THQ Auction Results And Farewell

By   /   Jan 24, 2013


THQ officially comes to an end and consequently, it had to sell off its assets in an auction. This brought about some interesting developments including a new title never heard of before.

The title came to light when THQ Montreal was bought by Ubisoft, the only bidder, for $2.5 million. THQ Montreal was working on 1666 which popped up before in bankruptcy documents and Underdog, a title never heard about before and both of them are now in the hands of Ubisoft. The game is still a secret as no other details other than the name have come forth. Ubisoft also bought the rights to the upcoming game South Park: The Stick of Truth for $3.2 million.

Koch Media the company behind the Publisher Deep Silver also participated. Deep silver has been responsible for bringing out hundreds of games since it was created in 2002, one of the last prominent titles being Dead Island. Koch Media bought Volition, the developers behind Saints Row, including the Saints Row IP for $23 million. They also bought the IP for the Metro games, Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light.

The franchises seem to have a safe future as CEO of Koch Media, Dr. Klemens Kundratitz, stated that “these franchises hold a special place in the hearts and minds of anyone who loves exceptional video games. We’re thrilled to usher in a new era for these franchises and are proud to welcome the visionaries and talented forces at Volition on board” and that “Deep Silver is perfectly positioned to lead these brands into the next generation of interactive entertainment for fans around the world.”

Another Franchise that has found a home is Company of Heroes. Sega bought Relic Studios including the IP for Company of Heroes for a hefty $26.6 million.

Take Two bought Evolve, the co-op action shooter game first revealed in the bankruptcy documents, for $11 million, outbidding the original developer Turtle Rock Studios.  On the other hand, Crytek bought the IP of the first person shooter Homefront for $500,000.

Vigil Studios, the developers of Darksiders, unfortunately won’t be up for sale and will join THQ in the bankruptcy case along with others such as De Blob and Destroy All Humans.
THQ chief executive officer Brian Farrell and President Jason Rubin released an official letter regarding the auction and potential lay-offs addressed to the employees:

“To All THQ Employees:
We now have the answers we’ve been seeking through our financial restructuring and
Chapter 11 case. While much will be written, here are the facts of the bids and auction
that occurred today:
Yesterday morning, we received a competing bid for the operating business,
along with Clearlake’s offer, and numerous offers for separate assets.
During an auction process that lasted over 22 hours, the final conclusion was
that the separate-asset bids would net more than a single buyer for the majority
of the company.

Shortly, we will, present the results to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, which must
concur with our assessment.
The proposed sales of multiple assets is as follows :

Sega agreed to purchase Relic

Koch Media agreed to purchase Volition and Metro

Crytek agreed to purchase Homefront

Take 2 agreed purchase Evolve and

Ubisoft agreed to purchase Montreal and South Park

We expect these sales to close this week.

Some assets, including our publishing businesses and Vigil, along with some other
intellectual properties are not included in the sale agreements. They will remain part of
the Chapter 11 case. We will make every effort to find appropriate buyers, if possible.
What this means for employees

We expect that most employees of the entities included in the sale will be offered
employment by the new owners. However, we cannot say what these owners may
intend, and there will likely be some positions that will not be needed under the
new ownership. You should receive notice this week or early next week if the new
owners intend to extend employment to you. Please note that the terms of your new
employment, including pay and benefits, may be different from the current terms of
your employment with THQ.

If you are an employee of an entity that is not included in the sale, we regret that
your position will end. A small number of our headquarters staff will continue to be
employed by THQ beyond January 25 to assist with the transition. THQ has sufficient
resources to pay these employees for work going forward, and we will be contacting
these employees immediately to ensure their continued employment during this
transition period. We are requesting the ability to offer certain severance pay to
minimize disruption for employees of non-included entities as they determine the next
steps in their careers.

We know you will have many questions about this news. We’ll be meeting tomorrow
when we return to talk through this announcement and to answer any questions you
have. You will receive a benefits fact sheet and FAQs with answers to some questions
that may be on your mind. Please review these materials closely.

A personal note

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.

Sincerely,
Brian Farrell
Chief Executive Officer

Jason Rubin
President”

THQ has been around since 1989. It was responsible for many games targeted at kids by buying licenses from the likes of Pixar and Nickelodeon. As everyone knows it also profited from the WWE brand. Along with many gems the studio also released many flops which ultimately led to its downfall. It is good to hear that many of its wonderful titles have found a home but still sad to hear that it is all coming to an end.

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