It looks like we finally have a conclusion to THQ’s troubled story. Just a few weeks ago the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and laid out its plans to keep the company going; things didn’t go as planned. On Wednesday, THQ’s assets were auctioned off to a number of different game publishers like Sega and Ubisoft, effectively ending the company and putting many of its employees in jeopardy.
The results of the auction were as follows. Relic Entertainment, makers of Company of Heroes, was sold off to Sega for $26.6 million. Evolve, a title currently in development by Turtle Rock Studios, was bought by Take-Two Interactive for $10.894 million. Turtle Rock attempted to buy the rights to the game themselves, but were only able to bid $250,000. The Homefront series was bought by Crytek for $544,218; the company has been working on a sequel and now owns the rights.
Koch Media was one of the biggest players at the auction and took a number of properties. They’re primarily known for their gaming division, Deep Silver, publisher of Dead Island. They swept up the Metro series and its upcoming sequel Metro: Last Light for $5.87 million. Their biggest victory, though, was the purchase of Volition, Inc. and the Saints Row franchise for $22.3 million. The last big player at the auction was Ubisoft, who took a few key assets.
The French publisher bought up THQ Montreal for the low price of $2.5 million. The studio currently has two titles under development, 1666 and Underdog. Ubisoft also picked up the South Park license from THQ for $3.2 million. This now makes them the owners of the upcoming RPG, South Park: The Stick of Truth which will be out on March 5. Other THQ assets such as the Darksiders franchise and Vigil Games failed to garner enough interest to be sold and the studio appears to be facing termination.
THQ says they will try to find buyers for the remaining properties, but those who work for entities not included in the sale will likely lose their jobs. The company will keep on some staff members to aid in the transition period, but after that completes THQ will effectively cease to exist. A sad conclusion to a troubled company, but hopefully those affected will find new employment.
I will end with this small excerpt from the letter employees received regarding their future, it is from CEO Brian Farrell and President Jason Rubin.
“The work that you all have done as part of the THQ family is imaginative, creative, artistic and highly valued by our loyal gamers. We are proud of what we have accomplished despite today’s outcome.
It has been our privilege to work alongside the entire THQ team. While the company will cease to exist, we are heartened that the majority of our studios and games will continue under new ownership. We were hoping that the entire company would remain intact, but we expect to hear good news from each of the separate entities that will be operating as part of new organizations.
For those THQ employees who are part of entities that are not included in the sale, we are confident that the talent you have displayed as part of THQ will be recognized as you take the next steps in your career.
Thank you all for your dedication and for sharing your talent with the THQ team. We wish you the best of luck and hope you will keep in touch.”