THQ's uDraw accessory has failed miserably in meeting the company's (overly optimistic) expectations to the point that it is facing trouble with offloading the remaining inventory at massive loss!
The accessory was released for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 this holiday after its Wii version enjoyed sound success a year before.
"We were confident that uDraw would resonate again this holiday, given last year's robust sell-through," THQ CEO Brian Farrell told investors in a conference call on Thursday.
"Our confidence was misplaced."
But the company's overestimation was well beyond any reasonable error margins. Of the 2.4 million units THQ produced, only 1 million were sold to stores with the remaining 1.4 million still stuck in the company's warehouses. Adding insult to injury, most of the units sold to stores have not been sold through to users yet and are waiting in bargain bins.
THQ saw its holiday quarter sales cut by $80 million as a result of excess inventory of uDraw hardware and $20 million as a result of selling some inventory at a loss. All in all, more than $30 million of the company's $54.6 million operating loss is attributed to the uDraw alone.
Needless to say, uDraw hardware production has been ceased, and the company has no intention to develop any new software for the existing units. The company has developed a plan to clear out stock and to move the remaining inventory through retail channels; after which THQ has "no other remaining commitments with respect to uDraw."
"We were looking at uDraw as a bridge to this core and digital future, and that bridge turned out to be a plank that we walked off of," Brian Farrell mused.