As THQ works to streamline their operations and recover from a miserable period in their financial history, even exciting titles aren’t safe from cancelation. Yesterday during the publisher’s Q1 financial earnings call, it was revealed that Guillermo Del Toro’s inSane has been terminated with rights reverting back the film director. This joins Tomonobu Itagaki’s Devil’s Third and the UFC license on the list of recently deaccessioned properties. The inSane project was initiated during former Executive Vice President Danny Bilson’s tenure at the company, and the partnership came as little surprise for those that know of Bilson’s history as a Hollywood writer and director.
In a 2010 interview with the Los Angeles Times, Del Toro shared that meetings with other publishers were unfruitful. THQ was the only company willing to take a chance.
“They were all very resistant and conservative,” Del Toro recalled. “It was like the worst version of a movie studio meeting.”
It’s safe to assume that if inSane isn’t in shape to impress those that passed on the project the first time, it may never see the light of day. Thankfully, Del Toro can pursue other avenues, including film, for getting the story out there now that he once again controls the property.
According to CEO Brian Farrell, this decision saves THQ $32 million in licensing spending at a time where investors have already acquiesced to unfavorable, but necessary, decisions like a 1:10 reverse stock split. The cancelation of inSane will free up much-needed cash to support the marketing of upcoming major titles like Metro: Last Light, South Park: The Stick of Truth, Company of Heroes 2 and WWE ’13. The first three are all slated for an early 2013 release with WWE ’13 scheduled for its usual late fall appearance this year.
The financial news out of the call indicates that THQ is on the rebound. The publisher shipped nothing during the three month period ending June 30, 2012, compared to last year when Red Faction: Armageddon (though ultimately bringing in disappointing revenue) bolstered income. This resulted in comparatively lower net sales (though still beating the guidance offered by the company earlier this year), but the bottom line tells the more important story. During the quarter ending on June 30, 2011, THQ suffered losses totaling $64.4 million. During the same quarter this year, the company was comfortably in the black with net income of $15.4 million.
Lower net sales have also driven the stock prices down from a post-reverse split value of $5.09 to $4.91. This is just a penny above the post-adjustment low hit on August 2, 2012. With Darksiders II kicking off a critical six-month window for THQ next week, all eyes are on the stock prices and all-important first week sales.