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THQ sells off casual publisher to focus on core franchises

THQ sells off casual publisher to focus on core franchises

April 25, 2012 | By Eric Caoili

THQ has sold off ValuSoft, its Minnesota-based publishing/distribution division for budget and casual PC games, to value-priced software company Cosmi for an undisclosed sum.

This sale is part of the publisher's strategy to become "a more streamlined organization focused only on [its] strongest franchises," like Saints Row. In January, THQ began to distance itself from titles that target casual audiences, after announcing its exit from the licensed games business.

THQ has struggled in recent months to recover from its weak holiday quarter, numerous layoffs, and other recent setbacks. It has seen higher-than-expected sales for Saints Row: The Third and UFC Undisputed 3 recently, but others have still predicted that the company's days are numbered.

Founded in 1997, ValuSoft was acquired ten years ago by THQ. The global publisher and distributor specializes in releasing mostly casual games (e.g. ;18 Wheels of Steel, John Deere: Drive Green) sold at numerous locations for retailers like Wal-Mart, Target, and Office Depot.

Carson, California-based Cosmi has sold budget-priced software and games for the last 30 years across more than 25,000 retail outlets. With this acquisition, the company claims to now be the second largest U.S. retail publisher of PC games and the #1 retail publisher in the value software category (both according to units sold).

"With the transition of the 'Value' PC business to Cosmi, our internal resources are now focused on our core video game portfolio where we can drive the highest quality performance and execution for our games," says THQ president and CEO Brian Farrell.

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