THQ

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Background

THQ ("Toy Head-Quarters") was an American developer and publisher founded in 1989 by LJN co-founder Jack Friedman. In 1990, THQ acquired the video game division of Brøderbund Software and released its first game Peter Pan and the Pirates (based on the Fox Kids TV series of the same name) in 1991. That same year, THQ was acquired by Trinity Acquisition Corporation. In 1994, THQ stopped making toys to focus on video games. THQ acquired several game developers in the 2000s including Relic Entertainment, Volition and others.

In 2008, THQ's troubles began when they closed five studios, spun off two studios (Heavy Iron Studios and Incinerator Studios), and sold Big Huge Games to 38 Studios (a company owned by Major League Baseball pitcher Curt Schilling). In 2010, THQ renamed Juice Games and Rainbow Studios to THQ Digital Warrington and THQ Digital Phoenix, respectively. In 2011, THQ closed four studios (THQ Studio Australia, Blue Tongue Entertainment, Kaos Studios and THQ Digital Warrington). In 2012, THQ defaulted on a $50 million loan from Wells Fargo. On December 19, 2012, THQ filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In January 2013, THQ sold the Homefront franchise to Crytek, Relic Entertainment and the Warhammer 40,000 series to Sega, the WWE series and Evolve (a game from Turtle Rock Studios) to Take-Two Interactive, THQ Montreal and the publishing rights for South Park: The Stick of Truth to Ubisoft, and Volition and the publishing rights for the Metro franchise to Koch Media/Deep Silver. In April 2013, THQ's remaining franchises were auctioned off to Nordic Games, while Homeworld was sold to Gearbox Software and Drawn to Life was acquired by 505 Games.

Nordic Games later acquired the THQ trademark in 2014, and changed their name to THQ Nordic in 2016 to associate themselves better with the THQ name.



1st Logo (January 1991-November 1993)

Visuals: On a white background, there are the words "T•HQ Software", with a red dot between the "T" and "H". There is a byline below them: "A Division of T•HQ, Inc."

Variants:

  • On Fox's Peter Pan and the Pirates, the logo reads "T•HQ, Inc.", and "Presents..." below.
  • On the NES game of Wayne's World, the logo reads "T•HQ software", and "PRESENTS" below.
  • On the SNES and Genesis games of Wayne's World, the logo is shown within the game's copyright disclaimer on the game's title screen.
  • On The Ren & Stimpy Show: Veediots!, the logo reads "T•HQ, Inc.", and "TOY HEADQUARTERS" below. Under it is Ren and Stimpy banging their butts together.
  • On The Great Waldo Search, the background is gradient blue.
  • On Road Riot 4WD, the background is red and the copyright info is taken into brackets.
  • The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends variant is almost the same as the Wayne's World variant, but it's higher-quality and "PRESENTS" is located more below.

Technique: A still digital graphic. 2D sprite animation for the variants.

Audio: None or the opening theme of the game. On The Adventures of Rocky And Bullwinkle And Friends, a 8-bit rendition of the beginning of the theme can be heard.

Availability: It can be seen on The Lawnmower Man and the aforementioned games. It also appears on Game Boy. The logo does not appear on most games, as it usually went straight to the game's title screen.

2nd Logo (November 1994)

Visuals: On a black background, 2 pieces of wood can be seen on the top left and bottom right of the screen. Then, Ren pushes in the the Nickelodeon "splat" logo while Stimpy pushes in a prototype of the next logo. The logo consists of the word "THQ" in a white font with a red dot inside a thick white box. Below "THQ", there is a red bar with "Inc." on it. When they step on the wood, the planks are sent flying and both of them stand with nervous-looking smiles.

Technique: 2D sprite animation.

Audio: Two cracking sounds.

Availability: Seen only on The Ren & Stimpy Show: Time Warp for SNES.

Legacy: This is a placeholder logo, created for temporary use while the next version was in development, but wasn't ready for use.

3rd Logo (August 13, 1996-March 1997)

Visuals: On a black background, the 2nd logo is seen taking up the whole screen, turned at an angle towards the right. There is no border surrounding the logo. Copyright information is shown below the logo.

Technique: A still digital graphic.

Audio: The game's opening theme.

Availability: Seen on Brunswick World Tournament Champions for SNES. It also appears on The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Topsy Turvy Games and Hercules for Game Boy.

4th Logo (Still variants) (July 16, 1997-July 6, 2000)

Visuals: Very similar to the 2nd and 3rd logos, except it took up the whole screen, and the red dot is absent. Plus it is shown within a box on a white background, or on a black background.

Variants:

  • On some early games, like Bravo Air Race and Ghost in the Shell, the word "PRESENTS" is shown below the logo.
  • On some games, a border surrounds the logo.
  • On SNES and Genesis versions of Madden NFL '98 and NBA Live '98 as well as some titles for Game Boy, the copyright information is also shown below.
  • On Penny Racers, the background is white and we see the copyright information from Nintendo and Takara.
  • On some games, like WCW Nitro and the European GBC game of Logical, the logo is in-credit.
  • On later games, like Game Boy Color games and Nintendo 64 games like Destruction Derby, the red bar is empty.

Technique: A still digital graphic.

Audio: None, or the opening theme of the game.

Availability: Seen on many PlayStation titles, like G Darius, Ray Tracers, Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars, MTV Sports Snowboarding and Ghost in the Shell, as well as SNES, Genesis, Game Boy, Game Boy Color and Nintendo 64 titles, like Toy Story 2. The last game to use this is the Game Boy Color version of Croc.

5th Logo (June 30, 1998-September 8, 2000)

Visuals: A glowing red bar with a rippling texture appears and zooms out, sticking to the screen. Then the letters appear one-by-one: the "T" zooms out from the left, then the "H" zooms in from the middle, then the "Q" zooms out from the right. A lens flare then writes in "Inc." on the bar, causing the texture to disappear. A lens flare then appears behind the logo before 2 more lens flares draw in the square border.

Variants:

  • A compressed version exists on several Tiertex-developed Game Boy Color games, like A Bug's Life, FIFA 2000, Madden NFL 2000 and Rugrats: Totally Angelica. On the latter three, the red bar is empty.
  • A zoomed-in version exists on some games, like The Granstream Saga.

Technique: Computer animation.

Audio: A couple of whooshing and zapping sounds.

Availability: Can be seen on games for PC and PlayStation such as Rugrats: The Search for Reptar, Ultimate 8 Ball and WCW/NWO Thunder. The animated version is also seen on some Game Boy Color games, including A Bug's Life and FIFA 2000. First seen on the PlayStation game of The Granstream Saga, and the last game to feature this was the GBC version of Rugrats: Totally Angelica.

6th Logo (Sinistar: Unleashed custom variant) (September 15, 1999)

Visuals: There is the text "THQ" from the previous logo, along with the red rectangle zooms out in pieces and stick together onto a black box over a blue metallic background with several scratches. The background then disappears and "PRESENTS" spreads out below the logo.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: A mysterious wind chime theme.

Availability: Only seen on Sinistar: Unleashed.

7th Logo (January 26-June 27, 2000)

Visuals: On a black background, a light forms, and then pieces of the logo forms the THQ logo from the last two logos, and then a red bar zooms out over a black background, and a border is shown behind the logo.

Variant: A recreated version exists on X: Beyond the Frontier.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: A majestic trumpet fanfare ending in a single hit.

Availability: The normal version was seen on a handful of games, like Brunswick Circuit Pro Bowling 2, X: Beyond the Frontier, the American release of Breakneck, and Shaolin, as most games used the standard still variant.

8th Logo (Still variants) (June 30, 2000-April 12, 2011)

Visuals: On a white or black background, there is a black parallelogram with the text "THQ" inside in a sports-like font, and on the left side of the text, there is a red line.

Variants:

  • On the PS1 game of MTV Sports: Pure Ride, the background is wavy blue.
  • On the GBC game of MTV Sports: Pure Ride, the background is red.
  • A shield-less version was seen on Rugrats in Paris for N64 and PSX - one of the first appearances of this logo. The same version, only smaller, was used on Championship Motocross 2001 for PSX, as well as WWE Plug n Play TV Games.
  • On Drome Racers, a copyright notice is shown above and below the logo.
  • On some games, especially these developed by Razorback Developments, like LEGO Knights, a URL is shown below the logo.
  • On the GBA game of Sega's The Pinball of the Dead, the logo is in-credit.

Technique: A still digital graphic.

Audio: None, or the opening theme of the game.

Availability: Seen on many PlayStation, Game Boy Color, Game Boy Advance and Nintendo 64 games from the period. Among the first games to use the logo were Danger Girl, MTV Sports - Pure Ride and Skateboarding, Rugrats in Paris, and Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue, with the very first game making use of it being KRTL: Jay und die Spielzeugdiebe on the Game Boy Color.

9th Logo (October 24, 2000-December 20, 2007)

Visuals: On a black background, a steel parallelogram is formed with parts of it being sliced off, and it flashes. A larger outline of the parallelogram appears outside it, and 3 letters with cuts in them ("T" and "Q" from right, "H" from left) slide onto the parallelogram. A red bar appears from left and bumps into the shield, making it sway and completing the logo. The company website address fades in below, and the shield border shines. Sometimes, the shield border shines as the company website address is not shown.

Variants:

  • On some GBA and DS titles, the animated logo is a still picture.
  • On Rugrats: Royal Ransom, Evil Dead: A Fistful of Boomstick, Big Mutha Truckers, Jimmy Neutron: Jet Fusion, SpongeBob SquarePants: Employee of the Month, Rocket Power: Beach Bandits, Splashdown: Rides Gone Wild, WWE WrestleMania X8, Scooby-Doo! Night of 100 Frights, and the console ports of The Incredibles and Tetris Worlds, the website address is absent.
  • On the NDS version of Cars, the logo is on a movie theater.
  • A still version of the animated logo, with the announcer and SFX, was used in the trailer of Fairly Oddparents: Breakin 'da Rules.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: Synthesized whooshes, followed by a male announcer saying "T-H-Q!" when the correct letters appear, and a metallic thud when the red bar bumps into the shield. An electronic buzzing sound is heard as the shield shines.

Audio Variants:

  • On non-US releases of Rugrats in Paris (the PC game), the normal sound effects are replaced with cartoon sounds, which consists of a whirl, a whizzing sound, a bonk sound, and another whirl, all as the letters appear. Additionally, the THQ name is uttered by a group of kids instead, and the famous Hanna-Barbera "boing" sound is heard when the red bar appears (likely a nod to the 1998 Klasky Csupo "Splaat" logo). The logo then falls to silence.
  • On the still variants, none or the opening theme of the game.

Availability: The still version can be seen on the majority of handheld games, especially many of these Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS games developed by many companies, like Altron, Natsume and Art. The animated logo debuted on Summoner for the PS2. It also appeared during the end credits of Pride FC: Fighting Championships for the PS2.

Legacy: This logo's omnipresence on a number of games from the 2000s has made it a favorite logo of many gamers.

10th Logo (MotoGP custom variant) (February 15-March 4, 2002)

Visuals: On a letterboxed red background, a parallelogram slides up. The THQ letters from the last two logo zooms out, and then a red line slides over the logo.

Technique: 2D sprite animation.

Audio: A 16-bit rock theme from the game's soundtrack.

Availability: Only seen on the American and European release of Game Boy Advance game of MotoGP.

11th Logo (October 15, 2003-November 26, 2010)

Visuals: A silver-blue "H" letter flips around onto a black background, filled with blue lights and lasers. The rest of the logo then slides in, with the border zooming out. Electricity is also seen charging on the logo. After a shine and a few seconds, the border flips towards the screen and the letters zoom in one-by-one, ending the logo.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: Many whooshes and some electric sounds.

Availability: This was used in tandem with the previous logo. The first game to use this logo was Tak and the Power of Juju. It is known to appear on Juiced, Hot Wheels: Stunt Track Challenge, the Tak and the Power of Juju trilogy, the non-HD, PC, and PSP ports of Cars, The Incredibles: Rise of the Underminer, and the PSP version of Ratatouille. It can be seen on the PC releases of Bratz 4 Real, Bratz: Rock Angelz and Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed.

Legacy: Another memorable logo of many gamers due to its omnipresence in a number of games.

12th Logo (November 3, 2003-September 28, 2007)

Visuals: On a white background, a black parallelogram slides in, and then the letters of the THQ logo from the previous logo slides in, and then a red line slides in, just like the 8th logo. Then, the logo shines. A URL in a Times font appears below the logo.

Variants:

  • On The Incredibles for the Game Boy Advance, the logo slides away to bring forth the Helixe logo.
  • A still version exists.

Technique: 2D sprite animation.

Audio: A whooshing sound.

Availability: The normal animated logo appears on Tak 2: The Staff of Dreams, The Incredibles and Ratatouille for Game Boy Advance. The still version appears on many Nickelodeon games for Game Boy Advance, like Nicktoons Unite!, Tak: The Great Juju Challenge, SpongeBob SquarePants: Creature from the Krusty Krab and The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie. The logo first appeared as a custom variant on The Fairly OddParents: Breakin Da' Rules.

13th Logo (June 1, 2004-April 12, 2011)

Visuals: On a black background, the THQ logo is seen darkened sans the border, rotating around while surrounded by several streaks of white and red light. The streaks then strike the border, illuminating the logo one part at a time before shining.

Variants: Go to this page for the custom variants.

Technique: CGI.

Audio: The comet whooshing and blasts. The variants use the opening theme instead.

Availability: This was used in tandem with the previous two logos. It was seen on such games as Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War, Barnyard, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, the non-HD and PC ports of Ratatouille, the Wii version of Cars, and SpongeBob SquarePants featuring Nicktoons: Globs of Doom. The last games to use this logo were De Blob 2 (February 2011) and Rio (April 2011), which use this logo in-game, but the next logo on their box art. However, the still version of the logo shown above is used in the THQ Training Facility in the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of WWE Smackdown VS. Raw 2010 in both its introduction screen and banner. This also appeared in the teaser trailer of AEW Fight Forever, with the THQ Nordic logo transitioning to the THQ logo, in which is was reversed in the full game, with the THQ logo transitioning into the THQ Nordic logo.

Legacy: Another memorable logo of many gamers due to it's omnipresence in number of games.

14th Logo (February 28, 2011-December 14, 2012)

Visuals: On a white background, a gray line slides in, which turns into a large red curve drawing upwards. The camera zooms out to reveal it is an abstract "Q". A gray line then emerges from it, causing the "Q" to go left and the line to sprout into a large gray square. It splits to form "TH", with the latter missing the top left part of it. They form "THQ", while a red registered trademark symbol appears to the bottom right of it.

Variants:

  • The internal studios have their subnames in gray under the main logo. The "Digital Studios" text in subnames appears to be thinner as well.
  • There is also a still version, in a white or black background.

Technique: Digital 2D animation.

Audio: A deep whoosh sound similar to wind blowing with a rock crumbling noise, ending with two silent bumps. None for the still version.

Availability: Appeared on all THQ games from late February 2011 to their final games in early December 2012; Homefront and WWE All Stars (the only PS2 game to use this logo) were among the first ones. Technically, this logo made its first retail appearances on the box art of De Blob 2 and Rio, despite the previous logo being used on the games themselves.

Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies.