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Worrying signs from THQ as it scraps guidance, shuns investor Q&A

THQ may have reported better than expected sales for its last quarter, but the signs are anything but positive for the troubled publisher.

Sales for the quarter ending September 30th reached $91.8m, beating expectations. But that’s where the good news ends.

Darksiders II sales stand at 1.4m copies, far below the 2m break-even point that has been widely speculated and certainly below THQ’s expectations.

The publisher has announced that it will not provide financial guidance for its upcoming quarters. It has also completely withdrawn its guidance for fiscal 2013.

In an even more unusual move, it also declined to indulge in a Q&A following its investor call.

Adding that it simply cannot afford to release any sub-standard games going forwards, president Jason Rubin also confirmed delays to three of THQ’s upcoming titles – Company of Heroes 2 and Metro: Last Light have been delayed from January to March 2013 with RPG outing South Park: The Stick of Truth slipping to the next financial year starting April 1st.

The delays were designed to afford studios extra development time to ensure all titles reach a high standard.

Investment firm Centerview Partners has also been hired to help improve THQ’s precarious financial position as the company has, effectively, admitted that it has run out of cash.

One has to question the wisdom of shunning questions in its investor call. After all, what’s worse – admitting some harsh truths or admitting to nothing at all? In our experience if there’s one thing investors hate more than anything it’s uncertainty.

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