THQ to drop licensed kids’ games and focus on “core” content

Video game publisher THQ today announced it is officially shifting its focus from traditional kids’ licensed games to “core” franchises such as Saints Row, UFC, and Darksiders in order to become a more streamlined organization. The announcement comes after recent layoffs at its family division, Play THQ, and rumors that the struggling company was looking to cancel its 2014 lineup of titles.

THQ’s Brian Farrell laughs about purple dildos and Space Marines (interview)

Brian Farrell is the longtime chief executive of THQ, the publicly traded video game publisher based in Calabasas, Calif. THQ is in the midst of a turnaround effort as it focuses on better, higher-quality games like many other large rivals in the video game business. THQ is making big bets on titles such as Saints Row the Third, Metro Last Light, Margaritaville, Space Marine, and others. (My preview coverage of Space Marine raised quite a stir, but Farrell was quite diplomatic about that.) Farrell a good-humored executive who is doubling down on big titles and is expanding into new digital games. We met up with him for an interview at the E3 trade show in Los Angeles last week, where the company showed off a bunch of major titles.