News Article

Game Over For THQ As Assets Are Purchased By Rival Publishers

Posted by Damien McFerran

Sega, Crytek, Take-Two and Ubisoft pick apart troubled company

2013 hasn't had the best of starts for veteran video game publisher THQ. After buying some time at the end of 2012, the firm slid into bankruptcy just a few days later and as the new year dawned found itself in the position of having its assets - the studios and IPs it owns, essentially - put up for sale to the highest bidders.

That process has now started, and although buyers have been found for the vast majority of THQ's properties, the brand itself is all but dead.

Here's how things are likely to go down, according to Kotaku:

  • Koch Media will buy Saint's Row studio Volition and the Metro IP rights after significantly outbidding Ubisoft. Koch is paying $22m for the studio (versus Ubi's offer of $5.4m), and $5.8m for the game rights (versus Ubi's $5.175m)
  • Take-Two will buy the Evolve IP, for $10m (a rival offer was made by that game's developer, Turtle Rock, of just $250,000)
    German developer Crytek plans to buy the Homefront IP - it was already signed up to develop a sequel to the game - for $500,000.
  • Relic, developer of Company of Heroes and other strategy games, will go to Sega for $26.6m outbidding Bethesda parent Zenimax by $300,000
  • Ubisoft will take the South Park publishing rights for $3.265m and also buy, for $2.5m, the new studio THQ Montreal (which ended up employing some of Ubi's former creative staff from Assassin's Creed

Sadly, no buyer has come forward for Darksiders II developer Vigil Games - although a letter from CEO Brian Farrell and president Jason Rubin sent to all employees states that efforts will be made to find one.

The letter also stated:

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.

You can read the full letter over at MCV.

It's the end of an era for THQ, then; the company has a long (but not always proud) history of producing games for Nintendo hardware, having been a third party supporter since the days of the NES and Game Boy. It's never nice to see a company go down the pan, and hopefully all the people affected will be able to find secure employment.

Will you miss THQ? Let us know by leaving a comment below. Just don't mention Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.

[via mcvuk.com, kotaku.com]

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User Comments (55)

SilentHunter382

#2

SilentHunter382 said:

Well its interesting to see that Crytek got homefront. Thought I think Deep Sliver may have overpaid for Volition though it may be interesting to see where they may take the Red faction series.

Nintex

#4

Nintex said:

That article almost made me teary-eyed. THQ was like an animal being ripped apart by vultures and then Darksiders was the meat nobody wanted... R.I.P THQ

CrimsonFire

#5

CrimsonFire said:

Somebody better buy Vigil and Darksiders
I was hoping for Ubisoft to buy it,but Nintendo should also buy it,they need more Mature IP's
I was most interested in where Darksiders went but nobody bought it.
Whats wrong with them?

rayword45

#6

rayword45 said:

Too bad. But honestly, we'll still keep the majority of the good stuff (and hopefully someone will buy Vigil). I'm probably missing something, but all I can recall that this list lacks are the shovelware titles.

ToxieDogg

#7

ToxieDogg said:

Hmmm. I would've much preferred Ubisoft to get control of Volition, that might've at least upped the chances of the next Saints Row game appearing on a Nintendo platform but that looks unlikely now. The Wii U really needs a game to pull in the 'Grand Theft Auto' crowd (especially with GTA 5 coming soon) and the Saints Row games have always been very worthy rivals. I'd be surprised if this is the end of Darksiders also (both games were excellent), pretty strange that nobody's picked up Vigil yet. Any word on who's picked up the WWE game rights?

AceSpadeS

#8

AceSpadeS said:

@ToxieDogg

I think Nintendo might balk at Saints Row, given just how lunatic the most recent game was. The Third is an excellent game though, and still one of the most entertaining open world action games out there. It arguably has the best vehicular combat of any title as well.

Interested that Homefront is getting a sequel, and even more interested Crytek is involved. Homefront had an interesting campaign while it lasted, and I'd like to see the story continued. Seems unlikely it will come to a Nintendo platform though.

Azooooz

#9

Azooooz said:

WWF no mercy was THQ's best wrestling game in history, better than recent WWE games.

shinokami

#10

shinokami said:

Your face when no one truly cares about Darksiders. Let's be honest: Nintendo won't take it cause it's a bad Zelda imitation. Ubisoft hast Assasin's Creed and Prince of Persia. SEGA.....well, it's SEGA, I could see SONY buying it and turn it into another God of War

Tasuki

#11

Tasuki said:

So who got the WWE licensing or does WWE have control on who that goes to?

Chriiis

#12

Chriiis said:

@Tasuki Exactly what I was about to ask. Just please gawd don't let EA get a hold of it.

I think they have more control over who the license goes to though and I don't think it was auctioned off with everything else.

Ikriolu

#13

Ikriolu said:

I never enjoyed the THQ titles I got. Why? Because I got the cruddy GBA games based off of T.V. shows or movies. and we all know the story with these kinds of games, and for those who don't, just look at Super Man for N64.

Shworange

#17

Shworange said:

This is really sad. I remember the old N64 WWF THQ days. Hopefully everyone lands on their feet after this.

grimbldoo

#19

grimbldoo said:

@shinokami #10
I am not sure very many people share your opinion.

>your face when
Is your avatar the face we will have?
I guess we'll all be smiling if his statement is proved true.

the_shpydar

#20

the_shpydar said:

Thou shalt not disparage Attack of the Killer Tomatoes! :D

Remember Herman Farbage,
While taking out his garbage,
He turned around and he did see
Tomatoes hiding in his tree.
Now he's just a memory!

luminalace

#24

luminalace said:

After playing Darksiders 2, I think Vigil games has some great talent and I hope someone picks them up.

CharbroiledEwok

#26

CharbroiledEwok said:

I hope Ubisoft buys Darksiders - that way, we'll be more likely to get the next sequel on the Wii U... (fingers crossed!)

Luigifan141

#27

Luigifan141 said:

@Ikriolu Superman 64 was made by Titus, not THQ.

Anyway, I've never really gotten any of THQ's games, but I've known the name for so long that it's sad to see it go. They will be missed!

EvilLucario

#29

EvilLucario said:

Yeah, Vigil SHOULD be picked up by Zelda. While I have never played a Darksiders game, I think Vigil should help collaborate with EAD 3, mainly to help with production of the Zelda series. From what little gameplay footage I have seen, Vigil is a very talented developer, and Nintendo needs more talent, so... yeah,

Gamer83

#31

Gamer83 said:

@grimbldoo

That would be great, only companies I'd trust with Darksiders (and Vigil Games) would be Nintendo or Sony. It'd be a nice move for Nintendo in the Western market and give them exclusive access to one of the best series in the industry.

IAmNotWill

#32

IAmNotWill said:

I would love to see Nintendo step up and purchase Vigil. I played a little of Darksiders II and I liked it.

Kaeobais

#33

Kaeobais said:

Glad someone bought South Park. I was really scared the game would get canned.

AceSpadeS

#34

AceSpadeS said:

@Luigifan141

Shameless advertising alert here. :P If you want to give THQ's best and brightest a shot, Amazon has a bundle of their games for PC available this week for $25. I own all but 2 of the games in the pack from a similar deal on Steam, and can say it's well worth it if you want to see what the hype is about. Really hoping all of the developers carry on well with their new publishers, as they are responsible for some of the best games of the modern day. (Especially Relic, really loving Relic...)

Kage_88

#35

Kage_88 said:

I really hope Vigil and Darksiders can find a home. A great developer and a great, original IP... publishers, snap them up, quick!

Also, I hope the WWE games will recieve a sorely-needed makeover.

cornishlee

#36

cornishlee said:

Sega getting Relic I find a really odd move.

Like many, I'm concerned for Darksiders and Vigil. I was kind of expecting Ubisoft to take them on but I guess most publishers have looked at it and thought "we already have an RPG franchise".

JuanitoShet

#37

JuanitoShet said:

I just HOPE that, with 2K reportedly taking the WWE license and all that crap, that the WWE games have some big changes made to them with them in charge. It'd be nice to see someone that's NOT THQ try their hand at WWE's wrestling games.

However, despite the fact that THQ rings that bell of nostalgia, I can't say I'm sad to see it go. It actually makes me happy in some way. I wasn't fully satisfied with them as a company for a while.

Good riddance.

treeofmana

#39

treeofmana said:

Wow. That's a shame. I remember THQ displayed on quite a few (it seems) old games that I was fond of.

cornishlee

#40

cornishlee said:

To those asking for Nintendo to take on Darksiders. It's not happenning. If it did though, you could probably look forward to Zelda becoming exclusively cartoon style.

Baer

#41

Baer said:

I don't really like having CoH with SEGA though.
Hope Vigil will find a new owner soon. Nintendo getting it for a cheaper price seems to odd though.

Nukarmer

#42

Nukarmer said:

I loved the company. the bankruptcy seems like an unfortunate accident to me. so many good games and no money to pay the bills. what is wrong with this world?

CerberusAzdin

#43

CerberusAzdin said:

Man, one of the first games I ever had on the Gameboy was The Flash by THQ. Shame this has happened.

Moshugan

#45

Moshugan said:

I'll buy the Darksiders studio for everything I have right now!
Seriously now, is there a minimum price they are willing to let them go?

ThreadShadow

#46

ThreadShadow said:

Nintendo didn't even have a looksee? I wonder if Reggie did want to take a look, but Nintendo Japan said "No.".
I mean, they could have gone for Vigil. Vigil working under Nintendos strict quality control could potentially put out Retro Studios quality stuff.

What about de Blob?
Actually looking at the list of THQ games on Wikipedia it's kinda hard to pick out anything worth taking really.

Still, Vigil working under Nintendo on various Nintendo projects would be cool.

EDIT: And thinking about it, they could have gone for Patrice Desilets studio.

ajcismo

#47

ajcismo said:

Too bad, although I'll be honest I haven't played much by them since the WWE/WCW games on the N64.

Lopezdm

#49

Lopezdm said:

I think that this is great, THQ has been dieing for years. Look at what happened to Fallout once put into Bethesda's hands. I think that most of the titles are in good hands after this strip sale. No word on WWE wrestling games and I think for good reason. WWE 13 was ok but wrestling games have become stagnate and lame. I miss the N64 years, those were some good years for wrestling titles. Anyway I think that we will see the love and real money behind the franchises you know and love now.

Linkuini

#52

Linkuini said:

Pretty varied history this publisher had. I could safely ignore the majority of their games, but the company was big enough that most people have probably bought something from them. I think they even distributed the Sonic Advance games here in the US.

I wonder what will become of de Blob...

9-Volt

#53

9-Volt said:

WOMP. WOMP. WOWOWOWOWOWOMP.... Also, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (hehe). It's sad, honestly. They did so well when I was growing up. They started screwing up after about 2009. They will be missed by most. :(

Lopezdm

#55

Lopezdm said:

@Chriiis good!! Remember 2k ESPN Football before EA bought the rights? Amazing game and only 20 bucks, those where the days.

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