THQ executive Ian Curran said in an interview that they can no longer afford to bring mediocre games to market, because it's too big of a risk to spend tens of millions on a bad game.
“[W]e can’t afford anymore to bring mediocre games to market,” Curran told CVG. “There’s no room for them. You’re either a standout, best in class, or you die. We won’t bring bad games to market anymore. You can’t spend $30, $40, $50 million on a bad game and expect to make a return.”
The point here is not Curran’s promise of better games from THQ, but the idea that anything less than the best is simply not worth developing. Review aggregation site Metacritic notes that average review scores in the first half of 2010 are up from the same period last year, even though overall game sales are down. Even a steady stream of top-notch games, such as Mass Effect 2, Red Dead Redemption and Super Mario Galaxy 2, can’t lift the games industry from its current rut.