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 Farrell on how the cloud will change the video game business

“Cloud gaming” has become a hot topic lately, with game startups such as OnLive, Gaikai and Otoy serving up cloud-based game streaming. But the best practices for cloud gaming aren’t yet clear cut, according to Brian Farrell, chief executive of big video game maker THQ, speaking at the Cloud Gaming USA conference in San Jose, Calif. Wednesday,

THQ’s loss will likely be social and mobile gaming’s gain

THQ laid off more than 200 employees today as it tried to realign its workforce in light of disappointing sales of its most recent games. That kind of strategic retreat will likely convince more game developers to refocus on making social and mobile games instead of more traditional games.

brian farrell

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.