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THQ slices Warhammer ambitions, lays off 118 people

March 29, 2012 |  5:25 pm

Warhammer Dark Millennium

THQ Inc. on Thursday brought down the hammer on one of its biggest and riskiest projects, a costly online version of the Warhammer 40,000 tabletop game.

THQ isn't getting out of the Warhammer business. But the Agoura Hills game publisher said Thursday it is scaling back its ambitions for Warhammer 40,000: Dark Millennium from a massively multi-player online game to a single-player experience. As a result, THQ said it will lay off 118 full-time workers, about 10% of its workforce -- 79 at its Vigil Games studio in Austin, Texas, and 39 at its Relic Studios office in Vancouver, Canada.

THQ expects to have about 1,000 employees after the cuts, a company spokeswoman said.

The move is the latest in a series of cutbacks at THQ, which has struggled after several big bets soured last year, including tent-pole releases from its Red Faction and uDraw franchises. 

The company in January exited the kids console licensed games market, which was once one of the mainstays of THQ's business. In February, it laid off 240 workers, or 17% of its workforce, and temporarily docked the pay of its chief executive, Brian Farrell.

Warhammer 40,000: Dark Millennium, a property owned by The Games Workshop, is based on a miniature tabletop game with a cult-like following. 


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THQ to stop making kids games for consoles

-- Alex Pham

Screenshot of Warhammer 40,000: Dark Millennium Online couresy of THQ.