The inevitable has happened now and THQ are officially closed. Of course this is extremely sad news, not only for the many employees who could potentially be out of work due to some studios not being purchased, but also a sad day for the games industry in general as one of the biggest publishers in the business has fallen during the console generation that has seen the most studio closures so far.
It really is hitting home the financial risk involved in game development these days. Of course share of the blame belongs to THQ and some of their past choices but that’s not the most important thing going on right now.
Of course with the closure of THQ comes the acquisition of many of their studios and IP’s by other companies who have managed to survive the tough economical situation.
First I would like to take a moment to talk about…
Vigil Games and the Darksiders Franchise
Unfortunately Vigil Games felt the blow hardest of all. Having recently released Darksiders 2 and being only a couple months into the development of a new IP they were the biggest financial risk especially when stood next some of THQ’s other properties which were only months from release. Regrettebly, Vigil Games, their new IP and the Darksiders franchise all failed to sell leaving Vigil staff in no other position but to go their separate ways.
Platinum Games however have expressed interest in the Darksiders franchise. Executive Director and Producer at Platinum Games, Atsushi Inaba Tweeted his interest in the franchise.
“In THQ’s studio and IP selling off auction, Darksiders is unsold? [We] wanna buy it…on the cheap…”
Also Platinum Games writer JP Kellams extended a caring Tweet to Haydn Dalton, Darksiders I and II Lead Designer, offering a ray of hope to the ex-staff of Vigil Games too.
@haydndalton hey man. If anyone is interested in working with/at Platinum let me know how to get ahold of you via DM.
— JP Kellams (@synaesthesiajp) January 24, 2013
With the worst out of the way, here are the companies and franchises that did manage to sell via the auction.
Sold for the highest price of the entire auction. The developers behind Space Marine and Company of Heroes 2 were purchased by Sega Corporation for a rather hefty $26.6 million. Relic Studios should make a pretty good addition to Sega and should help to diversify their library of games.
The developers best known for the Saints Row franchise sold to Koch Media, owners of Deep Silver who are known for the Dead Island franchise. Koch media purchased Volition, the Saints Row franchise and the upcoming Metro: Last Light. Again these sold for a respectable price tag, with Volition and Saints Row selling for $22.3 million and Metro: Last Light selling for $5.9 million.
THQ Canada – South Park: The Stick of Truth
One sale that was a little less expected was South Park: The Stick of Truth. Mostly because Trey Parker and Matt Stone, Creators of South Park, were protesting that THQ didn’t have the right to auction the property off and that it should fall to them to find the best potential buyer for the project. This didn’t hinder the sale at all though as THQ Canada and South Park: The Stick of Truth were both sold to Ubisoft LLC for $5.8 million.
The IP Homefront II was sold to Crytek GmbH, who are of course best known for their franchise Crysis. Homefront II however didn’t net even close to the value of most of the other IP’s and sold for $0.5 million.
Turtle Rock Studios Project “Evolve”
Turtle Rock Studios project titles Evolve was sold to Take-Two, the parent company behind franchises such as Bioshock and Grand Theft Auto paid a rather shocking $10.9 million for the IP.