Game publisher THQ has announced the cancellation of its upcoming freemium online games Company of Heroes Online and WWE Online in its latest earnings report. Company of Heroes had entered open beta in the West, prompting the abrupt announcement from developer Relic Entertainment that the game would go offline on March 31. While the open beta is still ongoing, players can no longer purchase the cash-based virtual currency COHO Cash. Users will not receive refunds for any COHO cash they have already purchased.
Company of Heroes Online was originally developed for Asian markets, which the Western beta following a successful launch in China. WWE Online was in development for Asian markets, too. THQ posted a non-GAAP $9.9 million loss related to the two cancellations. THQ may be choosing to refocus on its console publishing business, although the company says that it also intends to double its digital revenue in 2011.
“THQ is poised for significant net sales and earnings growth in fiscal 2012 as a result of aggressive investment in owned intellectual properties and major franchises, a lean cost structure, and growing digital revenues. Fiscal 2012 will be driven by the strongest core games line-up in our history, including: Red Faction Armageddon, Warhammer 40,000 Space Marine, MX vs. ATV Alive and the newest installment of our Saints Row franchise,” said THQ President and CEO Brian Farrell, in the company’s earnings statement.
Company of Heroes Online beta players have reacted negatively to cancellation announcement, which comes after an August 30 announcement by Relic which indicates that open beta players would be able to carry their virtual goods and game progress over to the final version of the game. It seems very likely that THQ came to its decision to cease development of its freemium online properties after the August 30 announcement was made. It is entirely possible that Relic Entertainment had no knowledge of the impending cancellation until it made its announcement earlier this week, roughly a day before THQ’s earnings report was released.
Join us for App Conference – October 18-19, 2012 in Santa Clara