UPDATE: THQ is auctioned off

The company breaks up and sells its assets.

UPDATE: Following the news that Vigil Games and its IP, Darksiders, did not get picked up in the THQ auction, Executive Director and Producer of Platinum Games Atsushi Inaba tweeted his interest in buying the franchise.

“Oh man in THQ’s big sale it looks like nobody’s bought Darksiders … I’d love to buy that (if it was cheap),” read the tweet, translated from Japanese.

Platinum Games has since denied to comment on the tweet by Inaba. The studio is behind Bayonetta, Vanquish, and Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.

Original Story: THQ will be no more. After filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for its U.S. operations last month, the company has decided to dissolve the company and has sold off assets at piecemeal via a 22-hour auction.

Several of the major publisher’s titles and studios have been acquired by other companies within the industry. However, THQ’s publishing business and Vigil Games, in addition to other intellectual properties, were not included in the sale agreement. If those projects and businesses can’t find a buyer, their workers will become unemployed.

As for the studios and projects that were salvaged through the auction, the list of their buyers and the amount they were purchased for can be found here:

  • SEGA will purchase Relic Entertainment, the developer of Company of Heroes 2, for $26.6 million, with ZeniMax Media acting as a back-up bidder at $26.3 million.
  • Koch Media, parent company of Deep Silver, will purchase Volition Games and its main franchise, Saints Row, in addition to the Metro franchise for $22.3 million and $5.8 million respectively. The company revealed in a statement that “Koch Media and Deep Silver will roll out future plans for each franchise in the coming months.”
  • Crytek will purchase the Homefront franchise for $500,000.
  • Take-Two Interactive will purchase Evolve for $10.8 million after outbidding Turtle Rock, the game’s developer.
  • Ubisoft will purchase THQ Montreal, the developer of Assassin’s Creed creator Patrice Desilets’ project codenamed 1666, for $2.5 million and South Park: The Stick of Truth for $3.265 million. Ubisoft has announced that the latter title “is scheduled for release in calendar 2013.”

It is currently unknown whether or not Desilets’, who left Ubisoft for THQ in 2011, will stick around following the acquisition.

“It’s too soon to say [if Desilets will return] for certain, but we are very excited about THQ Montreal becoming part Ubisoft,” said a representative for Ubisoft. “In the coming weeks we’ll be looking at how to offer an organizational structure that provides continuity for the creative teams involved. Unannounced projects from THQ Montreal are included as part of the acquisition.”

As for arguably THQ’s biggest franchise, WWE, a report has surfaced that Take-Two, parent company of 2K Games, will purchase the license. Details are yet to be finalized and terms of the sale are unknown, with the negotiations over the property taking place outside of the formal auction process.

Earlier today, THQ CEO Brian Farrell and President Jason Rubin sent a letter to employees announcing the official dissolving of the company. While they couldn’t make any promises, they believe that most employees from the assets sold will be able to find jobs with their new employers. The two are also seeking the ability to offer severance pay in order to “minimize disruption for employees of non-included entities as they determine the next steps in their careers.”

You can read the full letter sent by Farrell and Rubin below:

January 23, 2013

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 :

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.


Brian Farrell

Chief Executive Officer

Jason Rubin


What are your thoughts on this major shift in the videogame industry with THQ’s breakup? Let us know in the comments section.



  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Myspace
  • Google Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Stumnleupon
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Technorati
Author: Mike Murphy View all posts by
Mike has been playing games for over two decades. His earliest memories are of shooting ducks and stomping goombas on NES, and over the years, the hobby became one of his biggest passions. Mike has worked with GamerNode as a writer and editor since 2009, giving you news, reviews, previews, a voice on the VS Node Podcast, and much more.

Leave A Response

You must be logged in to post a comment.