THQ Bankruptcy Auction ended - Results Inside

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So the THQ Auction: http://www.distressed-debt-investing.com/2013/01/distressed-debt-thq-bankruptcy-update.html is just taking place, selling the remaining pieces of the publisher to interested bidders.

While we won't know the final results of the Sale till at some point tomorrow there's some interesting headlines.

For one South Park Studios objects to Obsidians South Park RPG being sold off: http://www.polygon.com/2013/1/22/3903622/south-park-studios-objects-thq-stick-of-truth-sale

South Park Digital Studios LLC, the company that owns the South Park license, filed an objection in Delaware bankruptcy court recently to prohibit the sale of South Park: The Stick of Truth unless several conditions are met during THQ's upcoming bankruptcy proceedings, according to documents filed in the Delaware court.

The objection asks the court to deny the sale of South Park: The Stick of Truth unless South Park Digital Studios consents to the sale transfer of any South Park licenses, receives a payment of $2.275 million for defaulted payments and "adequate assurance of future performance" for the game.

The WWE says THQ still owes it $45 Million: http://www.gamechup.com/thq-owes-45-million-to-wwe-unsecured-creditor-vince-mcmahon-apparently-furious/

Relics studio head apparently doesn't work there anymore, but moved on to Activision recently: http://www.vg247.com/2013/01/22/relic-boss-exits-for-activision/

Finally, amid THQ's troubles, Alex Peters, who was the studio head at THQ subsidiary Relic Entertainment, states on his CV that he left the Vancouver developer this month to join Activision. Peters was at Relic for two years, and prior to joining the studio, he served as game director on the ill-fated RPG Pirates of the Caribbean: Armada of the Damned and chief operating officer at DICE.

Here are THQs Earnings over the years: http://i.imagebanana.com/img/mw9zpfa8/thq.PNG
And an Overview over their contracts and how much money they still owe: http://www.thesangreal.net/gafpics/thqcontracts.pdf

Regarding the Auction itself, while the final results won't be out till at some point tomorrow, there's some News regarding the highest bids: http://www.vg247.com/2013/01/23/sega-bids-high-for-relic-entertainment-rumour/

SEGA is apparently very interested in Relic (Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War Series, Company of Heroes, Homeworld Series) and highest bidder:
image

Koch Media/Deep Silver was highest bidder for Volition (Saints Row Series, Red Faction Series, FreeSpace/Summoner) a while ago.

And UbiSoft is looking into likely acquiring either THQ Montreal or Vigil Games (DarkSiders).

So who does that leave for Relic? From what I remember, most of their older staff members were let off after Retribution, and now their studio head is gone. And Sega wants them. I'm not sure how I feel about that.

Interesting, I don't see EA or Activision gunning for anything. At the moment, at least, but I expected to. Ubisoft does not surprise me - I've said it before, I'm fine with them having some of THQ's IPs hopefully they've learned their lesson with DRM, so there should be evem less of a problem now.

The South Park Studios bring up something I was really interested in, let's see if anybody can enlighten me - what happens with the Warhammer license for PC games? Is that sold off as part of THQ's assets or does Games Workshop get a say in it (similar to SPS) or is that not actually part of THQ for whatever reason? I'm really interested where that ends up.

DoPo:
Interesting, I don't see EA or Activision gunning for anything. At the moment, at least, but I expected to. Ubisoft does not surprise me - I've said it before, I'm fine with them having some of THQ's IPs hopefully they've learned their lesson with DRM, so there should be evem less of a problem now.

The South Park Studios bring up something I was really interested in, let's see if anybody can enlighten me - what happens with the Warhammer license for PC games? Is that sold off as part of THQ's assets or does Games Workshop get a say in it (similar to SPS) or is that not actually part of THQ for whatever reason? I'm really interested where that ends up.

Actually, I just realized something. Creative Assembly just acquired the rights to Warhammer Fantasy Battle. CA is owned by Sega. Perhaps Sega wants to consolidate the Games Workshop rights.

SEGA??

Ubisoft makes sense but SEGA??? I thought EA or Warner Brothers might buy something? And I do not want deep silver touching darksiders I don't trust them.

ForgottenPr0digy:
SEGA??

Ubisoft makes sense but SEGA??? I thought EA or Warner Brothers might buy something? And I do not want deep silver touching darksiders I don't trust them.

SEGA would make a whole lot of sense since they've got several strong PC franchises like Total War and Football Manager (which is constantly #3 on Steam Stats after DOTA2 and Team Fortress 2: http://store.steampowered.com/stats/ )
They've also recently acquired the Warhammer franchise for Creative Assembly: http://www.joystiq.com/2012/12/06/creative-assembly-gets-warhammer-license-in-multi-title-deal-fi/ over multiple titles and it would fit perfectly with Relic and Warhammer 40k.

DoPo:
The South Park Studios bring up something I was really interested in, let's see if anybody can enlighten me - what happens with the Warhammer license for PC games? Is that sold off as part of THQ's assets or does Games Workshop get a say in it (similar to SPS) or is that not actually part of THQ for whatever reason? I'm really interested where that ends up.

I don't think they can sell on IPs of other companies. I believe the Warhammer, WWE etc. licenses will expire and go back to their respective owners to renegotiate.

Relic would be in good hands with SEGA. Better than any other viable buyer, and I have high hopes they will win considering they have a shit-ton of money.

lRookiel:
If the winner of this sale does something to cock up future Company of Heroes and Dawn of war games I will PERSONALLY END THEIR PATHETIC LIVES!

That too, but seeing as the Total War series are going well I really do think Relic has a bright future. With this money, SEGA should pull in a win.

If the winner of this sale does something to cock up future Company of Heroes and Dawn of war games I will PERSONALLY END THEIR PATHETIC LIVES!

Well it'll definitely be interesting to see where everything ends up when the smoke clears. I think if anyone's going to pick up WWE it'll probably be EA so they can have another yearly 'sports' franchise.

And SEGA, you would think, will want the rest of the Warhammer stuff that they don't have so they'll be eager as well.

As bad as this might sounds, I'm definitely intrigued.

DoPo:

The South Park Studios bring up something I was really interested in, let's see if anybody can enlighten me - what happens with the Warhammer license for PC games? Is that sold off as part of THQ's assets or does Games Workshop get a say in it (similar to SPS) or is that not actually part of THQ for whatever reason? I'm really interested where that ends up.

The license won't be sold on.

It doesn't technically belong to THQ as licenses are more a "rental" thing than ownership.

Warhammer belongs to Games Workshop full stop.

They will either look for another developer or give up on the video game market completely. As such i'm waiting to find out the fate of Dark Millenium. The MMO part was dropped out of it last March so was going to be single player only but now THQ and Vigil will lose it I have no idea what's going to happen.

As long as BioWare doesn't get it i'll be happy. Last thing I want is a party with a Space Marine, Ork, Dark Eldar and Daemonette of Slaanesh joining forces to take on Necrons but having to take a break while the Space Marine tries his luck with the Daemonette. Don't get me wrong, I don't hate BioWare .... just keep them away from my Warhammer.

http://www.gamersglobal.de/news/63674/thq-verkauf-sega-kauft-relic-koch-evolve-crytek-homefront

Newest murmurs are that:
- SEGA bought Relic and the rights to Company of Heroes for $26 Million
- CryTek bought the "Homefront" IP for $500.000
- Koch Media/Deep Silver bought "Evolve" (new IP from Turtle Rock Studios) for $5.2 Million

Other Sales aren't through yet.

I can copyright the letters T-H-Q so whenever anyone wants to use these letters they'll have to either pay me or come up with their own letters?

On a more serious note, THQ deserves better. I hope the bought IPs are treated well. Also somebody please make a good DarkSiders game.

Any word on 4A Games & Metro: Last Light?

Been looking forward to that game very much.

Ickorus:
Any word on 4A Games & Metro: Last Light?

Been looking forward to that game very much.

4A Games is Independent and they just had a publishing contract with THQ (The Metro IP isn't owned by THQ either). I'm not sure if they can sell anything. But if they can it will likely just be the publishing rights of the game off to another publisher.

I wouldn't worry too much about some of the games that were set to come out very soon like South Park: The Stick of Truth, Company of Heroes 2 and Metro: Last Light
I'm pretty sure they will not be much influenced by this if nothing drastic happens, since they are nearly done.

That's a different matter entirely for far-off and possibly "Next Gen" games like Saints Row 4, Homefront 2, Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War III or some of the Unannounced projects.

Sega? I don't mind it. I've got all total war games, and they work fine. No silly steam-like service like what EA and Ubisoft are doing, and they let games take their time. I mean Rome 2 was announced almost 1 year ago, and it's almost 1 year away from release still.

Could've been worse publishers. And no, I don't care a thing for Sonic.

Another rumor I haven't seen here. Double Fine is interested in buying the IPs THQ owns for games they developed. Those include games like Costume Quest and Stacking.

Dexter111:

Ickorus:
Any word on 4A Games & Metro: Last Light?

Been looking forward to that game very much.

4A Games is Independent and they just had a publishing contract with THQ (The Metro IP isn't owned by THQ either). I'm not sure if they can sell anything. But if they can it will likely just be the publishing rights of the game off to another publisher.

I wouldn't worry too much about some of the games that were set to come out very soon like South Park: The Stick of Truth, Company of Heroes 2 and Metro: Last Light
I'm pretty sure they will not be much influenced by this if nothing drastic happens, since they are nearly done.

That's a different matter entirely for far-off and possibly "Next Gen" games like Saints Row 3, Homfront 2, Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War III or some of the Unannounced projects.

I see, thanks for the information, that was my biggest concern.

Maybe some good will come of this and we'll see Homeworld 3 finally see the light of day. :)

Sega seems to be a very good fit for Relic. I did a double take when I saw "Koch Media," because I thought it was something owned by the Koch brothers, but it turns out they're just a low key media distributor (they handled the German DVD release of The King of Queens, of all things) and game publisher, with a pretty impressive library. The name appears to be a coincidence.

Sega is looking to buy? Interesting...

Well, as long as I can haz more Saints Row, I will be happy.

TizzytheTormentor:
Sega is looking to buy? Interesting...

Well, as long as I can haz more Saints Row, I will be happy.

Right now I'm hoping that whoever picks up the Saints Row IP will make it the next game more like Saints Row 2. Saints Row the Third was all right, but they sacrificed way too much drama in favor of being wacky and over the top.

I'm just worried about South Park, WWE (for my brother's sake I'm bored with them now) and Saints Row, by my Jesus I'm worried about Saints Row.

Supposedly Warner Bros. and UbiSoft are fighting over Saint's Row and Volition.

WWE may be going to EA, although it wasn't part of the Auction: http://www.gonintendo.com/?mode=viewstory&id=194727

We will know more about what went to whom definitively in another 2 hours at the earliest, but apparently the auction is open-ended, has already been going for almost an entire day and might go even longer as long as bidders are still showing interest in the properties.

https://twitter.com/DDInvesting

THQ: Hearing on sale about to begin. Rumblings of a lot of different numbers for a lot of different assets out there.

THQ: AUCTION STILL GOING ON. Looking to re-start hearing this afternoon at 3:00pm

For context, it started yesterday at 3:00PM

It's like a Steam Sale for big publisher types.

One of the Relic developers has just tweeted that he now works for Sega,
https://twitter.com/kyleberndt/status/294166753599164416

If true, then it's probably the best thing that could have happened to them. With the recent announcement of the partnership between Sega and Games Workshop for Warhammer Fantasy games, chances are good that Relic will be able to carry on with the DoW series. Maybe even get Creative Assembly involved...

Auction is over, News should be out any minute.
I believe Vigil didn't make it, since a lot of people are apparently looking for a job: https://twitter.com/verytragic/status/294168371161866241

Take 2 possibly ended up with the new Turtle Rock IP: https://twitter.com/manveerheir/status/294173316606988288

UbiSoft apparently got the South Park RPG and THQ Montreal

Koch Media/Deep Silver supposedly got Volition

SEGA got Relic: https://twitter.com/kyleberndt/status/294166753599164416

Question: If Vigil didn't make it, does that mean Dark Millenium is effectively dead and buried, or was it open for the auction?

SEGA getting relic is interesting, on one hand I don't totally trust them, on the other hand WH40k: Dawn of Total War is something of a wet dream of mine.
If Vigil really didn't make it through then that is a shame. I haven't gotten around to playing the Darksiders games but from what I have seen they look fun and at least somewhat unique.
I'm amazed anyone was actually interested in the Homefront IP, that game was the definition of generic so I'm not sure what Crytec sees in it.
If the rumor that "Warner Bros. and UbiSoft are fighting over Saint's Row and Volition." is true then I dearly hope Ubisoft wins. For all their moronic stumbles with PC ports I still have some confidence that they can make good games somewhat consistently.

EDIT: Deep fucking silver got Volition? ugh that is... not a favorable outcome.
EDIT2: And looking at the tweet again it looks like they got Metro too. damnit. Also Ubisoft is apparently taking over the southpark game

SEGA is now sitting comfortably with two more strategy games and perhaps even Warhammer 40,000. It's sad Vigil that didn't make it though :(. I hope they all find jobs soon.

Dexter111:
UbiSoft apparently got the South Park RPG and THQ Montreal

Well, looks like I won't be buying the stick of truth anymore. Though frankly I think the sale of it will end up being blocked; their licensing contract with THQ says that either SP Studios approve the sale or SP Studios buys it back, while also reimbursing THQ for any money they spent developing the project.

I really, really hope Matt and Trey's lawyers are able to block this particular sale. Letting Ubisoft get its grubby DRM retarded hands on it will cause it to tank.

ignore this, got my answer below this post

image

http://venturebeat.com/2013/01/23/thq-auction/

The court has chopped up THQ and sold it for parts. The auction, ordered by the Bankruptcy Court of the District of Delaware, ended today. Many gamers and developers are worried about the future of the publisherfs development studios, intellectual properties, and employees.

We now know that Clearlake Capital will not take over THQ, and the companyfs assets have been sold piecemeal to other publisher:

Studios:

  • Sega bought Company of Heroes developer Relic for $26 million
  • Koch Media bought Saints Row developer Volition for $23 million
  • Ubisoft bought new studio THQ Montreal for $2.5 million
  • Darksiders developer Vigil did not find a buyer at this time

Properties

  • Crysis developer Crytek purchased Homefront for $500,000
  • Koch Media purchased Metro property for $5.8 million
  • Ubisoft bought South Park rights for $3.2 million
  • Publisher Take 2 purchased new Evolve property for $11 million

Here is the letter THQ chief executive officer Brian Farrell and president Jason Rubin sent to employees, as reported by Kotaku:

To All THQ Employees:

We now have the answers wefve 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:

  • Yesterday morning, we received a competing bid for the operating business,
    along with Clearlakefs 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fll 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fs 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.

Sincerely,

Brian Farrell
Chief Executive Officer

Jason Rubin
President

In December, THQ filed for bankruptcy. Clearlake Capital, an equity firm, immediately filed a motion to acquire THQfs assets intact for $60 million. Earlier this month, GamesBeat reported that THQfs lenders objected to Clearlakefs acquisition on the basis that a liquidation of assets would likely earn a higher price. The court agreed with that objection, which led to this auction.

Founded in 1989, THQ produced dozens of games over the past two decades. While never a publisher the size of Electronic Arts, the company found success with games like the WWE wrestling franchise, the Company of Heroes real-time strategy games, and the open-world Saints Row games.

In August 2010, THQ debuted the UDraw GameTablet, a peripheral for Nintendofs Wii console that allowed players to interact with art-based software. The $70 tablet was something of a surprise success on the Wii. Spurred by the positive reception, THQ decided to double down on UDraw by releasing a version for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.

This was a mistake.

In February 2012, THQ discontinued the UDraw tablet. It reportedly had thousands of units sitting in warehouses that it could not get rid of. At this time, the company made a shift from kid-focused games, like its Nickelodeon-branded titles, to focus on premium experiences for the core gaming audience.

The publisher brought in Jason Rubin, founder of popular developer Naughty Dog, to operate as company president. This move was to help facilitate THQfs renewed dedication to hardcore gaming.

It wasnft enough, in November THQ defaulted on a $50 million Wells Fargo loan payment. It filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection not long after.

well i hope this means the games will still be released. little sour about darksiders dev i hope they find a good home

god the ubisoft drm hate is getting really retarded these days.

Runner Ups.

Holy shit, that was damn close >.>. Zenimax must have really wanted Relic.

Can someone explain to me how Ubisoft legally bought South Park?
Wasn't there a deal that said it could only be bought if the South Park guys gave their consent and right now they, well DIDN'T?

Josh12345:
Can someone explain to me how Ubisoft legally bought South Park?
Wasn't there a deal that said it could only be bought if the South Park guys gave their consent and right now they, well DIDN'T?

They can cancel the deal if they aren't satisfied with the buyer, as far as I know, but they can't outright refuse the sale in the first place. Or something along those lines

OT: Interesting news, thanks for keeping us updated, Dexter111.

DoPo:

Josh12345:
Can someone explain to me how Ubisoft legally bought South Park?
Wasn't there a deal that said it could only be bought if the South Park guys gave their consent and right now they, well DIDN'T?

They can cancel the deal if they aren't satisfied with the buyer, as far as I know, but they can't outright refuse the sale in the first place. Or something along those lines

OT: Interesting news, thanks for keeping us updated, Dexter111.

Yeah I was just curious. I thought I read in another thread that Trey and Matt were objecting to the sale of the South Park RPG on the grounds that it wasn't THQ's to sell and also that it was tied to the South Park brand and they didn't want it whored out and abused by another publisher but it must be more complicated than that....

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