Oh Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are ca-all-ing, etc
By Alice Lynton on May 19, 2013 at 11:01 am
Speaking to GamesIndustry, Former THQ president Danny Bilson, who was ousted before the publisher’s collapse, has said the company had financial issues the whole time he was there. The one-time executive said this was due in part to an ongoing tendency to rely on licenses, which had served THQ so well from 1991 to 2007, and weren’t shucked fast enough.
“We were shutting studios the whole time, and I was the guy going out there and giving the bad news,” he said. “It’s like the worst thing that… it’s the worst. I’ll stop right there. Awful.
“When I left a year ago, we didn’t see what eventually happened on the horizon. I’m not kidding, okay: we knew we were in trouble, but we knew we had a good line-up, and I thought we had enough money put away to support that stuff, finish it, and market it properly. We had a plan to live another day.
“And this is honest, honest, honest: I do not know what happened after I left. No idea. I’m not privy to what went on in there and I didn’t try to find out. I needed to move forward. I really wasn’t engaged at all, and then the news came in December.
“This was happening to my friends. I felt terrible. I just felt terrible.”
Bilson has never made any comment on his exit from THQ ahead of the appointment of former Naughty Dog lead Jason Rubin as president, and said he has to count on influential figures in the industry and press knowing the truth.
“Do I take responsibility for being involved in the decline of a company? Absolutely. Will I tell you candidly that it was the hardest job I’ve every had in my life? Well, it was. But I gave it my best, and I didn’t see the end result coming at all,” he said.
“On my watch, we, meaning my team, took [THQ] from one place and got it to another. We made a lot of improvements, but obviously it wasn’t enough; it wasn’t fast enough and it wasn’t good enough. I take responsibility for that. I’m proud of the portfolio my team built under duress. My team helped to raise the quality bar at a company that was built on something else entirely.”