"I was brought in eight months ago to help turn this ship around, and while I’m disappointed that we could not effect a sale for the entire operating business, I am pleased that the new buyers will be providing jobs to many of our very talented personnel," added THQ president Jason Rubin. "When we first announced the sale process, I said I would be happy if the company’s games and people had a bright future, even if it meant I did not have a job at the end of it. And I still feel that way.”
THQ "will continue to employ a small number of headquarters staff beyond January 25 to assist with the transition."
Following THQ’s auction of its assets, the new homes of THQ franchises are slowly being revealed. Koch Media, Take-Two, Ubisoft and SEGA are among the potential new owners of THQ’s intellectual property and studios.
It's worth noting that all of these sales are pending approval from U.S. bankruptcy court and nothing is finalized yet. A hearing is currently underway in Delaware.
- SEGA has agreed to purchase Relic, developer of Company of Heroes 2 and Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War.
- Koch Media (owner of Dead Island publisher Deep Silver) has agreed to purchase Saints Row developer Volition as well as the publishing rights to the Metro franchise. (Update: According to a statement issued by Koch, "Deep Silver, Koch Media’s international publishing powerhouse, will lead all further development and marketing on the Saints Row and Metro franchises." The statement added that "Koch Media and Deep Silver will roll out future plans for each franchise in the coming months.")
- Crytek, who is currently developing Homefront 2, has purchased the rights to the Homefront franchise.
- Take-Two (parent company of 2K and Rockstar) has agreed to purchase Turtle Rock Studios’ project codenamed Evolve. (Update: While Take Two was initially rumored to have acquired Darksiders publisher Vigil, it has since been revealed that this isn't the case)
- Ubisoft has purchased the rights to publish South Park: The Stick of Truth as well as THQ Montreal, the current developer of Assassin’s Creed creator Patrice Desilets’ project codenamed 1666. (Update: Ubisoft has confirmed the purchase, noting in a statement that "THQ Montreal will join Ubisoft’s development teams." Ubisoft also says that South Park: The Stick of Truth "is scheduled for release in calendar 2013.")
Polygon reports that SEGA bid $26.6 million for Relic, and a second-place bid came from Bethesda parent company ZeniMax Media, who offered $26.3 million. The site also reports that Take-Two paid $10.8 million for Evolve, with a second place bid for $250,000 coming from Turtle Rock itself.
Many THQ employees, meanwhile, report having lost their jobs via social networks.
Assets including Darksiders studio Vigil and have not been acquired. The future home of the WWE franchise has yet to be disclosed, though IGN sources suggest Take-Two will purchase the license.
We’ve reached out to all parties and will continue to update this story with comments and confirmation we receive.
GTN wishes the best of luck to anyone affected by today's news.
Update: Kotaku has obtained a letter from THQ CEO Brian Farrell and president Jason Rubin sent to all THQ employees.
The full text is as follows:
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
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 offeredemployment by the new owners. However, we cannot say what these owners mayintend, and there will likely be some positions that will not be needed under thenew ownership. You should receive notice this week or early next week if the newowners 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 thatyour position will end. A small number of our headquarters staff will continue to beemployed 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 haveaccomplished 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