THQ, the end of an era

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I have fond memories of THQ. The development houses falling under it’s publishing umbrella were mighty and held a number of recognised titles. The Darksiders franchise lies especially close to my heart.

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Having had the opportunity to meet the teams that worked on popular franchises, from Metro to Darksiders, from WWE to Saints Row, it truly is a sad day to hear that these properties were today sold to different publishers.

Not only was everyone I had the pleasure of meeting at Gamescom and E3 polite and friendly, but they were extremely passionate too. Tonight I think of all these developers and their families scattered around the world. It’s the end of an era THQ, so long and thanks for all the games.

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I remember very clearly being captivated the first time I saw Darksiders II at Gamescom 2011. Vigil Games’ Jay Fitzloff was on hand to show me the game. I had the good fortune to meet up with Jay again at E3 2012. THQ didn’t have a booth on the showfloor that year, but instead elected to have a small press room. It was obvious even then that the financial troubles had hit the company hard, but this did nothing to take away from the enthusiasm of the developers for their games and the friendly staff offering a tired games journalist a welcome place to rest her weary feet and munch on a chocolate to restore her energy levels.

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Not only did I get my first (and unforgettable) hands-on with Darksiders II that day, with Jay available in the background to answer any questions, but I also got 4A Games’ creative director, Andrew ‘Prof’ Prokhorov, to sign a Metro: Last Light poster for my collection. I struck up numerous conversations with Haydn Dalton, Lead Designer for the Darksiders series, over the past few years, an awesome gentleman who got a kick out of seeing my photo of Death roaming the halls of Gamescom last year. A real stand-up bunch of guys these chaps!

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During my time in THQ’s press room at E3 I inadvertently overhead a conversation between THQ management. They were excited that they’d had such positive feedback from their presence even though they weren’t on the showfloor that year. They were extremely proud of the number of awards that their titles had received from different gaming outlets that year, it was a remarkable feat considering the struggles they were busy fighting.

I’ve watched the situation with THQ unfurl over the past year, I’ve been hopeful that their efforts would be enough to save them from impending doom, and I’ve been anxious to know the fate of several excellent development houses, their teams, and the titles they are currently working on.

Yet today the hammer has finally sounded, and it’s with a heavy heart that I bid farewell to THQ. You will be fondly remembered by this gamer, for you helped bring to life some incredible videogames and you were even kind enough to offer me a chocolate too.