THQ In Trouble?

According to some in the industry, along with a slate of twitter rumours, game company THQ were apparently cancelling their 2014 line up of games due to financial concerns. Since then, THQ have denied these rumours and insist that their 2014 lineup is still intact.

It may however be a difficult few years for the company as they have closed a lot of studios recently to cut costs and their 2012 lineup is not exactly exciting. The main problem with THQ is they hold licences to minor franchises/properties that have a cult following here in the UK and more of a mainstream following in the US, but not at the level that THQ would want. Take the WWE series along with UFC series. Strong games in respects, they don’t have a big sales quota which most companies garner. However, the turning point came this year when as of December 2011, WWE 12 sold around 850,000 copies worldwide across three platforms. UFC Undisputed 3 will be coming out soon which might have strong sales, but across the internet there isn’t the most amazing buzz about the product. The same can be said for the upcoming Warhammer game which I didn’t even know was coming out until I saw it on the release list. Says a lot really.

Saints Row 3 was easily THQ’s biggest game last year, boasting strong sales and a great reception from the public. The game is beyond crazy and is an amazingly fun ride.

THQ also own properties in the TV and Film game genre with upcoming titles with South Park and Pixar film Brave. The South Park has the potential to pick up big cult sales in the US alone and a good garnering of support from Europe. Brave however may fall into the bin along with most video game/film tie ins.

There is a huge buzz abound for Darksiders II and Metro: Last Light the last of the main releases for  THQ this year alone. Both, being sequels, come off of critically acclaimed games and should be the saviour this company needs right now. Expect THQ to keep scrapping until the next major release comes out, Saints Row 4 anyone?

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Crossing the Genre: Games to Film P.1

With the world of film now turning to books/short stories/comics and graphic novels and games to provide plots for the summer blockbusters, I will do a series of blogs dedicated to this subject. This one covers the issue of video games becoming film projects which Hollywood desperately want to happen.

There is massive list of Video Game/Movie projects which either have lost directors, scripts have not been up to standard etc. Take the ‘Halo’ movie for example, that has always been a movie that many wanted/assumed would get made. However, over the years, the opportunity/circumstance has not been available. The Halo: Reach live action ad campaign was one of those moments where Game/Film intertwined to create something real and believeable. This is where film/game cross over should lay. Short and powerful segments of live action that convey a feeling of awesome-ness to the viewers.

A shot from the live action trailer, 'Deliver Hope' for Halo: Reach

The trend of live action trailers are designed to test the water with live action film versions of games. We have seen it with Halo: Reach, The Saboteur and Assassins Creed 2 (the latter two being less well known).

A snippet of the IGN Game to Film List

With a growing list of potential movies, there is always a chance that one of these projects could be made. There is a greater chance that some of these will forever live in the graveyard of Hollywood.

There have been successful adaptations with films like “Silent Hill” and “Resident Evil” which have been live action and have managed to play into the games respectively. The concept of fitting a ten hour experience into a two hour film is always going to be a difficult task, let alone picking actors who fit into the position.

In the next part I will discuss the projects which have been green lighted and are set for release soon – plus a look over those ideas which don’t exactly play into the gaming genre.

– Ryan