Bilson: “I do not know what happened after I left” – former THQ boss speaks


By 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.”

Source: GamesIndustry

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7 comments (Leave your own)

Although I have never actually once commented on a news article and I have been reading news from GON for the last 5 years I really couldn’t sit by after reading this article.

I’m fairly certain THQ shot them selves in the foot with the development of the uDraw GameTablet which by the time it was discontinued there were 1.4 million unsold units and it had cost the company over $100 million. I think that is a massive blunder, they really shouldn’t have invested so much time and effort into the product considering that only a handful of games were actually developed to support it. Jason Rubin said it was one of the “massive mistakes” which had lead to the company going under. But don’t get me wrong I’m sure there are other reasons as well that caused them to go under but that seemed to be the one that stood out the most.

Instead they should have been focusing their money, time and effort on their studios to make sure that they had the support and funding needed to release titles that were in development already or were going to be future titles to be developed especially considering that they would have bought a tonne of licenses as well.


THQ financial reports are public to better diagnose what happened.


uDraw. Enough said.



Oh? So what’s your take on the situation then?



lol don’t make him think too much


I was merely curious. Rapid101 seems to be strongly opinionated in matters of finance, as can be seen by how he responds to any discourse in regards to EA Games for example. I must admit a certain level of ignorance when it comes to business finance, and as rapid101 shows some level of interest in such things I thought it might be enlightening to hear his standpoint on the situation.


They made a game studio manager into the CEO of the a large publisher… of coarse that’s a bad decision.

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