THQ: 'We've no room for error, we've got to be flawless'

CEO shoulders the blame for firm's problems, but says he's committed to fixing them

THQ CEO Brian Farrell says there's little margin for error if the company's to reverse its recent decline.


Once the industry's third-largest publisher, THQ is currently battling to remain listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

In an interview with Gamasutra, Farrell cited "spotty execution" as a key contributor to the firm's fall from grace in recent years. "We don't have a lot of room to run, so we've got to execute flawlessly [going forward]."

Following poor financial results and significant layoffs, Farrell called the "the last six months an exercise in great pain and suffering", but he claimed "the heavy lifting is done".

"We feel like we're getting there," he said. "We've taken a lot of negative things in the press - and frankly a lot of that was deserved. This company has changed. We have strong, new leadership.

"I've been doing this long enough to know that the end of the day, the product will drive the stock price. When it will happen, we don't control that. So the focus is on getting great products both in the near term and the long term."

THQ will retain a focus on the core boxed games market with the likes of Saints Row and Homefront sequels, but Farrell also said there's a big opportunity "in the digital space on the core gamer side [and] especially on emerging platforms like the PC and some of the things we see coming down the road, where there's an opportunity for core games that are not just [made with] the highest budgets, but [offer] alternate pricing and business models".

He also shouldered the blame for THQ's troubles, but says he has no intention of quitting his job: "There is no question who is responsible for where THQ is right now. That's with me. That said I feel equally responsible for getting this company out of it."

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