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Post by Steve Farrelly @ 11:22am 10/08/11 | 62 Comments
THQ have sent through a press release talking about their strategic internal development "realignment", which includes the closure of THQ Brisbane, and Melbourne's Blue Tongue as well as a development team based in Phoenix, Arizona.

"With this realignment, we are narrowing our focus to high-quality owned IP with broad appeal that can be leveraged across multiple platforms, and to work with the best talent in the industry. By right-sizing our internal development capacities for our console portfolio, our five internal studios are focused on delivering high-quality games with talented teams driving the execution of those titles to market,” said Brian Farrell, President and CEO, THQ via press release.

“As we have outlined in our business strategies, we are making shifts to reduce movie-based and licensed kids’ video games in our portfolio, which underscores our strategy to move away from games that will not generate strong profits in the future.”

According to the release, all 200 staff let-go in the "strategic realignment" are able to apply for positions within any of THQ's global offices still standing. And while it is good to hear a company moving away from licensed products and games for children, to focus more on core, new and original IPs, it's always sad to hear about Aussie studio closures.



blue tonguethq brisbaneclosuresthq





Latest Comments
unclebobsticle
Posted 11:46am 10/8/11
Not good. Brother in law just got laid off.
Think its time to change industries, after Krome went down also :(
Dazhel
Posted 11:46am 10/8/11
Strategic realignment. Is there a special business school where you learn these wankery words for closing up shop?

Also, forcing people to reapply for the same job they had yesterday is bollocks.
parabol
Posted 12:00pm 10/8/11
Strategic realignment. Is there a special business school where you learn these wankery words for closing up shop?

You do an MBA (Master of Backstabbing and Arsekissing) and you'll be well versed in these terms, and more.
sLaps_Forehead
Posted 12:00pm 10/8/11
We have the Mining Boom so as long as you can swing a shovel in some s***hole somewhere you'll be ok.

scuzzy
Posted 12:06pm 10/8/11
Think its time to change industries
or country
hensun
Posted 12:10pm 10/8/11
awww man :( this sucks
unclebobsticle
Posted 12:13pm 10/8/11
or country

time to make a game = GFC2
DarthGuybrush
Posted 12:56pm 10/8/11
C%&@ey! Boycott time for me.
greazy
Posted 01:05pm 10/8/11
What scuzzy said. If you can't find a job in this country, MOVE damn it!
Hemerage
Posted 01:47pm 10/8/11
Yeah, f**k this.
There goes my job...

After being part of this, and the demise of Krome -- I (and I assume many many more) am all but ready to give up on the industry which I love.

Was sooo excited to get back into an artist job (was doing QA for a bit to pay some bills) -- but now I don't know.

10yrs of experience, and the second slap in the face in 12months.
Massive sigh's.

Rumour I heard was that the people doing the licensing of the (unanounced) title were asking for ridiculous amounts of cash ($10 million), forcing the closure of the projects and companies.

last edited by Hemerage at 13:47:39 10/Aug/11
Hemerage
Posted 01:28pm 10/8/11
What scuzzy said. If you can't find a job in this country, MOVE damn it!

An easy statement to make if you have no friends, assets, family, kids, visa worries etc.

The common stories with these collapses is always that people on Visas now have 28 days to find work, or they have to go home.
It's s***.
Llian
Posted 01:28pm 10/8/11
So they are after 'high quality IP'. Well s***, not sure they know what that is when you look at their catalogue
Linker
Posted 01:35pm 10/8/11
So in terms of studios, what is left in Australia? Halfbrick, Firemint, 2k Marin, Sega (CA), whatever is left of Team Bondi, and the Voxel Agents?

last edited by Linker at 13:35:54 10/Aug/11
greazy
Posted 01:51pm 10/8/11
An easy statement to make if you have no friends, assets, family, kids, visa worries etc.

The common stories with these collapses is always that people on Visas now have 28 days to find work, or they have to go home.
It's s***.

You make new friends, assets can be sold, family can be visited at christmas (because that's the only time you see them anyway), kids come with you, visa's are easy to get if you have a job offer. You'll also learn how things are done in different countries, you're network of people you know grows substantially, and it looks good on your cv having worked in another country.
Hemerage
Posted 01:57pm 10/8/11
If you don't value anything you've worked for, sure. That sounds well and good.
I'm not one to just willynilly uproot and lose all my excellent friends and family for a job.

My wife has connections here too, so it's not just a choice for me.

It's not out of the question, but just saying....
Hard to feel passionate about it right now, given whats happened to both companies I've worked for.
Hemerage
Posted 02:07pm 10/8/11
Just ignore me. S***** mood :)
Dan
Posted 03:03pm 10/8/11
So in terms of studios, what is left in Australia? Halfbrick, Firemint, 2k Marin, Sega (CA), whatever is left of Team Bondi, and the Voxel Agents?
The successful ones are mostly only prominent in the mobile and downloadable platform spaces, but there's still A lot more than you'd probably realise, even if you only take the larger studio lists on the left of the page there.
bepatient
Posted 02:59pm 10/8/11
Understandably.
Dazhel
Posted 03:15pm 10/8/11
So in terms of studios, what is left in Australia? Halfbrick, Firemint, 2k Marin, Sega (CA), whatever is left of Team Bondi, and the Voxel Agents?


Don't forgot Euclideon!
Oh wait... yeah, forget Euclideon.
DocterMoist
Posted 03:33pm 10/8/11
I love how people pretend businesses exist as a community service to provide jobs to people and when then when businesses shut down operations because it's becoming less profitable people complain and cry acting as if they shut down for the hell of it.

Why should a business run something when they can get more money doing something else? Businesses aren't community services, they exist to make money.
DarthGuybrush
Posted 03:40pm 10/8/11
You must work for a bank or stock broking firm Doc. Businesses are about people.
Trauma
Posted 04:37pm 10/8/11
They've axed MX Vs ATV development too. So I doubt I will see Alive land on steam now. Also dunno what that means for their plan to sell a base game for cheap and then prop it up with lots of DLC that brings the price up to the norm if you want the extras.
DocterMoist
Posted 05:03pm 10/8/11
You must work for a bank or stock broking firm Doc. Businesses are about people.


Yes businesses are about people, people making money and profit.

Businesses are not a community service and will pursue anything that will make them more money ho matter how unpopular the decision, just aslong as there is more money.
Khel
Posted 05:03pm 10/8/11
More bad news :( Its looking more and more likely that when I move back into games, I wont be doing it in this country :(
iconocast
Posted 05:46pm 10/8/11
yes this sucks balls. everyone gets recycled alot in the industry tho
there are ALOT of talented ppl in aus going to waist tho, and with the big indy wave atm im not sure why more of u lads arnt trying it out with small titles u can push out thru steam.
Timmeh
Posted 05:48pm 10/8/11
Have a look at http://www.bluetongue.com/

no press release or information just a picture.

Pretty sad day in the Australian Game Development community I bet.
Hemerage
Posted 06:05pm 10/8/11
DocterMoist,
Since it sounds like you've never worked in the industry, you wouldn't understand that establishments like these ARE community related.

If you work with a team of like minded, enthusiastic and talented artists/coders/design/etc people -- you bond.

But when the suits money get's pulled, well, this happens.
Pinky
Posted 06:13pm 10/8/11
After being part of this, and the demise of Krome -- I (and I assume many many more) am all but ready to give up on the industry which I love.

Everyone I know that worked in games as a programmer or artist left the industry in the last five years. I don't know anyone in the industry anymore personally. They are mostly all web devs now essentially.
Khel
Posted 06:47pm 10/8/11
im not sure why more of u lads arnt trying it out with small titles u can push out thru steam.


Well, I can't speak for anyone else, but personally even though I'd love to do that, its just not feasible. I have bills to pay, rent, a car loan, I need money coming in from a regular job. Or I need a previously unknown rich relative to die and leave me a giant inheritence.
Everlong
Posted 07:15pm 10/8/11
Translation: "We gonna make fps for consoles set in a modern environment lols"
WetWired
Posted 07:58pm 10/8/11
Everyone I know that worked in games as a programmer or artist left the industry in the last five years. I don't know anyone in the industry anymore personally. They are mostly all web devs now essentially.


damn, that's pretty much the field I'm looking at if I can't get work in games in the next 4 or so months.

Also: Hire me!
>>> www.potatoz.net <<<
E.T.
Posted 09:39pm 10/8/11
This is s***. So sorry to hear about it. What a sad state the industry is here.
Eorl
Posted 09:34am 12/8/11
Whelp, I'm changing to teaching next year. I'm really pissed off because I've now spent 3 years studying, all for nothing.
Thundercracker
Posted 10:09am 12/8/11
What did you do previously eorl?
Eorl
Posted 10:19am 12/8/11
Oh nothing, just been in tafe/uni studying games development since I finished school. I'm just sad and annoyed that I now have to do another 3 years in uni. Ah well, such is life. I'll definitely still want to make my own game, something I'm very passionately doing at the moment.
ravn0s
Posted 10:25am 12/8/11
eorl a guy i used to work with did something similar. he spent 3 years doing marketing or something at uni, tried but failed to get a full time job so he went back to uni to do a teaching course.
funky
Posted 10:28am 12/8/11
if you've finished your degree at uni eorl (or are finishing this year or whatever), look into the graduate diploma in education, is only a 12 month post grad course rather than another undergrad degree. not sure of your situation nor the exact requirements of the grad dip, but could be worth looking into.

i've looked into it as well, i love me some holidays and can handle kids alright :D but i don't think i'm going to head down that track.
Thundercracker
Posted 10:45am 12/8/11
Are you more the art/design/modelling side or programming? You might find it beneficial to get into an industry where you can keep those skills sharp till you can move back into the games industry.
Eorl
Posted 10:50am 12/8/11
Was doing programming as a major, but switched to design as I wasn't enjoying programming as much as I use to. I'll definitely look into that grad dip, sounds interesting.
Dazhel
Posted 11:43am 12/8/11
Why do you need to do another 3 years at uni?
Didn't they cover anything that you could re-use outside the games development arena?
Basket
Posted 12:02pm 12/8/11
Friend got laid off at pandemic just scored a new job at THQ to hear this, Ouch
Linker
Posted 12:09pm 12/8/11
Eorl, if making games is truly your passion you should stick with it. There are small studio's doing extremely well in Australia at the moment. Halfbrick is probably doing the best and they are in town, so if you've got the skillz there is still good teams in Brisbane to work for. I know they probably aren't hiring but it's worth pestering them if you aren't already and you have an epic portfolio to back it up. These guys are raking in money at the moment and my mates The Voxel Agents seem to be doing pretty well in Melbourne too.

Dev's have to think smaller and casual in the current marketplace. Console/PC development is too risky.
Khel
Posted 12:15pm 12/8/11
Or go overseas
Pinky
Posted 12:39pm 12/8/11
Or go overseas

Or if you have confidence in the investment write a business proposal and visit a bank, just like everyone else does.
Eorl
Posted 01:42pm 12/8/11
Oh I have a huge passion for making games, but I have that same passion for teaching. I went and study games development because it was something I thoroughly enjoyed, and still enjoy. I just think my skills are better put to teaching, a industry with a bit more safety. Doesn't mean I won't stop developing. My English teacher in high school, the one who got me into games development, was actually making his own game while teaching as well, so something like that would be awesome.
Khel
Posted 03:00pm 12/8/11
Or if you have confidence in the investment write a business proposal and visit a bank, just like everyone else does.


So when game companies are going broke and closing down all over Australia, your solution is.... start a game company? Sound advice right there.
Linker
Posted 04:43pm 12/8/11
People are out there and doing it Khel. TVA are based in Melb's and doing alright. They are often giving talks at all the usual APAC shows on going indie. They released Train Conductor 1 and 2 and have managed to expand to a 5 person team.
Pinky
Posted 04:51pm 12/8/11
So when game companies are going broke and closing down all over Australia, your solution is.... start a game company? Sound advice right there.

There was an 'if' in my sentence.

It seems pretty clear that indy devs can make a lot of money with the right idea - whether on games for mobile devices, XBLA, PC or whatever your chosen platform.

The caveat is having the right idea. Khel, every time an idea has come out of your mouth on this forum I've been blown away by it enough to want to start implementing - you know that, I've PM'd you and offered to code. You clearly have a lot of great ideas. If you don't have the business nouse maybe you can partner up with someone that does and find success in your ideal profession that way.
Hogfather
Posted 04:51pm 12/8/11
So when game companies are going broke and closing down all over Australia, your solution is.... start a game company? Sound advice right there.

Heh I'd be happy if a few companies went broke in my industry!
Khel
Posted 05:25pm 12/8/11
It seems pretty clear that indy devs can make a lot of money with the right idea - whether on games for mobile devices, XBLA, PC or whatever your chosen platform.


Yeah, I guess, but how do you know when your idea is the right idea? Such a huge gamble, I don't think I'd have to the balls to do that, with the way the industry is going at the moment. Working on your own little indie games is one thing, and still something I'd love to do, but I don't think I'd get a good night's sleep ever again if I had actual real money tied up in the venture.
Raider
Posted 06:29pm 12/8/11

Oh nothing, just been in tafe/uni studying games development since I finished school. I'm just sad and annoyed that I now have to do another 3 years in uni. Ah well, such is life. I'll definitely still want to make my own game, something I'm very passionately doing at the moment.


Why did u even start studying it 3 years ago? That's when it started crashing.. doesn't make sense to say "i'm going to study an area that's collapsing around Australia"
Dazhel
Posted 06:49pm 12/8/11
The caveat is having the right idea.


Good ideas are a dime a dozen though. The devil is in the execution of a good idea and bringing it into reality.
Pinky
Posted 07:00pm 12/8/11
Good ideas are a dime a dozen though. The devil is in the execution of a good idea and bringing it into reality.

Yes, that is also certainly true.

The real beauty of being an indy dev is that it scales so well and the entry level is very low. Early on all tools/formats can be OSS/free/cheap (e.g., Blender, OGRE, VS.NET Express, Vorbis OGG, RakNet, whatever) and even a lot of media can be as well if you are careful with copyright ( http://www.ccmixter.org/ , http://www.freesound.org/index.php ) - so if you choose the right path you can get it done.

The first challenge (IMO) is doing just enough to get people excited by your idea. Once you can achieve that level then it becomes about satisfying the enthusiastic and positive members of your community (and ignoring the haters).
BassMan
Posted 07:50pm 12/8/11
WetWired - your work is awesome mate.
Hemerage
Posted 10:45pm 13/8/11
On the upside, THQ were kind enough to lay down a $10k bartab for like 60 people last night + LOADS of food and a venue.

Was a good send off, for a s***** situation.
Eorl
Posted 12:14pm 14/8/11
Why did u even start studying it 3 years ago? That's when it started crashing.. doesn't make sense to say "i'm going to study an area that's collapsing around Australia"

I didn't take QCS due to personal reasons, thus went to tafe first, on the sole premise of enjoying the industry. I was having trouble making my mind up so went with what I enjoyed. It's definitel been fun, and I've learnt a lot about the industry, and how it operates. But I think I've always wanted to be a teacher. English and history were my two favourite subjects, something that I'm very passionate of. And I have the patience for kids haha.
Timmeh
Posted 12:20pm 14/8/11
After how treated my teachers at school, I couldn't do it. Prison guards get treated better.
Hemerage
Posted 01:10pm 14/8/11
Prison guards get laid more too, apparently.
Eorl
Posted 03:36pm 14/8/11
Eh, I'd try and work only in private schools, but whatever works out
Timmeh
Posted 04:06pm 14/8/11
Eh, I'd try and work only in private schools, but whatever works out

Private or Public doesn't mean s***. Just means the little c#$ts parents have money.
Eorl
Posted 06:32pm 14/8/11
Haha, true true. I was brought up in a Anglican private school, majority of people were nice. Of course you always have the jocks and the whores. Anyways, totally off topic.

What I want to know, is why these studios are being shut down just because they are shifting their profiling to console age. Isn't that a bit late, with even Microsoft saying they want to get back to PC gaming? And also, is it starting to feel like even the indie scene is getting so bloated now because everyone wants to be a game developer or be like Notch or Bethesda or Infinity, rolling in the cash? So if you have the indie scene bustling with action but not doing any better, and the higher ups remaking the same game over and over, does this point to another game industry crash?
Dazhel
Posted 08:23pm 15/8/11
Firemint's on the lookout for ex-THQ people via Tsumea and Kotaku:
http://www.kotaku.com.au/2011/08/firemint-reaches-out-to-ex-blue-tongue-employees/
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