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THQ makes changes at Rainbow & Juice Games
60 jobs lost, new focus and studio names change
THQ has announced that changes are afoot for two of its studios so Juice Games and Rainbow Studios will be getting a new focus as well as a name change. In addition, 60 jobs will be lost as part of this new strategy.
The Phoenix-based Rainbow Studios, the home of the MX vs. ATV titles, will be renamed THQ Digital Studios Phoenix. Despite the name change of the studio, the company will continue to market and use the Rainbow Studios name for the MX vs. ATV franchise for the foreseeable future. Juice Games will be renamed THQ Digital Studios Warrington going forward.
Both studios will be focused on the development of digitally-distributed titles that will use both new and existing IP for their source material. While it isn’t expected that any new titles will arrive from either studio until 2011, THQ has said that THQ Digital Studios Warrington will be hard at work on the development of new technology that will create a community platform to connect players of THQ’s core franchise titles.
The decision to refocus these studios on content for digital distribution isn’t a surprising move by THQ. More publishers are investing in the development of games for digital distribution platforms such as Microsoft’s Xbox Live Marketplace and Sony’s PlayStation Network. Publishers feel a need to stake a claim in this area to make sure that they get a piece of the pie in the digital distribution realm, which continues to grow.
While THQ did announce that the MX vs. ATV franchise would continue to use the Rainbow Studios branding, it did not comment on whether THQ Digital Studios Phoenix would continue to develop the franchise or if the franchise was going to be moved to another studio going forward. The publisher also did not comment on when we might see another installment in the franchise.