The Dissolution of THQ: New Publishers Pick Up the Fallen Company’s Assets
The battle was hard fought and long drawn out, but the once mighty publishing house that was THQ has succumbed to bankruptcy.
Despite last ditch efforts to keep themselves above the red line — like putting Naughty Dog co-founder, Jason Rubin, at the head of the company (though, how far could you really go with a man that openly found Saints Row embarrassing?) — THQ folded, with an auction held yesterday for prospective buyers looking to grow their own catalogs by acquiring the former publisher’s assortment of development studios and IP’s.
Bear in mind that the dust has yet to have settled, so most of these acquisitions won’t receive the stamp of approval/blood-signature until the U.S. bankruptcy court has a say…That being said, the following is a list of notable transactions that took place yesterday:
- Crytek now owns the Homefront brand. Crytek UK (Timesplitters as Free Radical) has been working on Homefront 2, so it’s a convenient buy.
- Koch Media purchased Saints Row developer, Volition, Inc., as well as publishing rights to the Metro series. You may be more familiar with Koch’s subsidiary and publisher, Deep Silver (Call of Juarez, Dead Island). Deep Silver has been tasked with overseeing all development and publishing duties surrounding both franchises with impending news on the way.
- Sega has scored RTS experts, Relic Entertainment (Company of Heroes, Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War), beating out ZeniMax (Bethesda’s parent) for the studio. The recently announced Company of Heroes 2 is still on track for release.
- Take-Two — parent to Rockstar and 2K Games — bought up the unrevealed shooter tentatively dubbed Evolve, developed by Turtle Rock Studios (best known for their work on Counter-Strike and Left 4 Dead with Valve); Take-Two evidently outbid Turtle Rock for their own game. In another big win, Take-Two negotiated outside of the auction for the WWE video game license, effectively ending THQ’s long established choke-hold on the property.
- Ubisoft is now set to publish Obsidian’s foul mouthed homage to the old school RPG, South Park: The Stick of Truth. THQ Montreal was also bid on and bought; the studio’s staff will be dispersed among Ubisoft’s existing dev teams.
Among the assets not already sold off sits Vigil Games and their Darksiders property, just two games young into the franchise. Apparently, both studio and game went without a single damn bid (yowtch). Given Darksiders II considerable improvement over the original, and its positive critical reception, I don’t expect the Horsemen to stay homeless for long.
Also, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, or drunken snapshots of hyper-extended middle fingers on Instagram, we’re becoming more and more aware that THQ has left a lot of unemployed people in its wake. My heart goes out to those that have to put up with such shit luck of the draw — and thank you for all you’ve done for this industry. I wish you the best, folks.
Welcome back to the Roundup, where we take a look back at the week in gaming, reflect on the gaming happenings, and balance our finances in order to put gaming above all else, minimizing insignificant expenses like food and rent (let the landlord keep banging at the door — it’s not like he has a key or whatever).
This week in games, cyberpunk became cool again, Pokemon invaded a new dimension on its quest to conquer ours, the Kinect became even more gimmicky, and Massachusetts declares war on our virtual wars. All this and half past an inch more after the jump.
Last Darksiders II Trailer, In Death’s Own Words
His brother War wrongfully accused of igniting the apocalypse, Death sets out to bring ruin on all those that oppose him in order to…get everyone to believe him? There’s definitely more diplomatic ways of defending truth and virtue, sure. But we wouldn’t get to topple gargantuan enemies or even get to sink our scythe into anything if we went with “diplomatic.”
With Darksiders II dropping next week, this will be the final trailer promoting the title, this time narrated by Death himself (voiced by Michael Wincott — trust me, movie buffs, you’ve seen him before). Vigil Games produced a uniquely engrossing mash of God of War versus Zelda in the original Darksiders. A flattering comparison, yeah, but I hope Darksiders II finds its own footing, defying comparison in its best moments. We’ll know when Death rides this Tuesday.
“There’s another big rumor about the next Xbox console that could really start to shake things up…it won’t play used games at all! Personally I think this would be a fantastic change for our business and even though the consumers would be up in arms about it at first…they will grow to understand why and that it won’t kill them.”
The words of Jameson Durall (designer on Saints Row: The Third) which are resonating around the internet today and being matched with consumers’ complete and utter contempt.
I think concessions need to be made between retailers and publishers, absolutely. Choking out used sales is not some magical meal ticket standing between developers and swimming in pools of revenue, though. No, it’s a severe blow to used retailers like Gamestop and it’s a fucking death sentence to smaller retailers like the Play N Trade I work at. And the move is damaging to publishers that seem to think if you block off avenues to consumers, it will surely force the average gamer’s dollar to flow their way. This is an extreme fallacy.