Universomo No More: THQ Closes Finnish Developer

Despite picking up the studio less than three years ago, THQ has announced it has closed Finnish mobile developer Universomo as the publisher continues to restructure its handheld business.

The news broke yesterday with Finnish gaming magazine Pelaaja reporting (albeit, in Finnish) that the developer had been “liquidated”, and all staff let go in the process. Later confirmed by THQ, the publisher said it was actually upping its mobile focus in a bittersweet statement to Mobile Entertainment.

“We have increased our investment in this area, and have more than 15 games and entertainment applications scheduled for release on mobile handsets this year,” a spokesperson told the site, going on to say THQ is “very excited about digital gaming”.

“That said, we did place Universomo into liquidation,” the spokesperson confirmed.

Originally set up back in 2002, Universomo released a series of iPhone games in its brief history. It had acquired quite a reputation for pushing boundaries, with critics applauding games like Chop Sushi and De Blob for their risk taking.

THQ also saw fit to place big franchises like Star Wars, WWE, and Indiana Jones in Universomo’s hands, though the publisher’s overall mobile operations have suffered lately.

Last month, THQ Wireless revealed it was cutting 60 jobs as it realigned its business to focus on iPhone, iPad, and XBLA. Coincidentally, Universomo’s former managing director, Markku Hakala, had resigned just days before.

The studio’s final closure this week is seemingly yet another facet of THQ’s efforts to haul its mobile business back into profit, the company having posted a loss of $96.6 million for 2009.

[Via Mobile Entertainment]

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