THQ has officially announced the end of its joint venture with HotGen Studios, Network Interactive Sports. The company was founded in July 2001 to develop and market Sky Sports Football Manager, an online football management title which was discontinued earlier this month following hugely disappointing sales.
A non-cash charge of about $3 million is to be recorded on THQ’s balance sheet for the second quarter of fiscal 2002 due to the discontinuation of the venture equating to $0.07 per share after tax. Apart from this once-off charge, however, THQ expects its previous guidance for the quarter and the year to remain unchanged.
It is expected that the majority of the personnel and resources of NI Sports will be reabsorbed into Croydon-based HotGen Studios. Both Sky Sports Football Manager and Sky Sports Football Quiz were failures at retail, despite the attachment of the powerful Sky Sports brand and, in the case of Sky Sports Football Quiz, the involvement of TV football babe Kirsty Gallacher.