Another studio shake-down at THQ

Another studio shake-down at THQ
Michael French

By Michael French

March 18th 2009 at 9:32AM

Big Huge Games up for sale while Heavy Iron and Incinerator go independent

There was more upheaval for THQ's development studios last night: the publisher confirmed that one of its studios is for sale - or will be closed - while two other shave been spun-out into independent teams.

Big Huge Games is the studio that might potentially get the chop, unless a buyer is found, while Heavy Iron and Incinerator are to be turned into independents.

The former was only bought by THQ in January last year.

The news follows confirmation from the publisher in February that it was to lose 600 jobs - 24 per cent of its workforce - after reporting Q3 losses. Throughout 2008 it had reported a number of restructuring efforts for its studios that emphasised fewer, quality products and meant a down sizing of its product slate.

A statement from the publisher reads:

"As part of THQ’s previously announced business realignment and related headcount reduction plans that targeted cost reductions of USD 220 million, including a reduction in workforce of 600 people worldwide, THQ today notified the staff at two of its development studios that they will be spun out as independent companies: Heavy Iron in Los Angeles, CA, and Incinerator in Carlsbad, CA.

"In addition, THQ informed the staff at its Big Huge Games studio in Timonium, MD, that it plans to close the studio if a sale is not completed in the near future.

"These actions were unfortunate but were necessitated by the difficult economic environment,"