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THQ's Farrell: Kids' Animated Film Games Becoming Less Profitable

Animated film tie-in games may not be the cash cow they once were, said THQ's Brian Farrell, suggesting that more frequent CG kids' movie releases are spelling less profits for such titles.
Animated film tie-in games may not be the cash cow they once were, said THQ's Brian Farrell, speaking at the Wedbush Morgan Securities conference earlier today. "The kids' business, as you know, has been a huge focus of THQ for many years," said Farrell. "But there has been a trend away from licensed TV and movie games, and it's become much more competitive for all participants." THQ's 2007 Ratatouille game performed disappointingly, and analysts suggested it was because few players liked the idea of a rat protagonist. They looked forward to the Wall-E title, assuming that the film's adorable goggle-eyed robot would move more units for THQ -- and yet it performed even worse. Farrell suggested the decreasing performance of its Pixar games has less to do with the games themselves and more to do with this competitive trend in the animated film environment. "Back when we took the Pixar license on several years ago, Pixar was the only CG animated film company, and now there are several... up to 10 or a dozen CG animated films each year," he said. "So it's much more competitive -- which means that the kids' pie is getting sliced in smaller pieces, which makes it less profitable."

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