Yesterday, we learned that the video game publisher THQ is sitting on 1.4 million unsold copies of uDraw, a hugely unsuccessful game designed around a tablet peripheral. uDraw was such a disastrous investment — the publisher lost around $US100 Million on production and lost revenue — that it is almost singlehandedly responsible for their dire financial straits.
Of course, the moment uDraw was proclaimed dead, the internet at large began making jokes about what would become of this ghastly amount of unsold inventory. Most were picturing a scenario similar to the one that played out in 1983 when Atari wound up with millions of unsold copies of its industry-damagingly huge flop E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial and was rumoured to have wound up burying them in the desert by the truckload.
What would THQ do with so much unsold uDraw inventory? Use them to build a giant, offshore complex like Bioshock‘s rapture? Blast them into space a la Katamari Damacy? Use them to build homes for underprivileged children?
We asked THQ to ask about this and a representative from the publisher assured us that as far as she knew, the units won’t be trashed and will still be sold at retail… but at a much lower price and “perhaps at non-traditional game retailers and discount stores.”
Well, it’s good to know that we won’t be seeing uDraw tablets in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. We are, however, left wondering what THQ means by “non-traditional game retailers”. Will we be seeing uDraws for sale at the gas station? Will there be a uDraw kiosk opening up at your local farmers’ market? Will they be put up for sale in those weird electronics vending machines in the airport?
Of course they’ll be for sale in the weird electronics vending machines in the airport! They still sell portable CD players in those things.