THQ: “We will continue selling uDraw”
Speaking to us at E3, THQ's executive vice president of kids, family, casual games & global online services Martin Good has dispelled any notion that Nintendo's recently unveiled Wii U controller treads on the toes of his company's uDraw peripheral.
"None of this is a surprise," he said. "THQ worked very closely with Nintendo to make sure we understood what the machine was and what Nintendo's focus was. As you know, we thought of [uDraw] 18 months ago and released it last season, and we feel we're well poised to exploit [Wii U] because we've already been playing with the drawing mechanic and we've got a lot of game designs in the pipeline."
Good goes on to stress that THQ had no intentions of becoming a peripheral manufacturer, but the need to exploit its new IP necesitated the foray, which includes devices for the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions due this November. He remains confident that the uDraw brand can continue to grow, though it will shift to a purely software based future in the case of Nintendo's platform.
"If you continue to be creative with your forward thinking and who the consumer is, you can get more longevity out of formats, and we did that with Wii," he says. "As we were releasing uDraw on the Wii, everyone was saying, 'It's not selling!' especially in the UK. But we sold over a million units in seven weeks. That was purely because [it represented] another form of compelling gameplay that could utilise a system that was in many living rooms already.
"We will continue selling the uDraw [peripheral], and will be doing an updated version of the software for the device this holiday. We believe there is another clear season for it. And then the following season there's probably more potential, too, but at the same time we'll be releasing uDraw software for the Wii U."
According to Good, THQ is looking at ways to provide seamless gaming experiences across different formats – an idea shown off to great effect at E3 by Sony's Vita/PS3 title Ruin, which allows users to save on one device and pick up exactly where they left off on the next.
"I think [games] have become part of kids' lifestyles, whether it be gamer's games or casual games," he says. "People don't want to be confined to their living room. This is why with the advent of the iOS games, kids are playing on that; They can have a quick play, put it down and continue later. So what we're looking at doing is bringing that experience to our games; so if you're playing in the lounge you can continue that same game on different [formats] and be able to come back to your lounge and still continue."
Good also revealed that the developer and publisher, which has aligned itself with sports equipment manufacturer Adidas, is working on a "very ambitious fitness project" along with a new Drawn To Life game and an as yet unannounced project which "capitalises on one of the biggest brands in the world" and relates to Disney.