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Topic: THQ get their assets auctioned off. (RIP mid tier retail development)

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shingi_70

1. Posted:

After adjourning its first hearing today, THQ reconvened at 3:00PM and announced that a compromised was made among various parties. A form of order has yet to be presented but the general takeaways:

Bids are due 9am January 22nd
Auction will be held 3pm on January 22nd
Sale Hearing January 23rd at 9am
The auction will allow for bidders to bid on only certain assets (titles, studios, etc) in the auction

Other details from the hearing concerned the minimum overbid which was reduced as well as the extension of Clearlake Capital's DIP term loan to January 25th (as an over-advance line).

In the morning hearing, it was announced that Clearlake Capital's bid would remove the $10M 2% note they originally had offered in exchange for extending the auction deadline. One thing to note: It remains to be seen how much secured debt (and for that matter assumed liabilities) will there actually be on the auction date. It was noted in the hearing this morning the company has begun the "slow pay" its bills which would alleviate need for cash but in theory increased assumed liabilities to a purchaser. As has been noted in the hearing, Clearlake can pick and choose which liabilities its assuming, but their counsel did note that it would be a more concrete number (to determine overbids) at the auction.

Currently bonds are trading in the 15-16 context. I had heard from traders on Friday that bonds were difficult to find (the issue is only $100M) but some bonds have traded this morning.

For bondholders, the only recovery (under Clearlake's stalking horse bids) they were going to receive was the $10M promissory note which seems to have been pulled away. If any of the parties involved (so far EA, Warner Brothers have been named in court) bid for all or just some of the titles, there is a chance bond holders could see a recovery here. Exact bid procedures have yet to be filed so I do not have a good assessment on how bids will be evaluated.

For instance, what happens if two studios are purchased for an aggregate consideration more than Clearlake's bid but the remaining studios need to be wound down? That may actually drain resources from the estate for wind down expenses.

For what its worth, when I first saw Clearlake's bid I wanted to be an LP in their fund because they would make a fortune off their purchase price. Given the way cash flows will begin to pick up (and possibly roll in if they are successful, not to mention cash already overseas) at THQI after their two releases in the first half of this year, with which a lot of developmental costs have been already spent, the return to Clearlake would have been impressive.

A few questions remain: Where are the massive swings in potential unsecured liabilities (from the first day affidavit) from Europe arising from? No one has given me a good answer on that. Why hasn't bond holders (or strategics for that matter) stepped up with their own DIP?

As we get more answers, we will update readers, especially after new items hit the docket.

Rumored that this guy is going to live tweet the thing.

https://mobile.twitter.com/DDInvesting/tweets

So far the conftimed bidders are Warmer Bros, EA, Double Fine and clear lake.

Here's a PDF featuring people who THQ had contracts with.

Also a list of THQ's studios

Volition
Vigil Games
Relic Entertainment
THQ Montreal
Play THQ

IP

Saint's Row
Red Faction
Darksiders
Due Blob
Lock's Quest
Drawn to Life
Company of Heroes
Costume Quest
Stackling
Home front
Metamorphosis (the turtle Rock game)
Project Clearwater (Patrice Desilets game)

The current developer agreements THQ has are

South Park Studios/Obsidian Games - South Park the Game
Turtle Rock Studios- Metamorphosis
WWE/Yuke- WWE
Crytek- Homefront 2
Valhalla Games - Devil's Their IP transfer

THQ also has Durango dev kits

Edited on by shingi_70

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Tasuki

2. Posted:

The only one that interests me is WWE. I wonder if WWE will be able to choose who they go with, like TNA did when Midway closed down or if the license will be sold off to another company.

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The_Fox

3. Posted:

I'm curious as to what will happen to the Warhammer franchise.

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CanisWolfred

4. Posted:

The_Fox wrote:

I'm curious as to what will happen to the Warhammer franchise.

As am I...

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Kyloctopus

5. Posted:

Its sad to see them do this, they are a very potentious company.
I'm very interested what will happen to the Homefront series. (If the sequel is still in development)

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Bankai

6. Posted:

CanisWolfred wrote:

The_Fox wrote:

I'm curious as to what will happen to the Warhammer franchise.

As am I...

We had this discussion last time and everyone got confused.

It seems THQ never had exclusive rights to Warhammer. EA made an MMO based on the franchise, and Games Workshop recently granted a small team the license for an iPad game.

Furthermore, Namco Bandai published Warhammer: Battle March a few years back on the Xbox 360 and PC.

Regardless, it's up to Games Workshop what happens to the Warhammer franchise, not THQ, its creditors, or its buyers. Worst case scenario is we have to wait a few years while the current contracts with THQ run out.

Given that THQ was hell bent on turning a strategy game into a mindnumbing action slog-a-thon, it can only get better for Warhammer from here.

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CanisWolfred

7. Posted:

The RTS games were really fun. Some of the best in the business. That's why I'm worried.

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Bankai

8. Posted:

CanisWolfred wrote:

The RTS games were really fun. Some of the best in the business. That's why I'm worried.

The best RTS games had nothing to do with THQ though.

Namco Bandai published Battle March/ Mark of Chaos: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warhammer:_Mark_of_Chaos

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CanisWolfred

9. Posted:

Bankai wrote:

CanisWolfred wrote:

The RTS games were really fun. Some of the best in the business. That's why I'm worried.

The best RTS games had nothing to do with THQ though.

Namco Bandai published Battle March/ Mark of Chaos: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warhammer:_Mark_of_Chaos

Those ones sucked. <_< Dawn of War FTW!

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CrimsonFire

10. Posted:

I want Darksiders to go to Ubisoft

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the_shpydar

11. Posted:

Tasuki wrote:

The only one that interests me is WWE. I wonder if WWE will be able to choose who they go with, like TNA did when Midway closed down or if the license will be sold off to another company.

Either way it goes, i would honestly be surprised if the WWE license doesn't go to or get snatched up by EA.

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Tasuki

12. Posted:

the_shpydar wrote:

Tasuki wrote:

The only one that interests me is WWE. I wonder if WWE will be able to choose who they go with, like TNA did when Midway closed down or if the license will be sold off to another company.

Either way it goes, i would honestly be surprised if the WWE license doesn't go to or get snatched up by EA.

God I hope not.

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the_shpydar

13. Posted:

Tasuki wrote:

the_shpydar wrote:

Tasuki wrote:

The only one that interests me is WWE. I wonder if WWE will be able to choose who they go with, like TNA did when Midway closed down or if the license will be sold off to another company.

Either way it goes, i would honestly be surprised if the WWE license doesn't go to or get snatched up by EA.

God I hope not.

Meh, EA would be a good fit for the WWE license. Annual entries and experience with sports-based franchises and all that. I think they'd do fine with it; it all really depends on the developers and game designers that they have work on the entries.

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Odnetnin

14. Posted:

I'm looking at the mobile site, so it didn't show the name if the OP before I clicked on the thread. Anyway, for some reason I was able to guess it was you just from the title, Shingi.

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edhe

15. Posted:

Bankai wrote:

Regardless, it's up to Games Workshop what happens to the Warhammer franchise, not THQ, its creditors, or its buyers. Worst case scenario is we have to wait a few years while the current contracts with THQ run out.

On a related note South Park Studios are fighting the sale of the South Park IP....

I had my eye on this one.

And of course, I've been enjoying Saints Row (2+3), so I hope it finds a nice owner. Anyone but Rockstar, really. I fear Rockstar might throw it under the bus in favour of its own Grand Theft Auto series. As for EA and Activision, well, you couldn't find a game with more DLC with Saints Row the 3rd, and most of it was crap, so I doubt it would be such a bad thing for either of them to own the franchise.

BUT! If EA were to get it, tie it to Origin, implement a form of DLC where you can only play it with a consistent internet connection (storing your saves on a cloud so that you can't access them freely - let alone load from an earlier point), AND dumb it down to Sim City (2013) levels, then I'd be dissapointed.

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Tasuki

16. Posted:

the_shpydar wrote:

Tasuki wrote:

the_shpydar wrote:

Tasuki wrote:

The only one that interests me is WWE. I wonder if WWE will be able to choose who they go with, like TNA did when Midway closed down or if the license will be sold off to another company.

Either way it goes, i would honestly be surprised if the WWE license doesn't go to or get snatched up by EA.

God I hope not.

Meh, EA would be a good fit for the WWE license. Annual entries and experience with sports-based franchises and all that. I think they'd do fine with it; it all really depends on the developers and game designers that they have work on the entries.

Yeah you do have a point there. The one think I noticed is that WWE keeps an eye on who does what with their licenses so it probably wont end up a disaster if EA were to get it.

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Splat

17. Posted:

http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/01/23/wwe-video-game-license...

The era of THQ wrestling games is over. Sources have indicated to IGN that the WWE game franchise will be sold to Take Two, parent company of 2K. Terms of the sale are unknown at this time, as details have not been finalized. These negotiations appear to have taken place outside THQ's formal auction process.

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Tasuki

18. Posted:

Splat wrote:

http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/01/23/wwe-video-game-license...

The era of THQ wrestling games is over. Sources have indicated to IGN that the WWE game franchise will be sold to Take Two, parent company of 2K. Terms of the sale are unknown at this time, as details have not been finalized. These negotiations appear to have taken place outside THQ's formal auction process.

Well at least its not EA. So from the sounds of it WWE was still in control of the license and not THQ. Which WWE must have decided who got the contract, kinda like what happened with TNA when Midway went out of business.

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the_shpydar

19. Posted:

Take Two is also a good fit for the WWE license. Good get for them. :)

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Banker-Style

20. Posted:

Someone needs to buy Darksiders.

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