The following news was based on the Q&A interview from Game Informer’s Issue #232 :
Jason Rubin, co-founder of Naughty Dog was brought into joining THQ by the company’s CEO, Brian Farrell after stating his opinion on how THQ ran their teams. As the new president of THQ, Rubin hopes to help out the teams in need of assistance as and guide them in creating the best games possible. He also wants to work on the quality of titles rather than their quantity.
Rubin has no intention on reconstructing Danny Bilson’s vision; instead he has plans to make minor modifications on certain titles that can still be changed. Games like Darksiders II came to him as a project that was near completion and not something he sees in making drastic changes in. For the titles yet to be molded, Rubin finds that they need to be driven onto a path that keeps the stories moving.
According to Jason, Vigil. Insane, Homefront 2 are still in development , but the Devil’s Third will not be coming out from THQ. The project from Turtle Rock is still on as well.
In reference to the lay-off at THQ during E3, Jason says that the San Diego studio is still open and those who are there are still under employment and THQ is looking into finding them something to work on. As for UFC, whose rights were taken by Electronic Arts, THQ had transferred the rights to them because UFC failed to make the financial and rating progress they had anticipated from it. Thus, they hope that EA will be a better environment for the game title to grow due to its sports-focused reputation.
THQ has struggled to make a name for itself as a gaming company since competitors like Nintendo, Activision, and RockStar Games have started an on-going battled for the best games. ”Additionally, I think THQ has tended to spread out and do a lot of titles to try to find something that works. At the size of THQ, that is probably not the appropriate way of going about this.” Rubin tells Game Informer, “If you look at a Naughty Dog-sized game, which I can tell you is not the size of Call of Duty but is still an amazing game that’s rated very well, I think we can compete in that area.”
Rubin continues on telling about how the industry is moving onward to what is well recognized as a PC model of gaming, which gives the view of certain games like Portal and World of Tanks a place in the spotlight. The knowledge of Company of Heroes being able to receive a 90+ rating provides hope for Rubin that THQ still has a chance at making another game with that rating along with the fact of having seen the determination given to creating The Volition, whom he considered the creators to being incredibly talented. “Under the restrictions that they’ve been under in this company in terms of the budget and time schedule they’ve had for their products, to put out a game that doesn’t necessarily compete toe to toe with Grand Theft Auto, but comp-arably, it’s amazing what they’ve done with what they’ve had. That team, properly funded, properly led, and properly allowed to create, I believe can create a 90-plus rated title.”
Jason Rubin plans to use his skills in creating 90+ rated games to lead games like Vigil into becoming just that along with giving it the right framework. He believes that in order to create these types of successful games is to take people’s ideas, foster creations, and prevent the scatter of titles.
“What excites me is I think the business is going to broaden out. I think it’s good for the industry and it’s good for gamers, too. I don’t think gamers realize how good opening up the rules so that game developers can distribute and price as they want and do whatever they want is, because at the end of the day, the gamer will determine what succeeds and fails because they’re the one with the dollars in the pocket.”-Jason Rubin
Judging from the Naughty-Dog‘s co-founder’s experience, it appears that the tables may turn for THQ for the better and hopefully to a brighter future of prosperity.
You can find the official Q&A done by Game Informer on their website: www.gameinformer.com