THQ Officially Dissolving as Bankruptcy Auction Yields Multiple Buyers [UPDATEDx2]

Posted by Alex (2294 posts) -
Goodnight, sweet publisher.

THQ is no more.

The publisher, which found itself on the wrong end of a bankruptcy-induced auction yesterday, will dissolve as soon as its bankruptcy hearing and subsequent sales transitions are completed. Confirmation of this news comes in the form of a letter sent to THQ employees today, which was obtained by Kotaku. According to the letter:

That leaves a few properties and studios unaccounted for, most notably Darksiders developers Vigil Games, as well as the company's long-held WWE license. The letter outlines that THQ will be making every effort to find buyers for the remaining properties. However, outside of a skeleton crew remaining to help with the transition, THQ's primary staff is apparently being laid off.

We'll update this story as more information becomes available.

Update: DDInvesting, who has been covering the THQ hearings with great regularity, has posted the prices apparently paid for the individual properties. They are as follows:

  • $500k Homefront (Crytek)
  • $26M for Relic (Sega)
  • $2.5M for THQ Montreal (Ubisoft)
  • $3.2M for South Park (Ubisoft)
  • $11M for Evolve (Take-Two)
  • $22.3M for Volition (Koch Media)
  • $5.8M for Metro (Koch Media)

Update 2: Both Ubisoft and Koch Media have sent out press releases confirming the purchases. Koch provided few concrete details, except to say that its publishing arm Deep Silver would be at the head for continued development in the Metro and Saints Row franchises, and that more details on each franchise would be coming in the next few months. As for Ubisoft, its press release simply confirms the aforementioned purchases, but does at least note that South Park: The Stick of Truth is still scheduled for release this year.

Elsewhere, IGN is reporting that Take-Two Interactive has stepped up to take control of the WWE game license. We've sent a confirmation request to Take-Two's representatives and will update with a response if we receive one.

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#1 Posted by Alex (2294 posts) -
Goodnight, sweet publisher.

THQ is no more.

The publisher, which found itself on the wrong end of a bankruptcy-induced auction yesterday, will dissolve as soon as its bankruptcy hearing and subsequent sales transitions are completed. Confirmation of this news comes in the form of a letter sent to THQ employees today, which was obtained by Kotaku. According to the letter:

That leaves a few properties and studios unaccounted for, most notably Darksiders developers Vigil Games, as well as the company's long-held WWE license. The letter outlines that THQ will be making every effort to find buyers for the remaining properties. However, outside of a skeleton crew remaining to help with the transition, THQ's primary staff is apparently being laid off.

We'll update this story as more information becomes available.

Update: DDInvesting, who has been covering the THQ hearings with great regularity, has posted the prices apparently paid for the individual properties. They are as follows:

  • $500k Homefront (Crytek)
  • $26M for Relic (Sega)
  • $2.5M for THQ Montreal (Ubisoft)
  • $3.2M for South Park (Ubisoft)
  • $11M for Evolve (Take-Two)
  • $22.3M for Volition (Koch Media)
  • $5.8M for Metro (Koch Media)

Update 2: Both Ubisoft and Koch Media have sent out press releases confirming the purchases. Koch provided few concrete details, except to say that its publishing arm Deep Silver would be at the head for continued development in the Metro and Saints Row franchises, and that more details on each franchise would be coming in the next few months. As for Ubisoft, its press release simply confirms the aforementioned purchases, but does at least note that South Park: The Stick of Truth is still scheduled for release this year.

Elsewhere, IGN is reporting that Take-Two Interactive has stepped up to take control of the WWE game license. We've sent a confirmation request to Take-Two's representatives and will update with a response if we receive one.

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#2 Edited by 400lb_Gorilla (20 posts) -

Not sure how I feel about Deep Silver getting Saints Row. Also surprised that Sony, Microsoft, or Nintendo didn't make a move considering we are moving back into a part of the console cycle where first party games become much more important.

#3 Posted by CrossTheAtlantic (1146 posts) -

@400lb_Gorilla: Same. Not to mention Metro as well.

#4 Posted by Rincewind (253 posts) -

Sega is going to ruin COH

#5 Posted by DjTann3r (214 posts) -

:(

#6 Posted by dr_mantas (1982 posts) -

Koch? Sega? So much out of left field.

#7 Posted by RiccochetJ (19 posts) -

RIP Vigil :(

#8 Posted by StarvingGamer (8380 posts) -

"for some reason"

Hah!

#9 Posted by a5ehren (62 posts) -

@400lb_Gorilla said:

Not sure how I feel about Deep Silver getting Saints Row.

Even beyond the recent controversy, they have a pretty bad history of publishing bad games. I can't imagine Volition will get a bigger budget or anything.

#10 Posted by MooseyMcMan (11303 posts) -

If nothing else, at least Volition and Saints Row are still together.

Moderator
#11 Edited by Ett (206 posts) -

SEGA is now the biggest RTS company in gaming... weird.

#12 Posted by a5ehren (62 posts) -

Also a fun note - the Homefront franchise rights were sold for a whopping $500,000. Volition and Relic brought back over $20M each.

#13 Posted by Seedofpower (3937 posts) -

Thank god. No EA, I was getting worried.

#14 Posted by Chris2KLee (2337 posts) -

Man, what a mess. I hope Relic does well under Sega, and I hope someone takes Vigil. Darksiders 2 might not have set the world on fire, but I would love them to make another.

#15 Posted by ZombiePie (5710 posts) -
Sega will be taking control of Company of Heroes developer Relic Entertainment.

I bet top dollar that Relic is going to become a division of The Creative Assembly, which is part of Sega Europe, or there's going to be collaboration between the two seeing how The Creative Assembly is planning on making non 40k Warhammer games. So this is good news for Warhammer and Relic fans because now Relic is part of a program that knows how to make and promote strategy games.

Crazy to hear Vigil games go under.

Moderator
#16 Posted by Rirse (267 posts) -

@Rincewind said:

Sega is going to ruin COH

Just like they ruined Creative Assembly, their OTHER strategy game company?

#17 Posted by Chrjz (336 posts) -

This is weird.

#18 Posted by a5ehren (62 posts) -

@Seedofpower said:

Thank god. No EA, I was getting worried.

You should check out Deep Silver's publishing history before you say that.

#19 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

@Alex said:

  • $500k Homefront (Crytek)

This is the real tragedy here. Knock off one zero and the k and maybe you'd have a decent price.

#20 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

Well, , at least you can rest assured with the knowledge that nobody was willing to pay a lot for the rights to Homefront, at least compared to everything else at the auction.

#21 Posted by posh (504 posts) -

how much influence do publishers have over games beyond budget allocation? if it's the same dev teams these purchases shouldn't be too important, right?

#22 Posted by MrGtD (469 posts) -

I didn't know my expectations for Saints Row 4 could go any lower.

#23 Posted by Krataur (371 posts) -

Sega owns Relic now...weird. I'm hoping for some kind of Creative Assembly/Relic collab in the future.

#24 Edited by SolidOcelot (334 posts) -

Well Crytek was working on Homefront 2, so I guess that makes sense.

Also I thought the letter stated that Take-Two picked up Vigil and the Darksiders franchise.

#25 Posted by Barrabas (326 posts) -

I hope Sega also got Relic's IPs. Well I'm sure the Warhammer 40K one goes back to Games Workshop to give to whomever they please. I guess Company of Heroes doesn't matter too much because Relic can just make another WWII game with a different name. I hope Sega got the Homeworld IP.

#26 Posted by Confirm4Crit (143 posts) -

Do we assume that COH goes with Relic?

#27 Posted by Lyfeforce (385 posts) -

"Crytek has purchased the rights to the Homefront franchise for some reason."

I have two responses to this:

First, positive thinking-type reaction: Well if someone was going to right that Titanic, might as well be Crytek

Second, gut instinct reaction: dafuq?

#28 Posted by Derekh1029 (55 posts) -

26 Million for Relic as the most valuable is awesome. Relic is such a good studio. Glad They will get to keep making games!!

#29 Posted by Elwoodan (843 posts) -

Technically it's Techland's fault Dead Island is middling, as long as they leave Volition to their work that means more SR, and, if they thought the torso thing was a good idea, SR can pretty much get away with anything.

#30 Posted by ripelivejam (4311 posts) -

deep silver was a big surprise, pretty good get for them. what have they done besides dead island that was big? hope vigil finds a home...

#31 Posted by MrMazz (1023 posts) -

Not sure I'd want KOCH to own the rights for Saints Row they don't exactly have a good track record. Would of much rather seen EA own them.

Sega seems to have made out the best with Relic and CoH.

#32 Posted by a5ehren (62 posts) -

@Barrabas said:

I hope Sega also got Relic's IPs. Well I'm sure the Warhammer 40K one goes back to Games Workshop to give to whomever they please. I guess Company of Heroes doesn't matter too much because Relic can just make another WWII game with a different name. I hope Sega got the Homeworld IP.

AFAIK, the Homeworld IP was owned by Sierra, who was bought and shut down by Activision.

#33 Posted by DoctorWelch (2774 posts) -

Interesting.

#34 Posted by TheBioLover (68 posts) -

Koch also owns Red Faction, I believe.

#35 Posted by WinterSnowblind (7617 posts) -

@Seedofpower said:

Thank god. No EA, I was getting worried.

Apparently EA got the WWE licence.

#36 Posted by Poppduder (460 posts) -

Holy crap, with enough effort I could have pieced together the money for Homefront myself.  No wonder it sold, half a mil for a franchise must be chump change for Crytek.

#37 Edited by Fleck0 (82 posts) -

Could not be happier about Sega picking up Relic. They've really been doing right by PC gamer the last few years

Glad that EA isn't in this article (yet)

#38 Posted by TepidShark (1061 posts) -
#39 Posted by a5ehren (62 posts) -

@ripelivejam said:

deep silver was a big surprise, pretty good get for them. what have they done besides dead island that was big? hope vigil finds a home...

They did a Stalker prequel and the X space sims. Then a bunch of really, really bad games. I'm sure Alex Navarro has seen plenty of their handiwork over the years.

#40 Posted by Vexxan (4623 posts) -

Someone bought Homefront and not Darksiders?

What.

#41 Posted by Scroll (601 posts) -

Relic will be fine with Sega. Company of heroes 2 is safe and hopefully the Atlas project continues. Oh and HOMEWORLD 3 PLEASE

#42 Posted by _Chad (962 posts) -

As long as Volition gets to keep making Saints Row their way I'll be happy.

#43 Posted by daggon55 (114 posts) -

@posh said:

how much influence do publishers have over games beyond budget allocation? if it's the same dev teams these purchases shouldn't be too important, right?

Budget allocation is about the largest influence you can have. If a new publisher can't support what the studio is used to they may not be able to retain all their staff.

#44 Posted by Enai (207 posts) -

Total War isn't that bad, so it comes as good news to me that Sega acquired the rights to Company of Heroes. Hopefully this ensures that the series continues as it is, a solid RTS, and won't be diluted to some FPS knock-off, ala Command and Conquer Renegade when EA acquired Westwood. C&C 4 also comes to mind. Maybe i'm just pleased that EA in particular didn't get the rights. I suppose they have enough trouble with the C&C franchise to not even bother with Company of Heroes.

#45 Posted by Weeber (36 posts) -

Did SEGA take the Homeworld IP?

Sega has done right with creative assembly, seems like a good place for Relic

#46 Posted by a5ehren (62 posts) -

@Vexxan said:

Someone bought Homefront and not Darksiders?

What.

DS2 just came out. Whoever bought Vigil/Darksiders would have to commit a few million dollars to get the next installment made. I assume the companies involved looked at the numbers and decided that didn't make any sense.

#47 Posted by Elwoodan (843 posts) -

Relic will almost certainly keep the 40K licence, as Games Worksjop has said in the past that they love to work with Relic, who respects their IP, so if GW has a choice I'm sure it'll stick with Relic.

#48 Posted by Stimpack (902 posts) -

Koch Media. That's crazy. I don't know how I feel about most of this, but at least it isn't EA and at least it wasn't all bought up by one company. So you know the companies who bought these franchises will more than likely not abandon them.

Also, I really dislike Ubisoft.

#49 Posted by Baltimore (277 posts) -

Ubisoft getting South Park isn't a bad idea. That's going to bring them a lot of money. Koch Media getting Volition sounds like a perfect fit. Volition is going to have a dismembered torso as a weapon in the next Saints Row, just you wait. The others sound ok. Not sure what these companies are going to do with what they just bought though. Still, the creditors were right. They got more than $60 million selling everything separately ($71.3 million).

#50 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (1090 posts) -

Oh great, looks like there will be no more good Warhammer 40K games

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