THQ UK closure: an insider's perspective
"We could have made something special."
THQ may have been working on a downloadable version of street racing game Juiced, Eurogamer has discovered.
An insider at THQ revealed that "the racing game I cannot mention" was the only project on the development slab.
What happens to that now THQ Digital Warrington has been marked for closure we don't know. The insider's gagging order suggests THQ may not bury the racing project.
Warrington's other new downloadable game, Warhammer 40K: Kill Team, "was finished last week and is in the submission stage", our source added.
"It's a good game and has been made from scratch in only 10 months, which is quite impressive."
"We've had several projects cancelled by THQ since Juiced 2."THQ insider
Since Juiced 2 in 2007, THQ Digital Warrington has produced only one game - Red Faction: Battlegrounds, which scored a disappointing 5/10 on Eurogamer. But the sparse portfolio wasn't for want of trying.
"We've had several projects cancelled by THQ since Juiced 2," the insider revealed, "so we were struggling to find something they were happy with.
"It has been a good studio to work for and if we'd been allowed a bit more creative freedom, we could have followed Juiced 2 up with something special."
But even Battlegrounds wasn't left alone by THQ.
"It was a game that wasn't meant to be attached to the Red Faction brand originally, so we had to shoe-horn that in," the insider said. "That confused people a lot.
"With a team of only around eight people, [Red Faction: Battlegrounds] was never going to be great."THQ insider
"It was a decent game, but with a team of only around eight people, it was never going to be great."
The source said Red Faction: Battlegrounds had, "last I heard", over 30,000 downloads, "which isn't bad at all".
The insider believes THQ shut the studio because digital sales were weak. "The market is getting quite saturated and it's harder to stand out now than it was when the likes of Trials HD came out," the source said. And as a dedicated digital content maker, THQ Digital Warrington had nowhere else to turn.
Redundancy packages are being sent out and "they seem very reasonable", our source explained. "THQ do a good job of looking after people on the way out."
The source expects "everything" to close once the 30-day administration phase comes to an end.
What happens next?
"Canada is an option and THQ will certainly help everyone find a new job," the source said.
Eurogamer wishes the very best of luck to all former THQ Digital Warrington employees.