THQ dissolves after auction

THQ dissolves after auction - 2013-01-23 21:30:14

After auctioning off assets over the last 24 hours, game publisher THQ has now officially closed its doors.

According to a letter sent by THQ CEO Brian Farrell and President Jason Rubin to employees, the auction found buyers for several properties and development studios. 

Pending approval from United States Bankruptcy Court, the results of the sales are as follows (figures were reported by Distressed Debt Investing, and are in US dollars): 

– SEGA purchased Relic Entertainment for a reported $26 million 
– Koch Media purchased Volition, Inc. for $22.3 million, and the rights to the Metro franchise (including the upcoming Metro: Last Light) for $5.8 million
– Crytek purchased rights to the Homefront franchise (Homefront 2 was already in development by the studio) for $500,000 
– Take-Two Interactive Software purchased the rights to Evolve (a game in development from Turtle Rock Studios) 
– Ubisoft has purchased THQ’s Montreal Studio for $2.5 million and the rights to South Park: The Stick of Truth for $3.2 million 

The sales will be finalized once everything is approved in court, which is expected to be within the week. 

No bids were received for Vigil Games, developers of the Darksiders series, but Farrell and Rubin say they will “Make every effort to find appropriate buyers, if possible.” While there is no confirmation on the fate of the WWE license, IGN is reporting that it will be acquired by Take-Two.

The full text of the letter to employees can be read below. 

To All THQ Employees:

We now have the answers we’ve been seeking through our financial restructuring and Chapter 11 case. While much will be written, here are the facts of the bids and auction that occurred :

Yesterday morning, we received a competing bid for the operating business, along with Clearlake’s offer, and numerous offers for separate assets.

During an auction process that lasted over 22 hours, the final conclusion was that the separate-asset bids would net more than a single buyer for the majority of the company.

Shortly, we will, present the results to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, which must concur with our assessment.

The proposed sales of multiple assets is as follows :

  • Sega agreed to purchase Relic

  • Koch Media agreed to purchase Volition and Metro

  • Crytek agreed to purchase Homefront

  • Take 2 agreed purchase Evolve and

  • Ubisoft agreed to purchase Montreal and South Park

We expect these sales to close this week.

Some assets, including our publishing businesses and Vigil, along with some other intellectual properties are not included in the sale agreements. They will remain part of the Chapter 11 case. We will make every effort to find appropriate buyers, if possible.

What this means for employees

We expect that most employees of the entities included in the sale will be offered employment by the new owners. However, we cannot say what these owners may intend, and there will likely be some positions that will not be needed under the new ownership. You should receive notice this week or early next week if the new owners intend to extend employment to you. Please note that the terms of your new employment, including pay and benefits, may be different from the current terms of your employment with THQ.

If you are an employee of an entity that is not included in the sale, we regret that your position will end. A small number of our headquarters staff will continue to be employed by THQ beyond January 25 to assist with the transition. THQ has sufficient resources to pay these employees for work going forward, and we will be contacting these employees immediately to ensure their continued employment during this transition period. We are requesting the ability to offer certain severance pay to minimize disruption for employees of non-included entities as they determine the next steps in their careers.

We know you will have many questions about this news. We’ll be meeting tomorrow when we return to talk through this announcement and to answer any questions you have. You will receive a benefits fact sheet and FAQs with answers to some questions that may be on your mind. Please review these materials closely.

A personal note

The work that you all have done as part of the THQ family is imaginative, creative, artistic and highly valued by our loyal gamers. We are proud of what we have accomplished despite today’s outcome.

It has been our privilege to work alongside the entire THQ team. 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.

For those THQ employees who are part of entities that are not included in the sale, we are confident that the talent you have displayed as part of THQ will be recognized as you take the next steps in your career.

Thank you all for your dedication and for sharing your talent with the THQ team. We wish you the best of luck and hope you will keep in touch.


Brian Farrell

Chief Executive Officer

Jason Rubin


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