After its bid to sell off its assets to Clearlake Capital was denied earlier this month after a U.S. court halted the struggling video game publisher’s request for a quick sale, bankrupt video game publisher THQ (PINK:THQIQ) has officially been dissolved.
Following an auction for its various studios and game properties on Tuesday, THQ CEO Brian Farrell and president Jason Rubin sent a note to THQ employees detailing the fate of its assets. The letter, first obtained by the video game website Kotaku, noted that the company was able to attract higher bids by selling its assets piecemeal rather than selling the majority of the company to a single buyer as was originally planned.
Pending approval from a U.S. bankruptcy court, the letter confirmed the following acquisitions, which are expected to be completed by the end of the week:
SEGA is purchasing Relic Entertainment, developer of the “Company of Heroes” and “Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War” games.
Koch Media has agreed to purchase Volition, the studio behind the popular and controversial “Saints Row” series, along with the publishing rights to the “Metro” franchise.
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Crytek, a German developer already working on the THQ property “Homefront 2,” acquired the rights to the “Homefront” franchise.
Take-Two Interactive (Nasdaq: TTWO), the parent company of 2K Games and Rockstar Entertainment, agreed to buy an unnamed project from Turtle Rock Studios, code-named “Evolve.”
Ubisoft (EPA: UBI) has acquired THQ's Montreal studio and the rights to publish “South Park: The Stick of Truth.”
“Some assets, including our publishing businesses and Vigil [Vigil Games, the studio behind THQ’s celebrated “Darksiders” series], along with some other intellectual properties, are not included in the sale agreements,” the letter said in reference to THQ's assets that remain unaccounted for. “They will remain part of the Chapter 11 case. We will make every effort to find appropriate buyers, if possible.”
THQ said that a "small number" of staff will remain at THQ’s headquarters through Jan. 25 to facilitate the transition as the company formally relinquishes its assets. Employees at the offices being acquired are now in the employ of their new owners, though the letter warned that “there will likely be some positions that will not be needed under the new ownership.”
Those working for the unclaimed studios, meanwhile, have had their positions terminated. And as the gaming site Polygon observed, many have already taken to Twitter to announce their unemployment.
For those still tentatively employed, THQ said that they “should receive notice this week or early next week if the new owners intend to extend employment."
“It has been our privilege to work alongside the entire THQ team,” the letter ended. “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.”