THQ Timonium unit faces sale or closure

March 20, 2009|By Arin Gencer | Arin Gencer,arin.gencer@baltsun.com

A video-game publisher said yesterday that it could close a Timonium-based subsidiary in 60 days if no buyer is found.

THQ Inc.'s decision to sell or close Big Huge Games is part of an effort to cut costs by $220 million, said Julie MacMedan, vice president of investor relations and corporate communications for the company, which is headquartered in Agoura Hills, Calif. THQ announced a $120 million reduction in November, but updated that figure last month, she said.

"What we had to do was evaluate projects in development and studios, and determine if we could afford to continue to pursue those projects," MacMedan said. "We had to make some very tough decisions, given the difficult economic environment and the magnitude of the cost-savings effort we were seeking to achieve."

The company estimates a reduction of about 600 workers worldwide, MacMedan said. It reported a work force of 2,000 in 2007. Big Huge Games, at 1954 Greenspring Drive, has about 120 employees, she said.

On Tuesday, THQ gave notice to Big Huge Games employees, letting them know the subsidiary will close if it cannot be sold in the near future, MacMedan said. There are some interested potential buyers, she added.

THQ acquired the studio, which focuses on role-playing games, in January 2008.

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