THQ is officially no more. Company president Jason Rubin and CEO Brian Farrell sent out a joint letter to employees confirming the news and also detailing the fates of several of THQ’s studios and IP.
THQ’s studios and game IP went under the hammer a couple of days ago, and the biggest bids came in for Company of Heroes and Warhammer 40,000 developer Relic Entertainment. The studio has been snapped up by Sega for $26.6 million, beating off competition from Bethesda/Zenimax. Sega now effectively owns the Warhammer (which it acquired recently) and the Warhammer 40,000 licenses.
Koch Media, parent company of Deep Silver, also spent big at the auction, paying $22.3 million for Saints Row and Red Faction developer Volition Inc, and another $5.8 million for the Metro franchise. Interestingly, the next highest bid for Volition, which came from Ubisoft, was of only $5.4 million.
The THQ Montreal studio, which has two new IP – 1666 and Underdog - in development, was picked up by Ubisoft for $2.5 million.
One of the surprises of the auction was Take-Two’s $10.8 million winning bid for Evolve, a new co-op action game in development at Turtle Rock Studios, which itself came up with a runner-up bid of $250,000.
Elsewhwere, the Homefront IP was picked up by Crytek, which is currently working on Homefront 2, for $544,218, while Ubisoft snapped up the South Park game license.
The big talking points coming out of the news, however, related to the studios and IP that haven’t yet found takers.
Darksiders creator Vigil Games remains without an owner, leaving its fate as well as that of the Darksiders franchise in limbo.
Also conspicuous in its absence was the WWE franchise. Rumours about its fate are flying thick and fast though. While some claim EA Sports picked up the pro-wrestling license before the auction, others report that 2K Sports’ parent company Take-Two will acquire the rights.
Goodbye THQ, and we wish that all those great developers left jobless following this unfortunate turn of events land on their feet and find great work soon.
The games THQ created, however, have found new homes and will live on.
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