Take Two CEO didn't limit his keynote at the MIT Business in Gaming conference in Massachusetts to bragging about the success of his company; Instead, Strauss Zelnick spent half of his speech time dissing THQ's failures.
THQ's troubles are not really secret. The company has been in the red for several quarters and has been forced to shut down several offices and sell some divisions in order to start making profits again. Unfortunately, all those measures are yet to prove fruitful.
"THQ's strategy was licensed properties, first and foremost. License stuff from other people, whether it's UFC or WWE or a motion picture property, and make a game around that," Zelnick said before contrasting that strategy to his own. "And our approach, since we took over the company, is 100 percent owned intellectual property."
Zelnick then argued that the real reason THQ is struggling is simple: poor games quality. "The most important difference is quality," he said. "Take-Two has the highest quality ratings among third-party publishers, according to Metacritic and most people in the industry. Quality really, really, really matters. THQ has had some good games, but their quality levels aren't even remotely ... the quality hasn't measured up."
"Strategy didn't work and the execution was bad. To put it another way: the food was no good and the portions were small," the Take Two CEO summed his speech up. "THQ won't be around in six months."
Needless to say, THQ wasn't very thrilled to hear Zelnick's opinion. The company issued a brief statement stating that: "Obviously, Mr. Zelnick's perception of THQ is outdated and inaccurate. His comments are irresponsible and false. Perhaps he would be better off commenting on his own business."