A confident letter from THQ president Jason Rubin to company ‘fans’ says its bankruptcy filing "does not mean the end of the THQ story".
Far from it – he describes last night’s Chapter 11 filing in the USA as "a new start for our company".
Yesterday the publisher filed for bankruptcy – and at the same time announced it had found an investor that can keep the business going in the short term.
Investment group Clearlake has stepped in to buy the assets as a ‘stalking horse bidder’, effectively a temporary owner as a permanent owner (which could be a private equity buyer, or a corporation) is found.
"THQ made headlines today – and I am sure there will be tons of click-grabbing headlines over the next month or so," said Rubin.
"But what matters to us is not what is happening to THQ right now, but what the company and its teams will make of ourselves after we complete the sale.
"In short, the teams will be unburdened by the past and able to focus on what they should be focusing on—Making great games."
Rubin’s letter points out how this process can be common for some businesses that need to address problematic debts but which otherwise can be a decent operation.
Said Rubin: "Chapter 11 does not mean the end of the THQ story or the end of the titles you love. Quite the opposite is true, actually.
"Chapter 11 is a safety net for U.S. companies. American Airlines is currently in Chapter 11 restructuring, yet I flew back and forth on that airline when I visited Volition two weeks ago. Donald Trump and his companies have been in Chapter 11 four times. You can add to that list household names such as Macy’s, Eddie Bauer, the Chicago Cubs, Chrysler, Delta Airlines, General Motors, the Pittsburgh Penguins, Marvel Studios, and MGM, among many others."
That last example in particular is important to him: "MGM filed Chapter 11 two years ago, and this year it released Skyfall” and The Hobbit,” two of the biggest titles of the year. That’s what I mean when I say new start!"
The firm now has 30 days to complete the deal.
Said Rubin: "Whatever happens, the teams and products look likely to end up together and in good hands. That means you can still pre-order Metro: Last Light, Company of Heroes 2, and South Park: The Stick of Truth. Our teams are still working on those titles as you read this, and all other rumored titles, like the fourth Saints Row, the Homefront sequel, and a lot more are also still in the works.
"Finally, you might be asking, why would THQ file for Chapter 11 right before the holiday season? Admittedly, the timing is unfortunate. But as we announced a few weeks ago, we have a January 15 deadline approaching for our bank funding. So if you work backwards to allow the necessary time to complete a sale, you end up at this week. Since all of THQ’s worldwide employees are off for a week and a half of paid vacation starting Friday for the holidays and will return to work on January 2nd, it hardly matters anyway."
THQ’s upcoming games include South Park: The Stick of Truth, Company of Heroes 2, Metro: Last Light and Homefront 2.