Publisher THQ has published its second quarter fiscal results for 2013, packed with enough statistics to fulfill its duties as a public company and enough obfuscation to make the accounts as difficult as humanly possible to penetrate. In amongst the numbers is news that three major titles, South Park: The Stick of Truth, Company of Heroes 2 and Metro: Last Light have suffered delays.
South Park is now due in early fiscal 2014 (don’t panic, that just means from April 2013 onwards), with Company of Heroes and Last Light pushed to March 2013. As the report notes, this is “later than initially planned”.
“Our fourth quarter releases are the first titles that I have had the ability to materially impact, and experience told me that the games needed additional development time to be market-ready,” says new THQ president Jason Rubin, giving his investors a reassuring verbal pat on the shoulder.
There may be a further strategy at play here. By pushing South Park (a game that’s likely to sell reasonably well on the strength of its license) into the start of fiscal 2014, THQ can have a strong start to the financial year. If either (or both) of Company of Heroes 2 and Metro: Last Light do well in their new slots at the end of fiscal 2013, this will give the impression of some positive momentum for a company whose finances have taken a battering in recent times.
Rubin also notes that the next financial year will feature a fourth Saints Row title, Homefront 2 and an “unannounced game from Turtle Rock”.
In the second quarter of fiscal 2013, THQ made a net loss of $21 million USD. Not great, but better than the $92 million USD they lost during the same period in fiscal 2012.
The report includes a note that 1.4 million copies of Darksiders 2 were ‘shipped’ (sold to retailers) during this three month period.
Source: THQ Second Quarter results