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THQ: uDraw Initial Sell-Through 'Very Significant'

Following the launch of THQ's Wii-exclusive drawing peripheral uDraw, CEO Brain Farrell said the tablet controller is living up to commercial expectations with "very significant" initial sell-through.
Following the launch of THQ's Wii-exclusive drawing peripheral uDraw, CEO Brain Farrell said the tablet controller is living up to commercial expectations with "very significant" initial sell-through. The exec didn't provide specific sales figures, but THQ previously forecast shipments of 1.25 to 1.3 million units of uDraw through the end of the current fiscal year, ending March 2011. "We are working diligently to try and [beat forecasts] based on very significant sell-through we've seen in the first two weeks," said Farrell at this week's Credit Suisse Group Technology Conference. uDraw, launched November 14, is a drawing tablet for Nintendo Wii that comes bundled with the "art-based video game" uDraw Studio, and sells for $69.99. In November, just after the device's launch, THQ saw a share price hike as investors were apparently confident in the product's marketing and sales. The tablets continue to "flow in" from manufacturers in China, Farrell said, adding the company is "very, very pleased with the significant launch of this great new franchise for THQ." THQ worked closely with Nintendo on the design and launch of the the peripheral, and THQ plans to support the tablet with a "robust pipeline" of software in the future. Farrell reiterated that THQ is currently in a period of investment, pouring money into the development of primarily triple-A, core gamer-centric titles like Homefront, Saints Row 3, Warhammer 40K: Space Marine and Red Faction: Armageddon. The exec said that the investment should position THQ for significant growth in profits and revenues for fiscal 2012 and beyond. Farrell is counting on the commercial success of THQ subsidiary Kaos Studios' first-person shooter Homefront, due to release in early March 2011. He admitted that the military shooter genre is a crowded market, but expects Homefront to distinguish itself with a setting amidst a North Korean occupation of the U.S., a robust multiplayer online mode and a storyline penned by Red Dawn screenwriter John Milius. Farrell didn't comment directly on THQ's performance over the recent Black Friday post-Thanksgiving shopping spree in the U.S., but he did say, "Across the board, not just in the video game category, I think retail in general was pretty pleased. ... I think all of us breathed a collective sigh of relief."

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