THQ closes after its game franchises are auctioned off
That’s it, then. After 24 years of releasing titles like Yuke’s WWE Smackdown series, Saints Row and Red Faction, American videogame publisher THQ has officially closed. Its major IPs were auctioned off on 23 January to rival publishers and developers, with the likes of Volition’s previously mentioned open-world series, Metro: Last Light and the Homefront licenses all finding new homes.
THQ closes down
THQ hoped to stay in business by filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy in December last year. This allowed the company to continue operating while it tried to search for income streams to sustain its future. Earlier this month a judge ruled the publisher would only be kept together if a bid was received for the entire organisation that superseded the combined bids for all its individual IPs. Sadly, this didn’t happen, and as a result THQ is gone, with its game licenses now sold off to the highest bidders.
Here’s a quick summary of who bought what…
Evolve (a co-op action title) was bought for $10.894 million by GTA 5 publisher Take-Two Interactive, who outbid the game’s developer Turtle Rock Studios.
Homefront was bought by Crytek for $544,218. The German company’s UK studio is currently developing a sequel to the underwhelming 2011 shooter.
Relic Entertainment (best known for making Warhammer titles and the Company Of Heroes games on PC) was bought by Sega for $26.6 million. The Warhammer license is owned by Games Workshop and it is likely any new developer/publisher will have to negotiate with the British company if further titles are to be made.
The Metro series was snapped up by Koch Media/Deep Silver for $5.877 million. Apocalyptic shooter Metro: Last Light is essentially finished and should now get green-lit for an official release date soon.
South Park: The Stick Of Truth (due out in early March) was bought by Ubisoft for $3.265 million.
THQ Montreal was bought by Ubisoft for $2.5 million.
Volition, Inc. (makers of Saints Row and Red Faction) was purchased by Koch Media/Deep Silver for £22.312 million. Saints Row 4 is apparently in development.
Most significantly, the WWE licence has been bought by Take-Two. The deal happened outside of the official THQ auction and details of the sale are not yet known. At any rate, this brings to an end an era of virtual wrasslin’ , with THQ publishing the WWE Smackdown games since 2000.
But what of Darksiders? Well, sadly no one picked up the license for the Four Horsemen’s stabby series at the auction. However, Bayonetta and Vanquish developer Platinum Games has confirmed it would be interested in buying developer Vigil’s apocalypse adventure games.
Platinum Games boss Atsushi Inaba recently tweeted “In THQ studio and IP selling off auction, Darksiders is unsold? [We] wanna buy it…on the cheap…”
So hopefully, the Horsemen will ride again.
Still, this is a sad day for gaming and we’d like to pass our condolences on to all those at THQ who have lost their jobs.