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THQ Is Gone: Some Studios and IPs Sold Off, Vigil at Risk of Closure

January 23, 2013 Written by Sebastian Moss

It finally happened. After a fall from financial glory that spanned the course of years, THQ entered bankruptcy, allowing other publishers to bid for their studios and IPs. While there was a chance that a Clearview investor would buy the whole company for $60 million, it has now been announced that THQ is set to dissolve and be eaten up by various companies.

In a letter sent out to THQ employees by Brian Farrell, THQ’s CEO, and Jason Rubin, the company’s president. (via Polygon), it was revealed which IPs and studios have been confirmed to be sold:

  • Developer Volition and the Saints Row franchise, and the Metro license, have been purchased by publisher Deep Silver (Dead Island)
  • Relic Games (Warhammer 40K, Company of Heroes) has been bought by Sega (who recently acquired the rights to Warhammer separately)
  • South Park and THQ Montreal have been purchased by Ubisoft
  • Take-Two Interactive has purchased the unannounced Evolve
  •  Crytek has bought Homefront

Distressed Debt Investing, who have been tweeting correct investor details throughout the sales, claim to know how much was paid for the IPs and studios:

THQ auction results: 26M for Relic (Sega), 2.5M for Montreal (Ubisoft), 11M for Evolve (Take-Two), 22.3M for Volition (Koch Media)…

500k Homeland (Crytek), 5.8M for Metro (Koch Media), South Park for 3.2M (Ubisoft)

As you may have noticed, Vigil – of Darksiders fame – isn’t included in the list. THQ said that they were unable to find a buyer for the studio, as well as some IPs and their publishing division. “We will make every effort to find appropriate buyers, if possible,” they said. However, Vigil employees are currently tweeting that they are unemployed, and it does look worryingly grim. Farrell and Rubin also warned that even employees at studios that were bought out are at risk, as the purchasers will likely make changes to the development teams.

The letter concluded:

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.

We here at PSLS would also like to wish the best of luck to everyone who worked at THQ, and can only hope that the transitions don’t require significant job losses.