One of these days I'm going to be really happy to write a super positive news story about THQ suddenly turning around its recent misfortunes and returning to the glory days of yesteryear. Or I'm going to just keep writing really depressing news stories like this one until the whole thing crashes and explodes like an atomic bomb that CEO Brian Farrell rode all the way down to its fiery end. I'm really hoping for the former, but considering how things have been going, I can't help but feel a Major Kong vibe coming on.
Today's awful news comes from THQ's SEC filing, which came just a day before the company's scheduled financials call, in which Farrell is expected to be on the hot seat from investors after the dismal last several months the company has endured. The filing shows that in order to make good on the publisher's current restructuring plan, 240 employees have been released from various sections of the company. Curiously, THQ proclaims that none of its five, wholly owned studios were affected by the cuts, which raises the question of where all those cuts came from.
One of them appears to have been VP of Technology Mark DeLoura, who various sources have confirmed is no longer with the company. DeLoura was evidently in charge of the group working on that Warhammer 40,000 MMO that previously had been rumored to be canceled, and THQ gave the old "nothing has been decided" comment regarding. As I mentioned earlier today, that's usually code for, "Shit, how did you find this out?"
One person who hasn't been laid off (yet) is Farrell, who, for the time being at least, will remain with the company at a reduced salary and with a less restrictive severance package hovering over the Board of Directors, should they eventually decide to oust him. Farrell's salary will go from $718,500 to $359,250 for at least the next year. Additionally, his payout for termination will now just be the base amount equivalent to the highest bonus he received during his tenure at the company. Previously, it was three times that amount.
THQ's other directors will receive the same halving of pay for the next year, while the company tries to turn around its fortunes by focusing on "core games." While some of these measures may satiate some of the more uneasy stockholders out there, it probably does little to comfort the 240 people whose jobs were just unceremoniously axed. Here's wishing the best of luck to all those affected by the layoffs, and hoping they find new work soon.