Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick took the time at the MIT Business in Gaming conference to establish the differences between his company and THQ, stating that THQ has made some bad decisions and, “THQ won’t be around in six months.”
Zelnick believes that licensed properties is the crux of THQ’s problems, stating: “THQ’s strategy was licensed properties, first and foremost. License stuff from other people, whether it’s UFC or WWE or a motion picture property, and make a game around that.” Zelnick added, “… our approach, since we took over the company, is 100 percent owned intellectual property.”
Why is basing games off of licensed properties such a problem? According to Joystiq, Zelnick explained that licensed properties put you at the mercy of license holders. This means that if a company like THQ manages to make awesome WWE games, when it goes to re-negotiate the license it will have to pay more for it, since the WWE name has done so well in the industry, even though THQ is the one that allowed it to do so well.
But, to make the argument even more personal, Zelnick went ahead and said that it’s not just THQ’s focus on licensed properties—THQ just makes bad games.
“The most important difference is quality. Take-Two has the highest quality ratings among third-party publishers, according to Metacritic and most people in the industry. Quality really, really, really matters. THQ has had some good games, but their quality levels aren’t even remotely … the quality hasn’t measured up… Strategy didn’t work and the execution was bad. To put it another way: the food was no good and the portions were small.”
THQ, in response to Zelnick, contacted Joystiq to say: “Obviously, Mr. Zelnick’s perception of THQ is outdated and inaccurate. His comments are irresponsible and false. Perhaps he would be better off commenting on his own business.”
Ooooh, buuuuurn. Maybe, next, Take-Two should steal THQ’s boyfriend and THQ can rig the prom queen vote so Take-Two loses.