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Avatar image for patrickklepek
Posted by patrickklepek (6436 posts) -
THQ's transformation from a licensed-driven company in the last 10 years has not been easy.
THQ's transformation from a licensed-driven company in the last 10 years has not been easy.

It’s rough waters for two notable video game publishers in early 2013. Both THQ and Atari are entering bankruptcy, and it’s unclear how the two companies will emerge on the other side of it.

Atari is the latest development. Over the weekend, it was revealed the US branch of Atari filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy for a very specific purpose: detach itself from its parent company, Atari S.A.

This is part of an effort to transition Atari’s US branch from traditional retail company to full-fledged digital publishing, but the company will do without some of its most celebrated franchises. As part of chapter 11, in the next 90-to-120 days, Atari will sell the rights to Asteroids, Backyard Sports, Battlezone, Centipede, Missile Command, Pong, Tempest, and Test Drive.

There are updates on THQ, as well.

THQ’s big asset auction is due to take place today, but it’s unlikely we will have any real-time updates on what franchises, developers, and other material goes to the highest bidder.

However, one game, South Park: The Stick of Truth, may not be part of that lineup. South Park Studios has filed a complaint alleging the contract between the company and THQ stipulates a new owner cannot be found without the explicit approval of South Park Studios.

There’s more, too. South Park Studios believes it has the right to buy the rights to the game back for the amount of money THQ put into it, which would allow South Park Studios to find a new publisher on its own, rather than participate in the bankruptcy process. It also claims THQ owes South Park Studios money.

THQ said it hoped to resolve differences prior to the auction, but that it doesn’t owe any money, and elements of the deal between THQ and South Park Studios could be auctioned off. It’s unclear which rights THQ is referring to.

Avatar image for patrickklepek
#1 Posted by patrickklepek (6436 posts) -
THQ's transformation from a licensed-driven company in the last 10 years has not been easy.
THQ's transformation from a licensed-driven company in the last 10 years has not been easy.

It’s rough waters for two notable video game publishers in early 2013. Both THQ and Atari are entering bankruptcy, and it’s unclear how the two companies will emerge on the other side of it.

Atari is the latest development. Over the weekend, it was revealed the US branch of Atari filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy for a very specific purpose: detach itself from its parent company, Atari S.A.

This is part of an effort to transition Atari’s US branch from traditional retail company to full-fledged digital publishing, but the company will do without some of its most celebrated franchises. As part of chapter 11, in the next 90-to-120 days, Atari will sell the rights to Asteroids, Backyard Sports, Battlezone, Centipede, Missile Command, Pong, Tempest, and Test Drive.

There are updates on THQ, as well.

THQ’s big asset auction is due to take place today, but it’s unlikely we will have any real-time updates on what franchises, developers, and other material goes to the highest bidder.

However, one game, South Park: The Stick of Truth, may not be part of that lineup. South Park Studios has filed a complaint alleging the contract between the company and THQ stipulates a new owner cannot be found without the explicit approval of South Park Studios.

There’s more, too. South Park Studios believes it has the right to buy the rights to the game back for the amount of money THQ put into it, which would allow South Park Studios to find a new publisher on its own, rather than participate in the bankruptcy process. It also claims THQ owes South Park Studios money.

THQ said it hoped to resolve differences prior to the auction, but that it doesn’t owe any money, and elements of the deal between THQ and South Park Studios could be auctioned off. It’s unclear which rights THQ is referring to.

Avatar image for drbeardface
#2 Posted by DrBeardface (281 posts) -

Hope South Park comes out.

Avatar image for morningstar
#3 Posted by Morningstar (2363 posts) -

@DrBeardface said:

Hope South Park comes out.

And company of heroes 2..

Avatar image for ripelivejam
#4 Posted by ripelivejam (9428 posts) -

@Morningstar said:

@DrBeardface said:

Hope South Park comes out.

And company of heroes 2..

and homefront 2 :w

Avatar image for icarusfoundyou
#5 Posted by IcarusFoundYou (234 posts) -

I just want Relic to not go under. I still dream of a new Homeworld game...

Avatar image for jazz_lafayette
#6 Posted by Jazz_Lafayette (3891 posts) -

Men in Suits v. Guys with Ties

Avatar image for paulwade1984
#7 Posted by paulwade1984 (493 posts) -

We need an auction live stream.

Avatar image for heartagram
#8 Posted by Heartagram (1316 posts) -

@DrBeardface: Pretty sure they've said several times that south park will be out whether or not THQ makes it because they have already been funded by someone but I could be wrong.

Avatar image for phatmac
#9 Posted by Phatmac (5928 posts) -

EA presents: Saints Row 4. :(

Avatar image for crusader8463
#10 Edited by crusader8463 (14759 posts) -

I really couldn't care less about Atari, but I really hope relic ends up in good hands and doesn't get bought up by an EA, Activion, or god forbid Ubisoft. Would hate to see such a great PC dev in the hands of such an anti PC place like Ubisoft. Will also be interested in seeing whose name ends up on the box for the South Park game. Really looking forward to it.

Avatar image for jakob187
#11 Posted by jakob187 (22801 posts) -

@Morningstar said:

@DrBeardface said:

Hope South Park comes out.

And company of heroes 2..

...and Metro Last Light...

Avatar image for sferics
#12 Posted by Sferics (31 posts) -

Did Atari still have the license(?) to do 'Wizards of the Coast' stuff?

Avatar image for sil3n7
#13 Posted by Sil3n7 (1415 posts) -

The Atari news is sad from a historical standpoint but someone may find a way to breathe new life into these old properties.

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#14 Posted by Ravenlight (8057 posts) -

@ripelivejam said:

and homefront 2 :w

Go stand in the corner and think about what you've said, mister!

Avatar image for pudge
#15 Posted by Pudge (1133 posts) -

Wouldn't it be dumb if EA bought the Test Drive name and released Need For Speed: Test Drive and it was a Burnout game made by Criteron?

Avatar image for akyho
#16 Posted by Akyho (2091 posts) -

@Heartagram: Funding, publishing, distribution and making are all different things in the eyes of the law. There is a different company and a different legal teams for each step. THQ being about two of those things for SP Stick of Truth.

Avatar image for ixaan
#17 Posted by Ixaan (29 posts) -

@Phatmac said:

EA presents: Saints Row 4. :(

I heard your can change your dude to a lady for only 99 cents.

Avatar image for scroll
#18 Posted by Scroll (627 posts) -

@IcarusFoundYou said:

I just want Relic to not go under. I still dream of a new Homeworld game...

Considering Homeworld isn't seen to be commercially viable before the recession, the chances of Homeworld 3 being made are pretty damn slim. Regardless I really want another Homeworld as well and would kickstart the shit out of it.

Avatar image for ht101
#19 Posted by HT101 (1463 posts) -

I'd say Warner Bros. needs to buy up Volition and Relic with the rest of THQ being split up between the other companies. I'd say that the worst fit for their studios would be Ubisoft and then Activision and then EA. Other than that, I wouldn't mind any other studio getting THQ's assets.

Avatar image for arbitrarywater
#20 Posted by ArbitraryWater (14293 posts) -

I can't think of anything that Atari has made in recent years. I just wonder what will happen to the D&D license.

Avatar image for i8donuts
#21 Posted by i8Donuts (102 posts) -

Video games are dying!

Avatar image for posh
#22 Posted by posh (637 posts) -

hope south park gets canned

Avatar image for falling_fast
#23 Posted by falling_fast (2905 posts) -

does Atari still have the license to make D&D games? maybe it's time for it to go to someone who will actually do something with it.

Avatar image for demoskinos
#24 Posted by Demoskinos (17278 posts) -

@DrBeardface said:

Hope South Park comes out.

South park is safe Vevendi already funded the game. Its just a matter of finding a publisher.

Avatar image for ch3burashka
#25 Posted by ch3burashka (6088 posts) -

Bummer on all fronts. Very intrigued by the THQ outcome - too bad us plebeians won't know that for some time.

Avatar image for robertorri
#26 Posted by RobertOrri (1178 posts) -

Poor Infogrames, but they've kinda had it coming for a long while now.

Avatar image for harlechquinn
#27 Edited by HarlechQuinn (456 posts) -

@Sferics said:

Did Atari still have the license(?) to do 'Wizards of the Coast' stuff?

@ArbitraryWater said:

I can't think of anything that Atari has made in recent years. I just wonder what will happen to the D&D license.

Afaik they lost the D&D license in 2011 to Hasbro based on a law suit from 2009...

Edit: Source

Avatar image for el_rickhead
#28 Posted by El_Rickhead (168 posts) -

@jakob187 said:

@Morningstar said:

@DrBeardface said:

Hope South Park comes out.

And company of heroes 2..

...and Metro Last Light...

and Star Wars Battlefront 3...

Avatar image for terranova
#29 Edited by Terranova (635 posts) -

While i'm interested in the south park game so i hope it ends up well i'm more looking forward to Metro last light, I sure hope that still gets released and a decent publisher picks it up, i would hate for it to just dissapear or the new publisher wanting to make changes.

Avatar image for nictel
#30 Posted by Nictel (2695 posts) -

So wonder if I have placed a high enough bid for Saints Row.

It's going to be all Quick Time Events and Escort missions from now on! And not the pretty girls kind of escort, no the kind of replay this mission 10 times because the dude you are supposed to protect keeps walking in to your gun kind of escort missions!

Avatar image for winsord
#31 Posted by Winsord (1497 posts) -

I wonder what will happen with Test Drive. Seems most likely that it'll just get left in the dust, seeing as Forza Horizon basically is Test Drive 3. The concern with the other games is someone buys them and starts making really awful new versions, a bit like what happened to Yar's Revenge (though that was still published by Atari).

Avatar image for paulwade1984
#32 Posted by paulwade1984 (493 posts) -

I read about the Atari stuff yesterday...

Avatar image for brodehouse
#33 Posted by Brodehouse (10827 posts) -

@Sferics said:

Did Atari still have the license(?) to do 'Wizards of the Coast' stuff?

God, I hope not. Hopefully EA or Bethesda or anyone who isn't Activision gets the Wizards license. Maybe D&D games won't be fucking terrible anymore.

@Pudge said:

Wouldn't it be dumb if EA bought the Test Drive name and released Need For Speed: Test Drive and it was a Burnout game made by Criteron?

THIS IS THE BEST KIND OF DUMB.

Also I will put dollars to donuts that no matter what happens with South Park: The Stick of Truth, Obsidian will wind up getting fucked over. I don't know who fucks them over, I just know that Obsidian cannot make a game without getting fucked over.

Avatar image for shodan2020
#34 Posted by shodan2020 (830 posts) -

Man, this is a bummer.

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#35 Posted by Stimpack (1002 posts) -

@ripelivejam said:

and homefront 2 :w

I demand that this be stricken from the record, your honor.

Avatar image for colourful_hippie
#36 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (5463 posts) -

@Nictel said:

So wonder if I have placed a high enough bid for Saints Row.

It's going to be all Quick Time Events and Escort missions from now on! And not the pretty girls kind of escort, no the kind of replay this mission 10 times because the dude you are supposed to protect keeps walking in to your gun kind of escort missions!

I'd buy that for a dollar.

Avatar image for murdoc_
#37 Edited by Murdoc_ (641 posts) -

wrong thread. :)

Avatar image for steadying
#38 Posted by Steadying (1887 posts) -

This makes me sad ;^;

Avatar image for crosstheatlantic
#39 Posted by CrossTheAtlantic (1154 posts) -

@Pudge said:

Wouldn't it be dumb if EA bought the Test Drive name and released Need For Speed: Test Drive and it was a Burnout game made by Criteron?

It'd kind of be the perfect encapsulation of this generation.

Avatar image for pimblycharles
#40 Posted by PimblyCharles (1834 posts) -

I hope Obsidian doesn't get too shafted by possible change of publisher. Southpark Studios wouldn't self publish if they thought the game was shit anyways, so if anything this could be good news

Avatar image for wintersnowblind
#41 Posted by WinterSnowblind (7598 posts) -

Oh, Obsidian. How fate works against you.

Avatar image for synthesis_landale
#42 Edited by synthesis_landale (153 posts) -
Avatar image for epicsteve
#43 Posted by EpicSteve (6908 posts) -

I think the whole South Park element sounds totally fair.

Avatar image for giantstalker
#44 Posted by Giantstalker (2136 posts) -

I'm lighting a candle for Relic Entertainment.

They're one of the finest PC developers out there, and deserve nothing but the best from a new owner.

Also, I have a pre-order down on Company of Heroes 2 and really, really want to see something done with Homeworld.

Avatar image for eddiephlash
#45 Posted by eddiephlash (179 posts) -

damnit, I really hope greed doesn't ruin what looked to be the first good south park game.

Avatar image for draxyle
#46 Posted by Draxyle (2007 posts) -

@WinterSnowblind said:

Oh, Obsidian. How fate works against you.

And this was looking to be one of the rare times a publisher wasn't screwing them over; Murphy's Law had to go into effect.

Luckily this probably won't effect the outcome of the game at all, but this has to be a major headache and a financial sink for all those involved.

Avatar image for morten81
#47 Edited by mORTEN81 (62 posts) -

Yes yes that's all fine and South Park will be great and all that, but man.. The possibility that Atari will go mobile only is scary shit. In that event I hope they'll make a ton of money and put some of them back into bigger games, cause... Look where that got them. Imagine if it was capcom at some point.. EA presents street fighter, complete with capcom on disc dlc model, missing "true ending", origin account required, online pass and servers being shut down every other two years..

Avatar image for heatdrive88
#48 Posted by heatDrive88 (2799 posts) -

@CrossTheAtlantic said:

@Pudge said:

Wouldn't it be dumb if EA bought the Test Drive name and released Need For Speed: Test Drive and it was a Burnout game made by Criteron?

It'd kind of be the perfect encapsulation of this generation.

Actually if you asked me, the best move EA can make is to buy the Test Drive name so it can monopolize the market on long-standing (or dying) racing franchise names. Granted, it's not a healthy choice, but if I owned EA, it's what I would do.

And who knows, they could turn the Test Drive name into... oh I don't know... let's say... a cloud gaming service.

Avatar image for fox01313
#49 Posted by fox01313 (5186 posts) -

Hope this all gets resolved soon for THQ & Atari (or at least just the teams on Test Drive Unlimited) so they can get back to making games.

Avatar image for pudge
#50 Posted by Pudge (1133 posts) -

@heatDrive88 said:

@CrossTheAtlantic said:

@Pudge said:

Wouldn't it be dumb if EA bought the Test Drive name and released Need For Speed: Test Drive and it was a Burnout game made by Criteron?

It'd kind of be the perfect encapsulation of this generation.

Actually if you asked me, the best move EA can make is to buy the Test Drive name so it can monopolize the market on long-standing (or dying) racing franchise names. Granted, it's not a healthy choice, but if I owned EA, it's what I would do.

And who knows, they could turn the Test Drive name into... oh I don't know... let's say... a cloud gaming service.

Coming to EA Origin in 2014!

Try out the latest Hawt EA demos with EA Test Drive!

Hop your save games onto other devices with EA Bullfrog!

Battle your friends in the EA Battlezone!

EA! We sound familiar!