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1.4 million uDraw tablets are gathering dust somewhere

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uDraw (THQ)

Not every game is going to be a hit, but some misses are uglier than others. Much, much uglier.

During an investor call Thursday, troubled game publisher THQ drew a pretty grim picture of their uDraw game accessory.  Launched just before the 2011 holiday season, the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of the device -- which lets users draw pictures and interact with games via a tablet-sized drawing pad -- failed to sell as well as the Wii version, which was released to decent sales in 2010.

And by 'failed to sell', we mean the thing totally tanked.  The company shipped about 1 million uDraws to retailers, but once they hit store shelves, they didn't budge. That leaves the company with a stunning 1.4 million units of uDraws taking up space in warehouses.

"We were confident that uDraw would resonate again this holiday, given last year's robust sell-through," THQ CEO Brian Farrell said.

An oversight? You could call it that. Sales were a whopping $100 million below THQ's expectations, in turn resulting in about a $30 million operating loss. That represents more than half of the company's total fourth quarter operating loss of $56 million.

So what's the plan moving forward? According to Kotaku, THQ is looking at "non-traditional game retailers and discount stores" in hopes to move what's out there. Maybe throw in a set of steak knives, guys?

The worst part here is that the uDraw debacle completely offsets the modest gains the company enjoyed with the excellent (and gloriously offensive) Saints Row The Third, which shipped a healthy 3.6 million units.

Unfortunately, though, THQ bet too big on the wrong horse.

"We were looking at uDraw as a bridge to this core and digital future, and that bridge turned out to be a plank that we walked off of," Farrell said.

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