The Toy Headquarters headed off to the old auction block yesterday. Each of THQ's IPs and development studios were auctioned off individually, as part of THQ's Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The auction is actually kind of complex, with the total amount paid for THQ's assets needing to exceed the $60 million offered by Clearlake Capital earlier in the year.
The auction is closed to most, with rumors coming from those always-reliable "unknown sources." A few tasty rumors have made their way out, though. We've collected them here for handy reading. This story will be updated throughout the day as more deals become known.
There is also a hearing scheduled for later today, which might provide a wealth of info.
- Relic Entertainment, developer of Dawn of War and Company of Heroes, has gone to Sega.
- Volition, NOT the Saint's Row franchise, is now owned by Koch Media UK, of Dead Island fame.
- South Park: Stick of Truth will now be published by Ubisoft. Although this case appears to be headed for a nasty lawsuit. South Park Studios is claiming rights to the game, as per their contract with THQ.
- No word yet on Metro: Last Light, WWE, or Darksiders.
Man, how bummed is Rock gonna be when Metro NEVER comes out? Stay tuned for more, as it becomes available.
- Reports now that Crytek has purchased rights to the Homefront franchise. They are currently developing Homefront 2, this would bring the series in-house for good.
- WWE to EA. Take this with a grain of salt. If true, remember
EA owns the AKI engine. I cannot find any definitive word on the current state of SynSophia's AKI engine. EA partnered with SynSophia/AKI to make the first two Def Jam games.
- New report that Volition got out of Koch Media's price range. Koch now rumored to have acquired Turtle Rock's Evolve.
- Reports that the auction is now over. The total exceeded the $60 million offered by Clearlake. Seems like they may have the option to outbid all others for total assets.
Take-Two has acquired Vigil.LOTS of talk of major layoffs, no purchasers were found.
- THQ Montreal has been acquired by Ubisoft.
- According to tweet from freelancer Scott Nichols, Vigil, Darksiders, de Blob and more went unpurchased.
According to tweets from DDInvesting, here are the breakdowns of toal purchases from the auction:
Here is the letter sent to THQ employees today. Via Kotaku:
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 t:
- 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 President
POSSIBLE FINAL UPDATE:
- WWE to 2K. This, again, needs to be taken with a grain of salt.
Christopher Linendoll has about $3.50. Follow him on Twitter, if you like nonsense.