Goodbye, crappy THQ studios.

Posted by Dalai (7027 posts) -

Thank you, shitty economy.  You've cost some major publishers to cut staff and shut down studios... but fear not, I think there could be a silver lining here.  You might have seen the news stories about EA's job cuts and the closing of several THQ studios, but this might not affect our favorite franchises.  Why?  Let's look at THQ's now-defunct studios.

Helixe

Helixe does all of those Disney Pixar games like Wall-E and Ratatouille so unless you love average licensed games, you won't be crying about this loss.  The only bright spot was de Blob which received favorable reviews.

Locomotive Games, Inc.

Giant Bomb's page for Locomotive is lacking in substance which means they're not really going to be missed.

Mass Media, Inc.

Not missing anything here.  There's a Shrek game, a Power Rangers game, and some Pac-Man stuff on their resume... meh.

Paradigm Entertainment Inc.

This might be the toughest loss of them all.  Paradigm's biggest contributions were 2 generations ago with Pilowings 64 and Beetle Adventure Racing.  Recently, they developed Stuntman: Ignition which underperformed.

Sandblast Games

They're working on the latest Destroy All Humans! game at the moment, but Sandblast's closing is no real loss to most gamers.

So if you look where they're cutting staff, it's obviously in places where they've been unprofitable... you know THQ won't be scrapping Volition or Gas Powered Games anytime soon.  And I can see a number of other companies eventually slimming down as things get tough, but it shouldn't hurt the quality of games coming out... in fact, the quality should improve overall as they cut out the majority of shovelware.  In the case of THQ, you will likely see a Saints Row 3 if it sells... the WWE franchise will keep them afloat... and All Star Cheer Squad?  Eh, you can't kill them all.

So your thoughts.  Does the loss of these studios matter to you at all?

#1 Posted by Dalai (7027 posts) -

Thank you, shitty economy.  You've cost some major publishers to cut staff and shut down studios... but fear not, I think there could be a silver lining here.  You might have seen the news stories about EA's job cuts and the closing of several THQ studios, but this might not affect our favorite franchises.  Why?  Let's look at THQ's now-defunct studios.

Helixe

Helixe does all of those Disney Pixar games like Wall-E and Ratatouille so unless you love average licensed games, you won't be crying about this loss.  The only bright spot was de Blob which received favorable reviews.

Locomotive Games, Inc.

Giant Bomb's page for Locomotive is lacking in substance which means they're not really going to be missed.

Mass Media, Inc.

Not missing anything here.  There's a Shrek game, a Power Rangers game, and some Pac-Man stuff on their resume... meh.

Paradigm Entertainment Inc.

This might be the toughest loss of them all.  Paradigm's biggest contributions were 2 generations ago with Pilowings 64 and Beetle Adventure Racing.  Recently, they developed Stuntman: Ignition which underperformed.

Sandblast Games

They're working on the latest Destroy All Humans! game at the moment, but Sandblast's closing is no real loss to most gamers.

So if you look where they're cutting staff, it's obviously in places where they've been unprofitable... you know THQ won't be scrapping Volition or Gas Powered Games anytime soon.  And I can see a number of other companies eventually slimming down as things get tough, but it shouldn't hurt the quality of games coming out... in fact, the quality should improve overall as they cut out the majority of shovelware.  In the case of THQ, you will likely see a Saints Row 3 if it sells... the WWE franchise will keep them afloat... and All Star Cheer Squad?  Eh, you can't kill them all.

So your thoughts.  Does the loss of these studios matter to you at all?

#2 Posted by LordAndrew (14426 posts) -

We need All Star Cheer Squad to save us from We Cheer.

But they killed of the studio that made de Blob? That's a shame. Paradigm too. What's left now? Does THQ have any other studios worth a damn?

#3 Posted by Sincillian (530 posts) -

Don't care about most of those except Sandblast Games. I love Destroy All Humans.

#4 Posted by roushimsx (485 posts) -
  • Locomotive isn't too much of a loss (WWE Crush Hour? Power Rangers Dino Thunder? MX Superfly?). I liked their work on N64 (Nuclear Strike 64 and Road Rash 64), but that was a long time ago...
  • Paradigm is pretty much in the same boat. Loved Pilotwings 64 and Beetle Adventure Racing, but Mission Impossible Operation Surma and Stuntman: Ignition were major disappointments. Never played their Terminator games, but I've been interested in checking them out.
  • Helixe's closure doesn't tear me up too much. Maybe I'd care more if I hadn't bought Wall-E on DS. Oh well.
  • Shame about Sandblast Games, though. Evil Dead: Regeneration was woefully underappreciated and I was looking forward to what other original game they were going to churn out in the future.

At least THQ still has Rainbow Studios (Cars / Motocross Madness / ATV Offroad Fury), Volition (though Red Faction II was one of the worst first person shooters released in the last generation....), Big Huge Games (Rise of Nations), Relic (good RTS games!) and at least some of Juice (who used to be Rage and did some pretty awesome stuff before they got stuck working on the Juiced series).

Still. Sucks to hear about people losing their jobs. Hopefully they land on their feet somewhere else.

#5 Posted by addictedtopinescent (3645 posts) -

Yeah Sandblast was kinda cool, I loved the first 2 Destroy All Humans and the next one could have been good (while I doubt that).
Ratatouille, Shrek, whatever, I challenge you all to find 3 people on Giant Bomb that like this crap. ( Games from kid Disney movies). It's still a shame to see people losing their jobs over the fucking economy, especially people who probably liked their jobs.

#6 Posted by roushimsx (485 posts) -
addictedtopinescent said:
"Ratatouille, Shrek, whatever, I challenge you all to find 3 people on Giant Bomb that like this crap. ( Games from kid Disney movies).."
Woah, woah, careful there. Ratatouille and Shrek were awesome animated features, not kid Disney movies (hell, Shrek was from Dreamworks).

It's a shame that games licnesed from animated properties turn out the way they do most of the time, but now and then there are some real winners. Capcom notably fucking nailed the Disney licneses back in the 8 and 16 bit eras while THQ's own Cars game for Xbox/PS2/Gamecube (from Rainbow Studios), in addition to being one of the best selling games of the year (2.6 million copies!) was a pretty damn well polished game. Reminded me of ChoroQ in a lot of ways.
#7 Posted by addictedtopinescent (3645 posts) -

roushimsx said:

"addictedtopinescent said:
"Ratatouille, Shrek, whatever, I challenge you all to find 3 people on Giant Bomb that like this crap. ( Games from kid Disney movies).."
Woah, woah, careful there. Ratatouille and Shrek were awesome animated features, not kid Disney movies (hell, Shrek was from Dreamworks).

It's a shame that games licnesed from animated properties turn out the way they do most of the time, but now and then there are some real winners. Capcom notably fucking nailed the Disney licneses back in the 8 and 16 bit eras while THQ's own Cars game for Xbox/PS2/Gamecube (from Rainbow Studios), in addition to being one of the best selling games of the year (2.6 million copies!) was a pretty damn well polished game. Reminded me of ChoroQ in a lot of ways.
"


Well you know I didn't say those were bad movies, I didn't see Ratatouille but I did like Shrek, problem is those games are never or almost never good.

#8 Posted by Roger_Klotz (780 posts) -
#9 Posted by roushimsx (485 posts) -
addictedtopinescent said:
"Well you know I didn't say those were bad movies, I didn't see Ratatouille but I did like Shrek, problem is those games are never or almost never good."
I guess I misunderstood what you meant when you said, "Games from kid Disney movies". There hasn't been a Pixar movie yet that I didn't love and I've found Brad Bird's work in particular to be absolutely stunning in every way possible. I mean, John Lasseter is fantastic and Andrew Stanton's WALL-E was brilliant, but Brad's work really changed the way I looked at animated movies. Hell, The Iron Giant revitalized my interest in the medium altogether.

But yea, the games licensed from animared films and shows  tend to fall flat on their face. For every Cars there's a dozen WALL-Es and for every Kim Possible: What's the Switch there's a pile of Xiaolin Showdowns. Still, the scattered, random good titles are reason enough to not write off licensed titles altogether. If you were to do that, you may as well write off all first person shooters based on the deluge of substandard budget crap or schlocky low budget eastern european garbage filling the shelves.
#10 Posted by LordAndrew (14426 posts) -

Kim Possible: What's the Switch was good?

Whoa. Apparently it was. Cool.

#11 Posted by brukaoru (5079 posts) -

Holy crap, THQ is gone? I never heard about this. It doesn't sound like a huge loss, but there were a few games they had that were good, too bad most of the other stuff wasn't.

#12 Edited by LordAndrew (14426 posts) -

THQ as a whole is not gone, but some of its studios are.
And some of those studios made pretty good games.

#13 Posted by brukaoru (5079 posts) -

Gotcha. I would agree with Dalai that the WWE game franchise alone will keep them afloat, even if they happen to be crap sequels, fans will buy it anyway.

#14 Posted by Lunarbunny (1025 posts) -

Gas Powered is publishing their next game with Stardock, FYI.

#15 Posted by atejas (3057 posts) -

BU-BUT GSC GAMEWORLD

#16 Posted by Claude (16254 posts) -

Beetle Adventure Racing was an awesome game. It was like San Francisco Rush, but better.

#17 Posted by DXSSI (266 posts) -

In addition to De Blob, Helixe did Tak and the Power of Juju, which makes me very conflicted.  Guess I won't be mourning their loss, and I'm sure THQ will just farm out De Blob to another dev house.  I know nothing about Locomotive, although GameFAQs says they were behind V-Tetris, a Japan-only version of Tetris for the Virtual Boy.  That's neat, but I don't know if it was any good, or how it stacked up against 3-D Tetris, which we actually got in the U.S.

I wasn't sure what to think about Mass Media, as I do love Pac-Man games and can actually recall the Mass Media logo—but I couldn't recall associating it with any Pac-Man games I liked.  A look through their catalog confirms it.  Their best title was Pac-Man Collection, a halfway decent port compliation, which most any studio could have done.  Paradigm and Sandblast also mean nothing to me.

It's always sad to see people losing their jobs, but on a personal level I won't be missing anything that these studios would have produced.

#18 Posted by Optiow (1745 posts) -

I don't really care about nay of those, none seem to interest me.

#19 Posted by LackLuster (717 posts) -

I'm not going to miss any of them, but still alot of people are now out of a job.

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