but minor, restructuring in September. The severance payments total nearly $8 million.
Employees aren’t the only entities feeling the sting, THQ president and CEO, Brian Farrell is taking a 50% cut to his salary from $718,500 to $359,250 for one year starting February 12, 2012. After the year is up, Farrell’s salary will rise back to the original amount of $718,500 without taking a decrease, and in fact, is subject to increase according to his contract (and the success of the restructuring, no doubt).
If the changing structure of THQ isn’t enough of a sting, the company is also in jeopardy of losing their NASDAQ stock listing. THQ has been trading below $1 for over 30 days, which is a no-no in the stock market. If the stock does not trade above .99 cents for 10 consecutive days over a course of 180 days, then the stock can be delisted. Understandably, this is something that a large video game publishing company does not want – especially after they’ve spent so much time defending their viability and future plans.
In line with THQ’s new strategy of appealing to the core gaming audience, they’re coming up with a number of games that could actually turn the tide – South Park: The Game certainly looks exactly like it should, that is to say, like the television show, and Darksiders II is looking to offer fans of the original more of what they loved – with a lot more features and a chance to play as Death himself.
Game Rant wishes any affected THQ employees the best of luck in finding new employment in the video game industry.
Darksiders II releases in 2012 for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.
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