Rumour: THQ Brisbane Closing Its Doors Today [UPDATE: Blue Tongue Also Closing This Week]

We're hearing rumblings that THQ's Brisbane studio, the studio that's currently working on the video game adaptation of The Avengers, is closing its doors today.

We received a tip late last night from a source who claimed that things just "didn't work out" with said adaptation.

Apparently, at the moment, some staff are still in the dark with regards to the closure, but things "had been rocky for a while". There is no word as of yet what will happen to The Avengers game.

We contacted THQ for more information, but we were told they didn't want to comment at this stage. We expect to hear more details throughout the day.

UPDATE: Tsumea is now reporting that THQ is closing all studio operations in Australia, which means that Blue Tongue - the studio behind De Blob - is also being closed this week.

THQ has responded here.


Comments

    Well shit.

    But seriously, Australian studios need to quit accepting crappy crappy licence jobs. We're not an outsourcing country, we need to stop acting like it. ORIGINAL IP PEOPLE!

      Like LA Noire because that worked out so well for Team Bondi.

      Australian devs seem to be treated like the annoying little brother that your parents make you take with you to your mates place.

        There's a lot more that can go wrong, obviously, than just accepting crappy licences and sequels. However, I am still of the opinion that you will find much more passion, dedication, etc in people creating new IP than doing game-design-by-numbers for some big studio in the US that can't be bothered.

        Team Bondi had a lot more to do with the inept management of a very select group of individuals who came here from the UK. Possibly even down to one single guy.

        Team Bondi squandered a hell of a lot of resources during development of L.A. Noire. "Original IP" doesn't necessarily mean "waste eight years and the funding of two publishers".

      Original IP requires either an in-house publisher (which nobody has in Australia, as far as I know), or an outside publisher to pick it up. Publishers won't pick up an idea unless the developer has something substantial to show, which means money needs to be put towards development (as well as paying staff), and the money has to come from somewhere.

      Then assuming the publisher agrees to take on the idea (which is less and less likely the more unique the game is, as unique games are generally a major risk that most publishers will skip over for the option of publishing a sequel to an already successful game from a larger developer), the publisher will more than likely gain the rights to the IP through the negotiation phase (unfortunately this is how the industry works, as the publisher is putting up the majority of funding for the game to be developed).

      So even if the game makes back enough money to keep the developers afloat, if the publisher wishes to create a sequel and chooses to hand it off to one of their bigger and cheaper studios (which certainly does happen), the developer is back to square one, having to develop a new IP that has quite low odds of being picked up.

      Unfortunately, Australian studios rely on those 'crappy crappy licence jobs' to get work and keep themselves afloat. On top of that, it is this very fact that does indeed make us an outsourcing country when it comes to video game development, as there really aren't any viable alternatives currently.

    Oddly enough, I'm fairly sure they occupied the same office space in Fortitude Valley that Pandemic did before shutting down.

    That office is clearly cursed (I blame the original horrible yellow colour scheme) but has some prime parking spots.

    Sad to see so many people lose their jobs, but honestly if we want a better chance at surviving in the game development industry we can't have studios with 200 employees (according to Wikipedia) that make completely unremarkable and soulless games.

    heard a version of this yesterday (that included BlueTongue in Melb) that cited share prices as the reason:
    http://www.google.com/finance?client=ob&q=NASDAQ:THQI

    Thats terrible.

    Hey Mark, any truth to Team Bondi selling off its IP and merging with KMM? Apparently its happening this week

      Rockstar Leeds is making the PC port of L.A. Noire, which makes me think that 2K own the IP (assuming you were talking about L.A. Noire specifically - I know Team Bondi own the MotionScan technology).

    As an employee for an American software company (no, not games) I can tell you the real reason behind this is probably more related to the high aussie dollar.

    When my company opened their office in Australia there were nearly 200 people working here. We're now down to 75 in Melbourne and 25 in Sydney.

    The higher the dollar rises the more expensive my Australia office becomes, as the offices budget is in US dollars. What used to cost $1 million in wages 10 years ago now costs my company $2 million.

    THQ Brisbane is probably in the same boat. The THQ US sees the products they're producing, sees the rising cost of the office, sees their economy going down the shitter and does whatever they can to cut costs. For an American company, closing down an office that is now costing double to fund than what it used to is always a good looking cut.

    So I don't think it's a case of Aussie Devs accepting crappy jobs, Aussie devs really need to just work for themselves, not report to a US corporation.

      I totally agree with you, was going to expand on what you said, but your last line totally sums it up.

      Are there any australian publishers though? I can't think of any and an admittedly cursory google search didnt come up with any. All well and good to make your own awesome game but if no publisher picks it up...

      I know there are other ways but they don't seem as profitable. Or do Aus devs just stick to smaller titles? Which puts us back at the original problem of not doing anything major.

    This is bad news :(

    What's with all these game companies closing down, I'll have no places left to apply for a job and I'll have to compete with talented and experienced veterans or I might have to go overseas...which does sound like fun.

    THQ sux ass anyways, no disrespect to the individual developers though - your skills would be better used alsewhere!

      You're an idiot. Who cares if you think they suck? The real issue is that there is one less developer to employ people in Australia. Soon every piece of talent this country generates will be heading overseas. It's all well and good thinking that people should be making original IP and huge games but those smaller games sell and someone has to make them. A job is a job and if you don't have another skill set you are glad for the work. Besides, even if you work on crap projects it is the people that make the work great.

        Fact is THQ is a cheap production line company that makes trash, hope they go bankrupt, one less company clogging up the store shelves with licenced crap! There's no place for sub-par games in the modern market, thats what causes developers to be closed! simple fact

    Ah this is crap. De Blob was quite successful, but it is not enough to simply 'succeed' as a foreign owned aussie developer - your closure is inevitable so don't sell in the first place!

    Maaan, with all these studios closing, where am I gonna find a place to work when I finish my degree?

      I was thinking that. Having gone to QANTM for a while (I was a graphic design student, not games) I was thinking what happens to all the people who have degrees or are studying to get one? Seems sort of pointless to study it when the industry is so small.

    Poor management killed the Australian games industry. Studios like Auran, Krome and Team Bondi were mismanaged into the dirt and they dragged the rest of the Aus industry down with them.

    I tipped Kotaku on Bluetongue's layoffs weeks ago. Mind you I was also informed that Serrels is rather close to the management of Bluetongue.

    So much for journalistic neutrality.

    Wow. Not good at all for our Australian gaming industry. I have been watching Seek.com.au for the last couple of months and they have been actively hiring.... WTF?!

    Only large studios left developing big titles is Sega's Australia's studio with there title that Sega has stated is the biggest Olympic game ever, 2K Marine with there X-COM title, then we have a variety of ios and mobile related developers.

      I think 2K Marin is actually in the US but there's also 2K Australia which might be in Canberra from memory?

      Very sad news all around today.

        2K Australia is also now called 2K Marin. The reason being that the two studios generally work together, so they decided to put them under one banner. They are, however, indeed located in Canberra, as is Micro Forte's Canberra studio (although I believe they've only got a few guys left in Canberra that are working on either mobile games or additional MMO tech for BigWorld).

    Bad day for gaming in Australia!
    Team Bondi - gone, although their staff will be picked up by KMM.
    I heard that KMM's Brisbane studio will close when they have finish HF2 and they will not be moving the team to Sydney. That's got to suck for them. "Thanks for the game and bye!!"
    THQ Brisbane gone...
    Must just suck to be in the games industry in Brisbane right now.... Then again what do you expect when the government doesn't bother supporting an industry. And for all those suckers at Uni studying to try and get into games... Change courses as the country will be awash with people who looking for jobs who will be way more qualified.. Oh unless you go work for Brendan McNamara, who will just work you into the ground for a pittance!!

    Well this is disappointing. I wanted to make a large jelly mould shaped as the blob from de Blob and give Blue Tongue one Blob jelly as thanks for making two great games. Too late now.

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