THQ is partnering with the cloud computing firm Joyent, which will provide hosting and other services to THQ's online and social games. Joyent will manage infrastructure, bandwidth, hosting, and network operators for THQ's online games, so its content development teams can focus on creating new game content. Joyent's platform is designed to allow for the rapid prototyping and deployment that is required to develop and maintain social games.
Other Joyent customers include social game developer Kabam!, recent RealNetworks acquisition Backstage Technologies, and the social network LinkedIn. THQ says that the partnership with Joyent will allow THQ to get its social games to market more quickly. The company's partnership with Joyent is meant as part of a much larger social gaming strategy. THQ plans to release some social games before the year is out, with more titles planned for next year.
THQ social games as a way to expand its lucrative business in casual console game titles, attracting new audiences and creating new revenue streams. LiveGamer has already signed a deal with THQ to provide payment services for its upcoming social games. THQ's stock price has dropped over 50% in the course of the past year due to poor performance in the console market. Other competitors looking to stave off decline, like Electronic Arts, have already moved into the Facebook social game market.
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