Publisher to spend more time developing game with Stone, Parker

THQ has delayed the release of “South Park: The Stick of Truth” as the videogame publisher spends more time developing the game with Matt Stone and Trey Parker.

Company revealed the postponement of the game and that of two other upcoming tentpoles, “Company Of Heroes 2″ and “Metro: Last Light,” during its second-quarter earnings call with analysts on Monday. Execs said the delays “will likely create a need for additional capital.” Company has 10 games based on original concepts in development for fiscal 2014.

As a result, THQ has tapped Centerview Partners to identify financing alternatives to pay for its $100 million in 5% convertible senior notes, due August 2014. Company had $36 million in cash on hand at the end of the second quarter.

Disappointing sales of “Darksiders II” caused THQ to report a 23% drop in revenue of nearly $92 million during the second quarter, while losses narrowed to $21 million from $92.4 million in the year-earlier quarter that wrapped Sept. 30. “Darksiders” sequel shipped 1.4 million units during the three-month period.

THQ will now likely release its “South Park” game in March 2014. It was originally dated for March 5, 2013.

“We have been working closely with the co-creators of ‘South Park’ to make sure all of the game’s content performs to the high standards of the TV show, and this takes time,” said THQ president Jason Rubin during the conference call.

In a statement, he said: “When I joined THQ, the company made a public commitment to quality titles. We always expected that in some cases this would mean that more time would be needed to make sure that every title is of the highest possible quality. Our fourth quarter releases are the first titles that I have had the ability to materially impact, and experience told me that the games needed additional development time to be market-ready.”

He added that releasing the titles sooner “would lead to underperformance that could in turn lead to future additional capital shortfalls.”

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