No one in the office is quite sure what THQ is up to, and since they shut up shop in Australia, it's kind of difficult to get an official word from them. But, what with the very cool and generous THQ Humble Bundle, and now this, it's hard not to look at this like some kind of going-out-of-business fire sale.
The latest THQ freebie is Metro 2033, which the company is planning to give away - while Steam codes last - to every community member of the Metro Facebook page. You can visit freemetrogame.com to find out more.
For a company that is admittedly strapped for cash, giving away otherwise AAA titles might seem an odd move, but there's certainly method to THQ's possible madness. For one thing, on the back of the Humble Bundle alone, THQ's stock price has risen. Not to pre-Homefront levels, mind, but it's better than nothing.
And sheer good will is nothing to be sneezed at, either, and gamers do love free stuff.
But the real plan is likely more subtle. THQ announced recently, amid more financial gloom, that a swathe of big titles had been pushed back; releasing free and/or cheap stuff is a good way to keep the publisher in the press, while earning warm fuzzies from hordes of cash-strapped gamers.
It may even be smarter than that. Metro 2033 and Company of Heroes, both now very cheap or free, have sequels just around the corner. Getting this out into the more hands is a clever move - they'll likely still be being played when Metro: Last Light and Company of Heroes 2 comes out.
Clever moves, THQ. Clever moves.