Following THQ's announcement that it will acquire Rise of Nations
developer Big Huge Games, Gamasutra asked THQ executive vice president Jack Sorensen about what appears to be a growing consolidation trend in the industry.
"I’ve heard these things for almost 20 years being in the business, where, 'Oh my god, there's a scarcity!'" Sorensen said. "And it hasn’t happened; people join together and form things -- sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t -- but I'm not really feeling like there’s some rush because 'there's only a few left.' In that sense, I don’t feel like there is some death match here, 'who's going to be there at the end.'"
He continued, "We all compete, and we all use different means of competing and at the end of the day the net is: You can be big but still not be good, and you can be small and be really really good, and we’re all just trying to build portfolios we believe in of high-quality products that we hope sell. I really don’t see that ending, whether it's internals or externals."
Does he feel that publishers elsewhere in the industry may feel pressured by acquisition announcements from competitors? "Again, I don’t think there’s any exclusivity of ideas whether it's in-house or not," Sorensen replied. "It becomes maybe an odds game, that if you have a smaller pool of people to draw from of internal work, that they may not come up with all the ideas."
Nonetheless, he continued, "I think there’s always going to be room for both, and I don’t see that stopping. You think of Hollywood -- for most of its early history it was independent, and then some of those independents became big, and studios hardly invent anything anymore. So what stage we’re in I don’t know, but I certainly don’t see any inevitability."