March 15, 2011 / 3:31 PM / 7 years ago

THQ shares fall on poor reviews of 'Homefront' war game

NEW YORK, March 15 (Reuters) - THQ Inc’s THQI.O shares fell more than 9 percent after one of its highly anticipated video games received poor reviews after hitting stores on Tuesday.

Shares fell 9 percent to $5.40 on Nasdaq.

The first-person shooter game “Homefront” received a score of 75 on Metacritic, a website that tracks reviews of games. The market leader in war-themed games is Activision Blizzard’s (ATVI.O) “Call of Duty: Black Ops,” which has a score of 88 on the website.

“This score is a bit of a disaster for THQ and the share price today is reflecting that,” said Janco Partners analyst Mike Hickey. “The market is a quality driven market (and) you need at least a score of 80 and above on Metacritic to do well.”

The futuristic game, which is set in 2027, features a North Korean army occupying a bankrupt United States, Japan and Southeast Asia.

The game’s content and an associated marketing blitz have touched nerves at a time of heightened tension on the Korean peninsula. [ID:nTOE72D05X]

    The poor reviews could impact sales at a time when THQ is seen needing a hit title. Its share price has floundered more than 15 percent since its third-quarter earnings on Feb. 2, when it lowered its profit outlook.

    The company’s management has tried to convince investors that its upcoming games lineup is its strongest ever and sales of “Homefront,” the first release in that slate, is being closely watched by Wall Street.

    reporting by Liana B.Baker; editing by Gunna Dickson

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