) had hoped that it could build buzz, sell some games and help a
couple of charities by launching a
. With earnings of more than $3.3 million (and new articles
popping up in the gaming press every day), THQ might accomplish
this goal. But investors do not seem to care. Shares of the
embattled video game publisher and developer dropped more than
five percent Monday afternoon. On Friday -- just one day after
the Humble Bundle was announced -- THQ lost more than seven
percent of its value. In the last 30 days alone, THQ has declined
more than 49 percent. The company plummeted more than 68 percent
in the last three months, and nearly 80 percent in the last six
months. Year-to-date THQ is down more than 82 percent.
If another, more successful game developer had offered a
Humble Bundle, it might not have triggered a market move.
Investors may have simply viewed it as a positive opportunity for
the firm to give back.
The problem with THQ is that investors view this marketing
initiative as a last-ditch effort to keep the company afloat.
Homefront and Darksiders II have not lived up to sales
expectations. Disney (NYSE:
), which was once a key partner for THQ, abandoned the publisher
to build games in-house. When the Mickey Mouse studio needed a
partner to develop Wreck-It Ralph, Disney did not look to THQ for
help. The company teamed up with Activision (NASDAQ:
Best known for the Call of Duty franchise, Activision rose
more than two percent last month after releasing the latest game
in the series:Call of Duty: Black Ops II, which
earned more than $500 million
in 24 hours. But that was not the only successful game Activision
sold this year. In May, the company released Diablo 3, which
quickly became the
fastest-selling PC game
of all time. Regardless, investors are not entirely satisfied
with the company's performance. Year-to-date, Activision is down
If THQ has any hope of recovery, the publisher needs to sell a
large number of video games in 2013. This could start with the
release of Saints Row 4, the company's flagship franchise. THQ is
obviously hoping to build awareness for the new game by giving
away Saints Row: The Third to Humble Bundle buyers who spend more
than the average purchase price, which has dropped to $5.62. On
Friday the average purchase price was at $5.69.
More than 589,000 bundles have been purchased since the
campaign started. As of today, Jason Rubin, the President of THQ
and former creator of Crash Bandicoot, is no longer the top
contributor. His donation of $1,050 has allowed him to remain in
the top 10 (along with several other contributors that have
donated $1,050), but he has been beaten by THQ CEO Brian Farrell,
who contributed $1,650 to the Humble Bundle. His bid was topped
by a penny when someone by the name of McJohn bid $1,650.01.
McJohn is now listed as the Humble Bundle's top contributor.
(c) 2012 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.