THQ split up into pieces
It's officially game over for publisher THQ. A federal bankruptcy judge has approved the beleaguered video game publisher's plan to sell its assets to several companies for $72 million, reports Bloomberg. Most notable is the acquisition of action series Saints Row and creators Volition Inc. by Koch Media, the company that owns Dead Island publisher Deep Silver. The company also snagged the rights to first-person shooter Metro: 2033 and the soon-to-be released Metro: Last Light.
French-based publisher Ubisoft confirmed in a press released it acquired THQ's Montreal studio, home to former Assassin's Creed creative director Patrice Desilets, as well as the rights to the role-playing game South Park: The Stick of Truth.
Meanwhile, Sega scooped up studio Relic Entertainment, makers of the Company of Heroes strategy series, while Crysis studio Crytek acquired the rights of military series Homefront.
The fates of Vigil Studios, developer of Darksiders, and THQ's line of WWE video games remains unclear. There are several reports the WWE license could be acquired by Take-Two Interactive's 2K label.
The split shuts the door on what was once one of the industry's top publishers. Turmoil at THQ began to surface last February, when the publisher announced the layoffs of 240 employees and cut their CEO's salary in half. Later that summer, THQ relinquished its rights to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) license to Electronic Arts.
THQ filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in December, claiming all its assets would be purchased by Clearlake Capital Group L.P. in a $60 million deal.
"The sale and filing are necessary next steps to complete THQ's transformation and position the company for the future, as we remain confident in our existing pipeline of games, the strength of our studios and THQ's deep bench of talent," said THQ Chairman and CEO Brian Farrell in a statement announcing the filing.
However, because the combined total of bid for its assets outweighed Clearlake's bid for the entire company, THQ's assets were broken up.