THQ Files for Chapter 11

So, that’s that.

THQI auction now on Jan 22nd. The auction will allow for piecemeal (“title by title”) sales of THQ assets

Good luck Volition and Relic.

I’ll second that. Both are great devs whose games I’ve loved for the last decade or so.

Really unclear whether it’ll be titles up for auction (as in IP) or whether current work underway on those titles will be included, and whether the studios doing the work are attached.

The majority of interest this morning has been for active IPs linked with the respective talent as well. Legally, there’s nothing forcing the buyers to purchase them as packages unless the IP rights have reverted back to the dev, so there are no guarantees.

Someone could (super farfetched possibility) buy up THQ as one big package and keep the company going, but now that the Clearlake deal has imploded, it’s going to be a lot more difficult and expensive.

Unfortunately, much of the time with these sorts of deals the IP is all the bidders really want. Studios have significant overhead, and it’s much easier for a buyer to leverage a new franchise than a franchise + headcount, even if a significant amount of the franchise’s value is due to the team that built it.

Fingers crossed though - best of luck to all of the devs over at THQ.

  • Jon

Unless the buyer is right there with a solid “and we are keeping you all on, here is our plan”, I’d figure the studios are dead.

The people who are most likely to be crucial for retention are the people who are most able to parachute into another job.

The only caveat in this is the internal team cohesion; people will stay in sub-optimal situations in hopes of keeping a good team together.

Understood that the real value is the IP…

…but honestly there are some special cases here.

For instance, COH2 is nearing completion. If you bid/buy that IP but not Relic, what guarantees do you have that you’ll be able to get it shipped in 2013? I mean, maybe you buy the IP and not the studio and then try to hire the team on as employees, but there’s no guarantees there.

Really feel for the Volition folks. I love Champaign, IL, but it ain’t exactly a hub of entertainment software development (other than them, that is.)

God I hope Volition survives this. I luff thems.

I have a fair number of friends who work at Volition…I hope they manage to pull through this okay.

Although I really wish they would go back to making Freespace games. :(

I agree 125,000% with both of these statements. Good luck to them.

I love Champaign, IL, but it ain’t exactly a hub of entertainment software development (other than them, that is.

Champaign is my family’s home town. I had no idea Volition was based there until we went out for dinner one day and right next to the restaurant was an enormous banner for Red Faction.

They used to have post-release parties in the bar I went to with friends fairly often, and my brother’s godfather did some of the incidental voice work for ships in the Freespace games. :)

Maybe Chris Roberts can hire up the Volition talent for work on Star Citizen.

Oooohhhh which ones?!

Brian likes this post.

Nothing special, Brian, one of the freighter pilots in FS2 I think. :)

Here is the breakdown so far thanks to people watching the auction tweets.

Franchises

Saints Row - Koch Media had highest bid, most publisher interest
Darksiders - No concrete information, some publisher interest
Red Faction - No concrete information, some publisher interest
Company of Heroes - SEGA had highest bid, EA was interested as well, rumours say SEGA already bought it
Evolve (Turtle Rock IP) - No concrete information, rumour says Koch Media bought it
Homefront - No concrete information, rumour says Crytek (who is developing the sequel) bought rights

Studios

Volition - No concrete information, will most likely be sold together with Saints Row franchise
Relic - SEGA had highest bid, rumour says they bought it
Vigil - No concrete information
THQ Montreal - No concrete information

Not for sale

Metro
WWE
Warhammer 40k

Limbo

South Park - THQ wants to sell, South Park Studios is apparently saying no. Rumour says Ubisoft bought publishing rights.

Keep in mind: The sum of all bids must be at least $61.75m or something along those lines - otherwise all assets are being sold to Clearlake.

Relic going to Sega is possibly the best outcome conceivable for the RTS developer.

Very very true, I await Company of Heroes 3: Total War ! :D

Don’t you mean Homeworld: Total War?