Dwindling sales of the uDraw Game Tablet, coupled with the art peripheral's inability to interest PS3 and Xbox 360 owners, have forced THQ to cut 30 members of its Play THQ division in Agoura Hills, California, in order to cover its losses and refocus on more popular franchises.
“Due to weaker than expected sales of the uDraw Game Tablet, we are taking a difficult but important step to reduce the number of employees that supported this brand,” explained a THQ rep in a statement to GameInformer. “30 people will be leaving the company and business unit leader Martin Good will also be leaving to pursue new opportunities outside the company. This action will allow us to reduce costs, increase efficiency and increase the focus of our organization."
It wasn't that long ago when uDraw could do no wrong. Just this February, CEO Brian Farrell bragged to investors that the Wii version had sold 1.3 million in the US alone. A few months later, Farrell announced THQ would be porting uDraw to PS3 and Xbox 360, and predicted it would lead the way for future sales, saying, “We expect to generate significant growth, profitability and cash in fiscal 2012, driven by the latest installments of multi-million unit selling franchises Saints Row, Red Faction, Warhammer 40,000, MX vs. ATV, WWE and uDraw.”
Fast foward to now and it appears Farrell's estimations were a bit off. However, considering uDraw has only been out for PS3 and Xbox 360 since November 15, and THQ didn't even wait until after the holidays to gauge its success, one has to wonder if these lay offs are linked to sales or a desire to clean house and free up a little coin before the company's fiscal report in March 2012.