Analyst report: THQ franchises in decline

According to the analysts at Cowen and Company, several of THQ's key franchises – think WWE, SpongeBob SquarePants and Saints Row – are in a slump. details the firm's findings and all signs point to the publisher posting a "substantial" loss this fiscal year.

The firm states that the 22% Q4 year-over-year decline of the WWE franchise, which it calls one of the last "bastions of strength" at the publisher, is of particular concern, while poor little SpongeBob saw a 19% decline over the prior year. Saints Row 2 also isn't doing too hot, with the firm expecting the gangsta-fied sandbox title to move just 900K units over the next year in the US. Though the original Saints Row performed better on a single console, 2006 also had a very different software landscape (read: Grand Theft Auto IV wasn't out yet). Let's see if this holiday season changes THQ's plans to focus on a few "core" titles yearly.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.