THQ Is Getting Sold Off Today

The sale of THQ's assets in federal bankruptcy court will be finalised today. Rumours are already spreading as to where THQ's studios and the series developed there have ended up.

A Relic Entertainment developer has said he's now an employee of Sega, but this has yet to be confirmed by Sega, THQ or the court.

Relic, the studio behind Company of Heroes and many of the Warhammer video games, was currently working on Company of Heroes 2. Its most recent release was Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine.

Additionally, Manveer Heir, a developer at BioWare in Montreal, said on his personal Twitter account that sources he knows within the industry said Ubisoft had purchased the THQ Montreal studio and the South Park licence, which includes the upcoming South Park: The Stick of Truth.

Update: The sale of THQ's assets has been confirmed in both a letter to employees and in a document just now filed in US Bankruptcy Court.

Here's the letter that THQ's CEO and president sent to all employees, passed along to us from a former THQ employee:

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 t:

  • 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 organisations.

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 recognised 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


Comments

    Please OH GOD please, release metro 2034 as a last present to you're fans

      Yeah one of the main games I'm looking forward to this year. I can't imagine it NOT being released, just a matter of when

      Err you mean Metro: Last Light, right.. Since Metro 2034 does not exist since it was changed to last light.

    Crytek with Homefront could be interesting.

      Well Crytek was already known to be making Homefront 2 since late 2011 I think, so I would have been very surprised if they didn't purchase it. :)

    Glad The Stick Of Truth is safe :)

      It's with Ubisoft, I wouldn't call that safe.

        Actually, I think it's been said that Matt Stone and Trey Parker are trying to acquire for South Park Digital Studios.
        If that's the case, we can breathe a huge sigh of relief.

          It's already confirmed that Ubisoft got South Park

            I doubt it's going to last.
            http://www.digitalspy.com.au/gaming/news/a453020/south-park-studios-request-stick-of-truth-pulled-from-thq-auction.html

      Ubisoft buying South Park pretty much makes it an instant PC failure.
      This not good news :(

        Not surprisingly kotaku failed to mention it but the south park license is nowhere being sold. Due to legal challenges from from south park studios

        Just because a game has Ubisoft involvement doesn't necessarily mean instant failure..... Just that it will be delayed and it'll have many patches, some of which might make the game worse...... Oh wait, no my mistake, that kind of does scream "FAILURE" lol.

      Safely tucked into uplay you mean? :(

        Hmmm... Thank you for instilling fear in me. All of you. It was necessary.

    "Sega agreed to purchase Relic"
    I just squirmed a little bit :S

    "Koch Media agreed to purchase Volition and Metro"
    Metro being developed by deep silver could be nice.

      Sega purchasing Relic I think is a good thing. Sega already has the license for fantasy Warhammer, and so it makes sense that they may also acquire it for 40k as well (although the 40k license wasn't part of the sale I don't think), which means we may see more Relic developed 40k games. Yay :)

      Last edited 24/01/13 9:40 am

      Metro is just IP rights, the original studio is still developing it as they're not owned by THQ.

      Deep Silver helped make STALKER, so they should have a good input.

      Last edited 24/01/13 11:43 am

        That is what I was thinking when I said could be nice.

    Vigil and Darksiders is still safely with THQ... for the moment this is good news.

    The distinct lack of sales to EA and Activision has me worried, my gut says they're fighting over Vigil... If EA does Darksiders 3 I'm not buying it, Darksiders doesn't need competitive multiplayer.

      I wouldn't say Vigil is safe. Quite the opposite actually, they are on the verge of extinction unless a buyer is found very soon.

        An extinct Vigil is better than a Vigil in EA's hands anyway... I'd rather see them shutdown than be sold to corruption incarnate.

      No, Vigil isn't safe at all. The divisions which were purchased are safe. Vigil and Darksiders will go down with the ship. It's right there in the letter:

      "If you are an employee of an entity that is not included in the sale, we regret that your position will end. "

      No one is fighting over them, Darksiders II sold poorly so it looks like no one is interested at all. Which sucks terribly.

        yeah, my bad for misreading... But as I said above: An extinct Vigil is better than a Vigil in EA's hands anyway... I'd rather see them shutdown than be sold to corruption incarnate.

          I'd take an EA-published Darksiders III over no Darksiders ever again, personally. :(

            Take a look at what EA do to popular franchises and see if you'd still say that (Dragon Age, Mass Effect, and potentially soon Dead Space given what I've heard about DS3)... Do you really want them to butcher the game for a quick buck?

        The letter also says:

        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.

        I don't know what the "Chapter 11 case" is, but by the sounds of things Vigil isn't quite dead yet. They are desperately looking for a buyer to keep them afloat. For the sake of all of the employees there I hope they are picked up by someone soon. The comment about employee's positions ending was probably not aimed directly at Vigil, at least not yet.

          I really hope so. I think they had really unrealistic sales expectations for Darksiders II and when they didn't meet them - they never would have met them - it scared a lot of people off. Which is a shame because it's a really good game, aside from the abrupt ending.

          Despite that, the reports out of Vigil is that everyone is gone. The walls are bare and the seats are empty and the developers are already starting to move to other companies.

          RIP Vigil :(

    This outcome is a little sad, but it's not at all unexpected. THQ always had its problems, but I still loved working for them. There was always so much potential there, even if it was almost never realised.

    If vigil falls apart I'll be shattered! Darksiders is a great series that deserves more content and Vigil seems like a capable team in general! Damn :(

    Let us not forget that Sega has the Total War franchise too. Sega purchased Relic but it doesn't look like they've purchased the Company of Heroes franchise. So Relic will have to change it's name and the units around a bit, give COH2 another title. And then maybe they could help out on the Total War series.

      thats not how it works, if Company of Heroes IP is sold off to say another buyer, they dont get the name, they get every Company of Heroes property sitting around at Relic Studios, includes all the assets for CoH2. So lets hope that the sale of Relic happened to include CoH in it.

        If the sale goes through, SEGA gets Relic and the Company of Heroes IP, that's confirmed. What isn't known for sure is what is happening with the 40k license and Dawn of War.

    Gamers should pitch in and make a bid for Mohawk & Headphone Jack http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohawk_%26_Headphone_Jack

    I think if we gather 2, maybe 3 dollars it will be ours.

    is metro still being developed by 4a or another dev?

    Wait, does this mean Patrice Is back at Ubisoft now?

    I believe that the 40k licence (including all 40k titles) will go with Relic, the issue is what the agreement of additional products is with Games Workshop as it is thier IP and not THQ's to sell off.

    im sad too see THQ fall, i dont think they ever realy found the spot the needed to be in, think they tried to play too much like the big boys and not focus on what they have/are.

      http://investor.thq.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=96376&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1554246&highlight

    So who got the Saints Row franchise? I missed that part..

      Volition went to Koch media... they took the Saints Row and Red Faction IP's with them.

      Actually, didn't Volition make Decent too, did the own that IP or was that lost when THQ first bought them?

        Ah right, cheers!

        Not a clue on that one sorry =P

    @vaegrand

    From their Pachinko business in Japan, Sega has an enormous reserve of cash... like EA and Activision numbers.
    The also own 'The Creative Assembly' who are the people behind Total War.

    Personally, I hope the fund a new Homeworld game.

    Last edited 24/01/13 4:07 pm

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