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THQ is an American video game developer and publisher founded in 1991.
In April 1990, the toy company THQ, Inc was founded. THQ stood for Toy Head Quarters, and the company made toys until 1994. At that point, the company shifted to video game development. Early THQ titles included licensed games like Home Alone and Where's Waldo?. In 1997, THQ became a major publisher with their release of several games based on professional wrestling. Along with licensed games, wrestling games soon became a THQ staple.
THQ began expanding in 2000 with the acquisition of developer Violation Inc. THQ went on to purchase several other developers and rights to a variety of children's franchises, such as SpongeBob Squarepants. One of these developers was Pandemic Studios, which has since become the jewel in THQ's crown.
In recent years, THQ has declined somewhat. This was due in part to falling revenues from licensed games, as younger audiences have shifted to free online PC games. However, by focusing on less licensed games for consoles and the Game Boy and more on original IP's on consoles and licensed games for browsers and phones, the company has managed to survive and remain a major force in the industry.
Recently, in 2010, THQ purchased the rights to the Mortal Kombat series, as well as the series developer, which was renamed "THQ Chicago." Their first game, simply titled Mortal Kombat, successfully relaunched the franchise in the HD era.
THQ has several notable franchises beyond their licensed fare. These include the Mercenaries series of open-world games, games based on Warhammer 40,000, Saints Row, and Red Faction. Recently, they have also acquired rights to the Mortal Kombat series. However, their best selling games on an annual basis are often licensed professional wrestling games.