THQ Says Goodbye to Red Faction Franchise

Wednesday THQ reported its fiscal 2012 first quarter results, claiming a net loss of $38.4 million compared with a net loss of $30.1 million in the prior-year period. Obviously disappointed with its first quarter financial performance, THQ blames the financial slump on poor sales stemming from Red Faction: Armageddon, its licensed kids titles, and the late arrival of UFC Personal Trainer.

"Given that [Red Faction] now in two successive versions has [only] found a niche, we do not intend to carry forward with that franchise in any meaningful way," THQ CEO Brian Farrell told THQ's investors in a conference call, adding that Red Faction: Armageddon "did not resonate with a sufficiently broad console gaming audience [despite its] passionate niche following."

"In today's hit-driven, core gaming business, even highly-polished titles with a reasonable following like Red Faction face a bar that continues to move higher and higher," he said. "Moving forward, our core game titles must meet a very high quality standard with strong creative and product differentiation, appeal to a broad audience, and be marketed aggressively."

So that's it: Red Faction is a done Tom Turkey unless some other publisher buys the rights and re-boots the franchise again. To be honest, the failure of Red Faction: Armageddon isn't surprising given that it launched in the same window as Dule Nukem Forever and F.E.A.R. 3. What also hurt the shooter was bland gameplay mostly consisting of bug hunts routed underneath the Martian surface. The made-for-TV Red Factions: Origins movie seemingly had a better chance although there's no word if the series will continue on through the SyFy Channel.

Over on Metacritic, the game has an average score with critics preferring the PC version (75) over the Xbox 360 (72) and PlayStation 3 (71) versions.

But despite a disappointing quarter and the termination of the Red Faction franchise, THQ predicts greener pastures in the next half of the fiscal year. "Despite a light first half, we are looking forward to a strong and profitable second half, including what we expect to be the biggest third quarter, both in revenue and earnings per share, in our company's history, with proven franchises Saints Row, WWE and the uDraw GameTablet, all launching in November," Farrell said.

The THQ report released on Wednesday rehashed a few highlights and recent developments that took place in fiscal Q1 including the agreement with Turtle Rock Studios Inc., creators of the Left 4 Dead series, who will publish a new core title scheduled to be released in calendar 2013. Patrice Désilets joined THQ and will be working out of its Montreal, Quebec development studio on a new original AAA title. THQ also unveiled plans to bring uDraw to the Xbox 360and PlayStation 3 consoles this fall.

Red Faction: Armageddon was the fourth game in THQ's sci-fi series. The franchise originally launched back in May 2001 but saw a "reboot" in 2009 with the launch of the third installment, Red Faction: Guerrilla. Based on Metacritic numbers, the original Red Faction for the PlayStation 2 was the most popular out of all four installments with a score of 88. The PC version of Red Faction II was the least popular with a score of 64.

As a tribute to the now-dead series, here's a couple of screenshots we took from the OnLive version of Red Faction: Armageddon:

  • jwin742
    Well if the idiots had actually used the awesome destruction in Armageddon it might have sold better.
    I don't know why they went from the open world in Guerrilla to linear in Armageddon. It made no sense what so ever.
  • the_krasno
    I rather see a good franchise have a dignified death than be turned into a cash cow franchise, ending up as a parody of its former self.
    Still it's sad to see Red Faction go :(
  • NuclearShadow
    The franchise was going down hill since the second game which was by far one of the biggest disappointments in gaming. The original is a classic
    and the idea of fully destructible environments way before its time.

    It's unfortunate to say but I am not sad to see the franchise go it wasn't really going anywhere and always lived in the shadow of the original.
  • hardcore_gamer
    Armageddon sucked. It was way too linear. Well....consoles killed one more game.
  • Trialsking
    Red what? Sorry, never knew you and will not miss you...
  • cybrcatter
    greghomeDear THQ,Company of Heroes 2 please?I still play CoH. That game is aging gracefully.

    Would j*** myself if they made a CoH2.
  • silky salamandr
    hardcore_gamerArmageddon sucked. It was way too linear. Well....consoles killed one more game.
    Please enlighten us on how consoles killed this game when it was released I thing 10 years ago on the ps2 and was successful?

    I really dont understand you pc elitist thinking that your high and mighty. This is the new thing, when a game sucks blame it on a console. When a game it pirated, blame it on a console. When you whine that a game isnt like you want it to be, blame it on a console.

    I game on my pc/360/ps3 so I think im more of a hardcore gamer than you.

    I cant wait till BF3 drops so you and the others can cry about that game too.
  • rantoc
    silky salamandrThis is the new thing, when a game sucks blame it on a console. When a game it pirated, blame it on a console. When you whine that a game isnt like you want it to be, blame it on a console.
    The consoles are to blame for some bad things but far from all. Their aging hardware specs forces the Dev's to cut corners in order to get those descent sceen-shots & videos in order to be able to market it for consoles. Those cut corner could have made it nicely on the PC thoo due to newer hardware, not 5 years old.

    I understand quite abit of that frustruation over the situation, imagine having a Ferrari but your only allowed to drive at 10mhp due to the smart cars that also populates the same road. Some poeple seem to use lame excuses like "killed by console, consoles are to blame for x-y-z) ect just to justify their own piracy, blaming the companies that they pirate a title. There is no excuse for that, either play and purchase or don't.

    As for the part where consoles really are to blame i think Dungeon Siege 3 is a good fresh candidate.
  • randomizer
    The only game in the series that was truly enjoyable was the first. That was followed by the worst game in the series, which had almost no ties to the original.
  • kathiki
    This is the new trend nowadays. Release titles that are designed to facilitate both console joystic users and Pc users.

    As a PC user i am really averse to using movements that are limited to a joystic way of turning around. That does not mean that it kills the game.

    Piracy will always prevail not because people do not want to pay for a title since they can find it free. MMORPGs are the example to it..... There are more than 30 milion people world wide paying a monthly subscription to an online game.... The same people will even spend money to buy additional games.... But in all honesty, are you going to spend 1/20 (for many countries) of your salary for a game that simply lasts 20-30 hours tops? 70 - 80 Euros for something that eventually turns into crap?

    If companies want to make money indeed, then they should learn how to respect their customer base first, then try to make money. I bought Gothic 4 for 65 Euros when it came out...... I saw 3 faces in the game only being repeated on every single char, the game sucked really hard and it even scored rock bottom on every single site....

    I bought Two worlds II for 44 Euros, the game ended in like 20 hours, had to wait for around 3 MONTHS till developers released a decent patch to make it decent. There was even a book ingame somewhere in a house that mentioned there were like 50 or more testers on that game... but hey for that price the game offered a killing multiplayer mode

    Do I have to mention the latest trend of DLCs that go for around 15Euros and they offer around one to two hours of gameplay?

    So no! Consoles have not killed gaming companies..... it the companies themselves that are committing suicide. It is people themselves that are getting so overhyped over a new title (like myself on Gothic 4) and then they end up in frustration initially, then in total infuriation....

    Buy a game, pirate it, throw it away, do what you feel like but do not play console gamers. They can be as naive as pc gamers.