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Take-Two's Zelnick: "THQ won’t be around in six months"

Matt Gardner
Catfight, Handbags, Publishers, Strauss Zelnick, Take-Two Interactive, THQ

Take-Two's Zelnick: "THQ won’t be around in six months"

Good lord, we need a handbags graphic. Take-Two's CEO, Strauss Zelnick, has predicted that ailing publisher THQ won't be around in half a year's time.

Speaking at the MIT Business in Gaming conference yesterday, Zelnick suggested that a lack of original IPs, a dependency on licensed material, and a shortage of top-quality titles spelled doom for THQ. In metaphorical terms, according to Zelnick, "the food was no good and the portions were small".


“THQ’s strategy was licensed properties, first and foremost,” Zelnick said, according to Joystiq. “License stuff from other people, whether it’s UFC or WWE or a motion picture property, and make a game around that. Our approach, since we took over the company, is 100% owned intellectual property.”

Not only that, but Zelnick stacked up the critical quality of his company's games against those of THQ, and found the latter set wanting.

“The most important difference is quality,” he said. “Take-Two has the highest quality ratings among third-party publishers, according to Metacritic and most people in the industry. Quality really, really, really matters. THQ has had some good game, but their quality levels aren’t even remotely … the quality hasn’t measured up.

“[Changing company] strategy didn’t work [for THQ] and the execution was bad. To put it another way: the food was no good and the portions were small.

“THQ won’t be around in six months.”

Unsurprisingly, THQ were rather less than impressed with this statement, delivering a counterpoint to Joystiq later in the evening.

""Obviously, Mr. Zelnick's perception of THQ is outdated and inaccurate," said a THQ spokesperson. "His comments are irresponsible and false. Perhaps he would be better off commenting on his own business."

Zelnick has since apologised for his comments. "While discussing our strategy I spoke out of turn about someone else's. It was inappropriate and I regret it," he said in a statement to Game Informer.

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