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THQ – A former American developer and publisher of video games

THQ is a former American publisher and developer of video games, who’s internally created games include the likes of the Saints Row, Red Faction and Dawn of War series, among many others. Sadly, the company filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in December 2012.

Company History:

THQ was founded in 1989 in Agoura Hills, California, and it’s name derived from “Toy Head-Quarters”. This was back in the early 90’s when the company was a toy manufacturer. THQ developed products for video game consoles, handheld game consoles, as well as for wireless devices and personal computers, and had offices in Europe, North America and the Asia Pacific region.

The company published both internally created and externally licensed content in its product portfolio. They also held exclusive, long-term licensing agreements with leading entertainment and sports content creators such as WWE, Pixar, Disney and Nickelodeon.

THQ finally declared chapter 11 bankruptcy in December 2012, following several years of an increasing amount of debt and financial struggles.

Acquisitions and Partnerships:

Divisions

  • External Development Group (XDG) was founded in 2006 to streamline THQ's outsourcing initiatives. In 2008, the group opened a headquarters in Shanghai, China to transition from traditional business to business outsourcing methods to a form of distributed development.
  • Play THQ, used for THQ's family-oriented games beginning in 2007. The label was primarily used to publish licensed games for Disney, Pixar, and Nickelodeon titles.
  • Slingdot.
  • THQ Wireless.

Former

  • Concrete Games in Carlsbad, California, founded in 2004, closed January 2008.
  • Heavy Iron Studios in Los Angeles, California, founded in 1999, spun off in March 2009.
  • Helixe in Burlington, Massachusetts, founded in July 2000, closed November 2008.
  • Incinerator Studios in Carlsbad, California, founded in 2005, spun off in March 2009.
  • Locomotive Games in Santa Clara, California, founded as DT Productions in 1997, then Pacific Coast Power & Light, acquired in 1999, closed November 2010.
  • Mass Media in California, founded in the late 1980s, acquired in 2007, spun off in November 2008.
  • Outrage Games in Ann Arbor, Michigan, founded as Outrage Entertainment in December 1997, acquired April 4, 2002, closed in 2004.
  • Paradigm Entertainment in Addison, Texas, founded in 1998, acquired from Atari in May 2006, closed November 2008.
  • Sandblast Games in Kirkland, Washington, founded in August 2002 as Cranky Pants Games, closed November 2008.
  • Universomo in Tampere, Finland, founded in 2002, acquired in May 2007, closed March 2, 2010.
  • Kaos Studios in New York City, started in 2006, closed June 13, 2011.
  • THQ Digital Studios UK in United Kingdom, founded as Juice Games in 2003, acquired in 2006, closed June 13, 2011.
  • Blue Tongue in Melbourne, Australia, founded in 1995, acquired in November 2004, closed 2011.
  • Rainbow Studios in Arizona, founded in 1996, acquired in 2001, became THQ Digital Phoenix during MX vs. ATV Alive's development, spun off in 2011 and returned to its old name since.
  • THQ Studio Australia in Brisbane, started in January 2003, closed August 9, 2011.
  • THQ Japan, the company's Japanese-publishing subsidiary, ceased all of its operations on February 29, 2012. An alternative publishing partner for THQ's games in Japan was not announced. In spite of this, THQ's last expected title in Japan, Darksiders II, was released on the planned platforms the following October, but is not expected for Wii U the following December.
  • THQ Studio San Diego in San Diego, California, acquired from Midway Games in August 2009, closed June 4, 2012.
  • THQ Asia Pacific in Melbourne, Australia, founded in 2000 as THQ's Australian subsidiary, closing down late 2012–2013. Was responsible for distribution of games from Sega of Europe from 2002 to 2007 and is currently responsible for distribution of Capcom Europe's products from 2009. THQ Asia Pacific was previously distributor for Capcom Europe in Australia from 2002 to 2007, when distribution was moved to Red Ant Enterprises, who went bankrupt in 2009.
  • Vigil Games in Austin, Texas, founded in 2005, acquired in 2006, closed in 2013.

Sold

  • Big Huge Games in Timonium, Maryland, founded in February 2000, acquired in January 2008, sold to 38 Studios in May 2009, defunct with the closure of 38 Studios in mid-2012.
  • ValuSoft in Minneapolis, founded in 1997, acquired in 2002 and sold to Cosmi on 2012.
  • Relic Entertainment in Vancouver, founded in May 1997, acquired in May 2004. Sold to Sega on January 22, 2013.
  • Volition in Champaign, Illinois, founded in November 1996, acquired in September 2000. Sold to Deep Silver on January 22, 2013.
  • THQ Studio Montreal in Montreal, Quebec, founded in October 2010 is THQ's first North American studio that was not acquired. It is also described to be THQ's largest studio hiring more than 500 employees. Sold to Ubisoft on January 22, 2013.

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