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THQ: Danny Bilson is out, Jason Rubin is in

Gaming IndustryEconomy, Business and Finance

THQ Inc. has tapped veteran game designer and former game studio executive Jason Rubin to be president, the Agoura Hills video game publisher announced Tuesday.

Rubin's appointment comes amid a top-to-bottom reorganization that the financially beleaguered company initiated late last year when it became apparent that a number of major game titles, including uDraw, would miss sales projections.

Rubin's arrival at THQ coincides with an announcement that Danny Bilson, THQ's executive vice president of core games, was leaving "to pursue other interests."

Bilson, a former television scriptwriter, joined THQ in 2007 and spearheaded the company's shift away from kids' games to complex titles aimed at hard-core players. Among Bilson's projects was Homefront, a game that aimed for a place among an elite cadre of highly lucrative military shooter franchises, and Saints Row the Third, a mob-themed action title that achieved moderate success having sold more than 4 million units worldwide.

While both games sold relatively well, they could not make up for THQ's overall losses. Despite a 25% uptick in revenue to $830.8 million for its fiscal year ended March 31, THQ posted a $240-million annual loss, up from a $136-million loss the year before.

So far this year, the company has laid off 358 people in two rounds of cuts.

Neither Bilson nor Rubin could be reached for comment.

THQ on Tuesday also hired Jason Kay as chief strategy officer. Kay helped Rubin co-found Flektor, a video editing company that was sold to News Corp. in 2007 for an undisclosed sum.

Both Rubin and Kay will report to Brian Farrell, THQ's chief executive.

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