THQ closes five studios and cuts jobs at two more

THQ has closed five of its game development studios and cut jobs at two others due to the pressures caused by the economic recession.

The news comes days after EA announced it was cutting nearly 600 jobs in a bid to save $50 million in wages.

A THQ spokesman has confirmed that as of yesterday, the publisher has shut down Paradigm Entertainment, Mass Media, Helixe, Locomotive Games and Sandblast Games. In addition, redundancies have been made at Rainbow Studios and the UK-based Juice Games.

"It's just constantly trying to react dynamically to the market, whether it's because of things happening to our industry or the economic environment as a whole," the spokesman said.

"It's making sure that we're set up over the next three to five years to be profitable and successful."

Paradigm was acquired by THQ in 2006, and produced Stuntman: Ignition for the publisher following years of specialising in N64. Mass Media was also a porting specialist known for its N64 version of Starcraft and PS2 version of Full Spectrum Warrior.

Helixe on the other hand, was known for its handheld games, and made a number of Pixar-licensed games, while Locomotive worked on the recent Destroy All Humans! Big Willy Unleashed for Wii.

Finally, Sandblast had been working on a PS3 and Xbox 360 game for the same series subtitled Path of the Furon, and is still set for release sometime soon.

Juice Games is the only UK-based studio affected by the changes. Based in Warrington, Juice Games developed the Juiced racing series which was cancelled at the beginning of the year.

The news comes just after THQ released its biggest game of the year, Saints Row 2.