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THQ Buys `Stuntman' Game Franchise, Studio From Atari

THQ Inc. (THQI), maker of video games including ``Destroy All Humans!'' agreed to buy the ``Stuntman'' franchise and a development studio from Atari Inc. to add driving and action titles. Terms weren't disclosed.

The ``Stuntman'' series, released in 2002, has sold about 1.6 million units and is in development for new game consoles at Paradigm Entertainment, Agoura Hills, California-based THQ said today in a statement distributed by PR Newswire.

THQ will also buy Dallas-based Paradigm from Atari and its parent, Infogrames Entertainment SA, after exercising an option, the statement said. THQ expects the sale to close ``in the coming weeks.'' Paradigm's titles include ``Terminator,'' ``Mission Impossible'' and ``Indy Racing 2000,'' the studio's Web site said.

Shares of THQ fell 80 cents, or 3.1 percent, to $24.73 at 4 p.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market composite trading. They have risen 3.7 percent this year. Spokeswomen Liz Pieri and Julie MacMedan didn't immediately return phone calls by Bloomberg News.

New York-based fell 1 cent to 89 cents.

THQ last week posted a fourth-quarter loss as demand for games waned because of delays in the release of new machines from Sony Corp. and Nintendo Co. Electronic Arts Inc. (EA), the world's biggest video-game maker, said on May 3 sales this quarter will miss analysts' estimates because of the console delays.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nadja Brandt in Los Angeles at nbrandt@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Glenn Holdcraft at gholdcraft@bloomberg.net.

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