THQ's path to bankruptcy and beyond

After publisher THQ succumbed to its financial woes, filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for its U.S. operations, its studios, unfinished games and licenses began to change hands.

THQ's abandoned office is a ghost town full of video game relics

When THQ declared bankruptcy and dissolved, it abandoned its office, leaving boxes, games, marketing materials and more behind, according to a gallery created by Reddit user Soulessgingr

The Redditor works for a company that moved into THQ's former headquarters. According to Soulessgingr, the THQ office includes abandoned hardware like cables, monitors, routers and TVs.

"It seems the building owner paid THQ for all the stuff they left," Soulessgingr wrote

But more important to video game fans, the office is also littered with video game awards, boxes and promotional materials for...

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EA discussed buyout of THQ a year before it went bankrupt, say court docs

Electronic Arts and THQ discussed a potential buyout of THQ, the former Darksiders, Saints Row and Red Faction publisher, as early as December 2011, a year before the company filed for bankruptcy, according to documents filed in Delaware district court this week.

Those discussions came about after THQ began exploring strategic alternatives, including a sale of the entire company to private equity or industry partner, as the defunct publisher's financial position continued to decline, the document says. THQ allegedly approached Electronic Arts for the sale, based on EA's interest in...

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THQ sues UFC and EA over UFC video game license

Defunct publisher THQ is suing Electronic Arts and Zuffa, the parent company of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), over the UFC video game license, which THQ formerly held and EA now possesses.

In the complaint, which THQ filed on Oct. 4 in U.S. District Court in Delaware, THQ alleges that EA and Zuffa worked together to bring about the termination of THQ's licensing agreement with Zuffa for the UFC series, as well as the transfer of that agreement to EA.

THQ originally signed a licensing agreement with Zuffa in January 2007 to produce UFC video games. Under the deal, the publisher...

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Nordic Games' plans for THQ titles in early stages, Deadly Creatures high on the list

Young video game company Nordic Games now owns the majority of bankrupt publisher THQ's most famous properties, including Darksiders, Red Faction and the MX series. Its plans for those franchises are still gelling, says Reinhard Pollice, Nordic Games' business and product development director.

But Nordic Games may soon have news to share about its recently purchased properties, Pollice tells Polygon.

Nordic Games acquired "substantially all" of THQ's remaining intellectual property in April in a $4.9 million bid that gave the company ownership of dozens of franchises and rights to publish...

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THQ 'couldn't change fast enough,' says former exec Danny Bilson (update)

Danny Bilson joined now-bankrupt publisher THQ in 2008 to help shift it from a licensed and kids' games company to a core games publisher, but the company "couldn't change fast enough," he said yesterday at the GameHorizon conference.

When he arrived at THQ as executive vice president of core games, the company had 17 different studios, but "six of them didn't know what they were making," said Bilson. So he was tasked with visiting the teams and helping them figure out what to work on, a process he described as "the most awesome job I've ever had in my life."

But about eight weeks into...

THQ creditors claim hundreds of millions owed, include Double Fine, Microsoft, UFC

Bankrupt publisher THQ has a lengthy list of creditors seeking money from the former video game maker, with more than $200 million in claims to date from various parties filed against THQ Inc. and its subsidiaries since the company filed for bankruptcy protection in December.

Claims registered in THQ Inc.'s bankruptcy case range from as little as $2.98 from a Tennessee tax assessor to as high as $39 million from UK-based THQ Holdings Ltd. over money loaned to the publisher. Claims against THQ subsidiaries and studios like Volition Inc., Vigil Games, THQ Wireless and THQ Digital Studios...

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The future of Darksiders, Red Faction and THQ's other IP at Nordic Games

"I've seen bad experiences with trying to handle creative people," said Wingefors, self-described entrepreneur and owner of Nordic Games Group and Wingefors Invest. "So we don't have any internal developers and I don't intend to."

Typically that wouldn't be a problem for a game distributor, but as of yesterday afternoon unofficially, and next month officially, Wingefors' Nordic Games will be the owner of more than 150 individual titles, rights to titles and video game franchises, each the beloved orphan of THQ's steady disintegration.

It will be up to Wingefors and his business team in...

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Nordic Games promises to look into MX vs ATV's missing DLC, downed servers

"Thanks for your interest in this great racing game series!" Reinhard Pollice, business and product development director at Nordic Games, wrote in the thread created for discussion about the series. "MX vs. ATV is so far the franchise where we have most problems understanding certain things that happened like servers and shops being shut down. Was there any announcement on that?"

According to fans posting in the thread, the matchmaking and lobby servers for MX vs. ATV Reflex, the Rainbow Studios developed game released in 2009, were shut down about three weeks ago. The online store for...

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Nordic Games asks fans what they should do next with Darksiders, former dev replies

"As one of the co-founders of Vigil and the lead level designer/principal designer on both games, all I can say is... make it adventurous," wrote Ryan Stefanelli. "And do what we would've done: let people know what happens when those other three comets land on Earth!"

Stefanelli also said the game needs to include four player cooperative play.

"Good luck to you guys," he concluded. "You've adopted our baby."

Stefanelli's post came in response to a forum thread created on the Nordic Games site by Reinhard Pollice, the business and product development director at the company, spurring...

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Who is Nordic Games?

Nordic Games acquired a significant portion of THQ's assets in a recent bankruptcy auction, the latest in a series of acquisitions since Nordic's founding that have built the company's catalog of established intellectual properties.

Nordic Games Licensing AB, the Swedish company listed in the court's Notice of Motion document, handled the acquisition as part of Nordic Games Group AB. The Vienna-based Nordic Games GmbH, which was founded in 2011, will handle "the day-to-day business (sales and distribution of said titles, evaluation of sequels & new content[,] etc.) with the acquired...

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Drawn to Life series acquired by 505 Games for $301K in second THQ auction

Publisher 505 Games has acquired the Drawn to Life series for $301,000 in the second bankruptcy auction for now-defunct publisher THQ, according to documents filed with the federal bankruptcy court in Delaware today.

The deal is pending approval by the court, which will come after a hearing that is set for May 13.

The acquisition covers the 2007 Nintendo DS title Drawn to Life, as well as its 2009 sequel on DS and Wii, Drawn to Life: The Next Chapter. THQ owned the Drawn to Life intellectual property, but 505 Games' acquisition does not include the 2008 spin-off game Drawn to Life:...

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Nordic Games acquires THQ's Darksiders, Red Faction and more in $4.9M bid

Nordic Games acquired "substantially all" of THQ's remaining intellectual property, including titles in the Darksiders, Red Faction and MX series, pending court approval, as part of a $4.9 million bid for multiple lots of the defunct publisher's games.

Two titles — Homeworld and Drawn to Life — received higher bids from other entities, Gearbox Software and 505 Games, respectively, according to court documents.

"The Debtors accepted Nordic's offer of $4.9 million for substantially all the IP except two titles, Homeworld and Drawn to Life," a court document reads. "The bids for individual...

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Gearbox lands Homeworld rights with $1.35M bid, pending court approval (update)

The bid by Gearbox, the developer behind Aliens: Colonial Marines and the Brothers in Arms and Borderlands series, won't become official until approved by the court next month.

"Gearbox Software has prevailed as the highest bidder in the acquisition of the Homeworld franchise from THQ," according to a statement released by the publisher. "Brian Martel, Gearbox Software's Chief Creative Officer, has great love and respect for Relic's brilliant, fun and innovative game and personally spearheaded the acquisition.

"Brian intends as first priority to direct Gearbox's interest to preserve and...

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Bidding closed on THQ auction of Darksiders, Red Faction, and more, $6M to $7M expected

Bids on the company's remaining intellectual property were due on April 15, according to the documents filed earlier this week. The plan is to present the offers to the court in May with the goal of closing the sales before the end of that month. The filing doesn't specify which properties were bid on or for how much, instead noting that they received 17 final bids for "certain of the IP." If approved by the court and certain holders of claims against THQ, those sales are expected to bring in anywhere from $6 million to $7 million.

The company's property was bundled together into six...

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Acclaimed game designer Desilets returns to Ubisoft after THQ collapse

The fate of Patrice Desilets, the acclaimed game designer who created the Assassin's Creed franchise before leaving Ubisoft to join THQ Montreal in 2011, is no longer up in the air.

Ubisoft officials today confirmed to Polygon that Desilets has returned to the company. The return to Ubisoft occurred after THQ Montreal, where Desilets was working, was acquired wholesale by Ubisoft in THQ's January fire sale.

"We are very pleased to welcome Patrice to Ubisoft again and anticipate that this renewed partnership will produce new ideas and high-quality titles for Ubisoft's customers," a...

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Double Fine optimistic about regaining rights to Costume Quest and Stacking from THQ

THQ's slow but steady dissolution into oblivion continues to be more than mildly confusing.

Yesterday, representatives from the company announced that they were kicking off another auction to sell off more of the company's remnant games, rights and IP. The eclectic list of games were bundled together in six batches and included everything from the top-tier Darksiders and Red Faction games to one-offs like Nancy Drew: The Hidden Staircase.

The list drew more than a little consternation and confusion from some of the developers behind some of those single title games.

A representative for...

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MX vs. ATV franchise developers express interest in the series' future

Following the news yesterday that bankrupt publisher THQ is auctioning off its remaining intellectual properties and franchises, former developers of the MX vs. ATV series, Rainbow Studios (renamed THQ Digital Phoenix in 2010), have responded to Polygon saying that they are "casually" interested in obtaining the IP and being a part of the franchise's future.

Former MX vs. ATV series lead designer Elliott Olson said he was "causally interested" but would like to have it rather seeing it "getting buried somewhere." He went on to say another organization without the motocross chemistry that...

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THQ to auction off Darksiders, Red Faction, Homeworld and more by May

What remains of bankrupt publisher THQ is kicking off the process to auction off some of its remaining game properties, like Darksiders, Homeworld and Red Faction. The sale of THQ's games and franchises is expected to be completed by mid-May, the company announced today.

The company's remaining intellectual property that will be auctioned off will be collected into six lots, consisting of the following titles and franchises:

  • Darksiders series
  • Red Faction series
  • Homeworld series
  • MX series
  • Other Owned Software, including Big Beach Sports, Destroy All Humans!, Summoner, and more
  • Other...

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Take-Two agrees to assume control of WWE video game license from THQ

Take-Two has reached an agreement with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), bankrupt publisher THQ and Japanese studio Yuke's to take over development of the WWE video game franchise, according to a motion filed in federal bankruptcy court yesterday.

The filing confirms a previous rumor.

Pending the court's approval of the agreement, Take-Two will publish future WWE video games that will be developed by Yuke's, which made THQ-published WWE titles for more than a decade.

"We can confirm that we have entered into an agreement to publish the WWE video game series that is developed by Yukes...

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Nexuiz's future remains tangled after THQ bankruptcy

Weeks after U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge Mary F. Walrath approved the sale of THQ's assets, the future of Illfonic's arena-based shooter Nexuiz remains shrouded in uncertainty, Chuck Brungardt, the developer's president told Polygon.

"Our deal with THQ was basically a licensing deal through THQ Partners, so we do have a period of time [in which] THQ has the rights to be the exclusive publisher," Brungardt wrote in a recent email correspondence. "Now with them folding we are still trying to figure out what this means and awaiting details from our contacts handling the transitions at THQ."

N...

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THQ terminates CEO and president as company continues to evaporate

THQ today notified the SEC that they have terminated the contracts for a trio of executives who had stayed on in hopes of finding homes for those last vestiges of the company.

THQ chief executive officer Brian J. Farrell, president Jason Rubin and chief strategy officer Jason Kay were all terminated without cause effective Jan. 30.

The day after his contract ended, Rubin told Polygon he was going to let some time pass before speaking any more about the company and its dissolution.

The termination came the day before health care ended for employees, according to a memo provided to Polygon...

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Crytek CEO created Crytek USA after one meeting, not pursuing Darksiders IP

Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli began hiring ex-Vigil Games employees after a single meeting and based on his impressions of Darksiders, but he isn't interested in continuing the post-apocalyptic franchise, according to an interview with VentureBeat.

Crytek already planned on creating a U.S. branch in Austin, where Vigil was based. Days after the studio was shuttered after receiving no bids at the THQ auction, Yerli flew to Austin, met with former Vigil head David Adams and began hiring ex-Vigil employees for the newly founded Crytek USA.

"My point is, I saw a history of games that spoke to the...

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Jason Rubin: 'massive mistakes' brought THQ to its own demise

Former THQ president Jason Rubin believes the company would have survived its hardships were it not for "massive mistakes," all made prior to his joining THQ in March 2012, he said in a recent interview with MCVUK.

Rubin said THQ's survival was dependent on its restructuring, which resulted in the company filing for bankruptcy and holding an auction to liquidate its assets rather than being acquired by another company.

"I think it is incorrect to attribute THQ's predicament with overall changes in the industry," Rubin said. "To be sure, all triple-A publishers have been under pressure,...

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Turtle Rock Studios came out of THQ auction 'in an awesome position,' co-founder says

The rights to developer Turtle Rock Studios' game Evolve were sold to publisher Take-Two during the recent THQ auctions, but co-founder Phil Robb is excited about moving forward.

During the auctions, Turtle Rock was a second bidder with $250K to Take-Two, who took the winning bid with $10.8 million. Evolve, a cooperative action game, will likely be published by 2K, one of Take Two's subsidiaries. Robb recently spoke with VentureBeat about being outbid and denied any disappointment.

"From our perspective, we came out of the proceedings in an awesome position," Robb said. "We are super...

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Crytek forms new Austin studio with former Darksiders developers

Crytek today opened a new studio in Austin, Texas, staffing it at least partially with the core Vigil Games team.

Vigil Games was shuttered last week when THQ failed to find a buyer for developers and their game series Darksiders.

Former Vigil co-founder David Adams is the CEO of the newly minted Crytek USA Corp. "I'm thrilled to be a part of the newest Crytek studio, which will boast some of the brightest development talent in the industry," Adams said. "The studio's launch represents Crytek's commitment to delivering diverse and high quality content to players everywhere."

Following...

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THQ employees gather to pour one out for their homies

In a video posted on YouTube today, now-former THQ employees gathered around the office steps and poured out a Saints Row 40 oz. for their homies.

Check out the video above to see Neal Pabon, who worked in public relations and marketing for THQ, surrounded by his soon-to-be ex-coworkers. Pabon opens a very old 40, turns it sideways and pours one out "For all my past @THQ homies," as he later wrote on Twitter.

Jan. 25 was the last day of work for THQ employees whose positions didn't survive this week's auction. They were told to pack up their desks and collect their final paychecks, as...

THQ employees pack up their desks as execs try to find them new jobs

Today, THQ corporate and Vigil employees who didn't survive this week's sell off were asked to pack up their desks and collect their last pay checks. Employment at the company headquarters for those who were no longer needed, concludes when the work day ends.

A Frequently Asked Questions memo provided to those employees, and shared with Polygon, details the process for leaving THQ.

The 18 questions and answers provided in the memo outline that employee health care ends Jan. 31, stock options become valueless after today, and that those working in America on a work visa sponsored by THQ...

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Ubisoft Canada boss says THQ Montreal staff are 'pretty happy ... that everything went well' with the acquisition

THQ Montreal staff seem to be happy with Ubisoft's acquisition of the studio, according to the chief executive of Ubisoft Montreal and head of Ubisoft Canada, Yannis Mallat.

Speaking in an interview with The Financial Post, Mallat said that he had visited THQ Montreal after the acquisition was made and received a warm welcome from staff.

"This is the very first time in my life that I have come to a studio that was just newly acquired, given a speech to everyone, and then have everyone applaud," he said. "It was a very sincere reaction. Maybe it was due to the fact that we at Ubisoft are...

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Sega purchased THQ's Relic Entertainment to 'reinforce PC game development capabilities'

Sega's $26.6 million acquisition of Relic Entertainment yesterday is part of a move to "further reinforce PC game development capabilities in the U.S. and European regions," the company announced today in a press release.

During THQ's auction yesterday in which the company was dissolved, Sega made a bid for Vancouver-based Relic Entertainment, developer of the Company of Heroes and Warhammer 40,000 franchises. Sega announced today that it acquired all shares of THQ Canada (known familiarly as Relic Entertainment) and "some IPs owned by THQ Inc.," but it was not stated what additional IP...

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Judge signs off on THQ bankruptcy sale, deal is done

It was all but official last night, but now it is final: THQ has been almost completely sold off to five competitors for $72 million.

U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge Mary F. Walrath today signed the motion approving yesterday's suggested sale of most of THQ's assets to multiple buyers, according to court documents obtained by Polygon.

Under the proposed sales:

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Danny Bilson: THQ closure is a loss for gamers everywhere

THQ had a tumultuous year, one punctuated earlier this week by a packed hearing in a Bankruptcy Court that broke the company apart and sold it off to the highest bidders.

Early last year, in a move to stave off this final outcome, THQ board members removed executive vice president of core games Danny Bilson and named Naughty Dog co-founder Jason Rubin president of the company.

During his more than four-year tenure, Bilson made a name for himself at the company with his push to expand the publisher's reach with new marquee talent including movie director Guillermo del Toro, former...

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THQ: Bankruptcy sale approved by court

U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge Mary F. Walrath today granted a motion to approve yesterday's suggested sale of most of THQ's assets to multiple buyers, THQ announced in a press release this morning.

The company expects the Court to enter a formal order today, according to the press release sent out shortly after midnight this morning. Yesterday's court hearing ended without an official decision, though it seemed all but a formality when things wrapped up.

Farrell said that he is proud of the work his team has done over the years and that he regrets this "outcome."

"While we had hoped that...

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THQ president apologizes to staff who have lost their jobs, wishes others good luck

The president of THQ, Jason Rubin, posted apologies to his company's former employees via Twitter after news came today that some of THQ's assets were successfully sold to new owners while others remained in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.

In the series of tweets, Rubin wished good luck to the former THQ studios that have been purchased by other companies, as well as the companies that performed the purchases. "Good luck to Volition, Relic, THQ Montreal, Obsidian, Crytek, TurtleRock and 4A. Working with you has been an honor. You have my $60. @THQ" he wrote.

In earlier tweets he said he...

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Vigil received no bids and other details from the THQ courtroom proceedings

While Morrison looked similar enough to many of the other men in the court room — that's to say, a middle-aged white man in a suit — he was the only person to take the podium and argue for a stop to the proceedings. As an "equity holder" in the company, Morrison and a colleague were frustrated that the entirety of THQ could be valued for as little as $100 million when the last game from just one of its studios sold over five million units. "That would be the [sale] that we'd object to," Morrison said, referring specifically to Saints Row: The Third developer Volition, Inc.

Barring that...

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Platinum Games boss expresses interest in buying Darksiders on Twitter

The executive director and producer of Platinum Games, Atsushi Inaba, tweeted his interest in buying THQ's Darksiders today after learning that no one made a bid for the franchise during THQ's auction today.

In a tweet he wrote today, the boss of the studio behind Bayonetta, Vanquish and the upcoming Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance said (in Japanese): "Oh man in THQ's big sale it looks like nobody's bought Darksiders ... I'd love to buy that (if it was cheap)."

In today's sale of THQ assets, Vigil Games and its properties failed to find a buyer, resulting in Vigil employees losing their...

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WWE video game license reportedly being acquired by Take-Two

The WWE video game license will be acquired by 2K Games parent company Take-Two Interactive, reports IGN.

THQ, the former licensee for WWE games, filed for bankruptcy last month. Its assets, including studios and intellectual property, were sold piecemeal at auction today; pending approval of the sales by a federal bankruptcy court judge, THQ will cease to exist as a company. Since THQ did not own the rights to the WWE brand — the company licensed them from the wrestling organization — or the WWE games' developer, Yuke's Co., the WWE license was not up for bidding, and WWE's contract with...

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A poignant goodbye from one of Vigil Games' many former employees

Ben Cureton was one of Vigil's many employees that found themselves, in the wake of THQ's dissolution and fire sale, without a place to make video games today.

While much of THQ's assets were sold off to the highest bidder, Austin, Texas-based Vigil Games, the studio behind Darksiders and Darksiders 2, found itself without a buyer.

Cureton, the lead combat designer at Vigil Games, took to NeoGAF to sum up his feelings. You can read an excerpt below and the full, thoughtful, open letter on NeoGAF:

My name is Ben Cureton, and I was the Lead Combat Designer at Vigil Games. I'm sitting at...

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Ubisoft: 'Too soon to say' if Desilets is returning to Ubisoft after THQ Montreal sale

The fate of Patrice Desilets, the acclaimed game designer who created the Assassin's Creed franchise before leaving Ubisoft to join THQ Montreal in 2011, is still up in the air after the studio was acquired wholesale by Ubisoft in today's THQ fire sale.

When questioned whether Desilets would return to Ubisoft — a company which filed a quickly overturned injunction against THQ after it hired Desilets, citing a non-compete provision — a representative for the publisher explained that the matter is still unsettled.

"It's too soon to say for certain, but we are very excited about THQ Montreal...

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Ubisoft acquires new IP in THQ auction, THQ Montreal, South Park confirmed

Ubisoft has acquired the rights to a new intellectual property in addition to its previously reported purchase of THQ Montreal and South Park: The Stick of Truth, the company announced.

The new IP has yet to be announced. THQ Montreal's team will join Ubisoft's already bulging number of 6,259 people across 26 studios worldwide.

"This deal adds experienced developers to our internal creative teams at a key moment in the cycle of the video game industry," Yannis Mallat, president of Ubisoft Montreal, said.

South Park: The Stick of Truth will continue external development under Obsidian....

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Deep Silver to head all further development on Saints Row and Metro franchises

Deep Silver will lead all future development on Volition's Saints Row and 4A Games' Metro franchises, and is already thinking about the games' next-gen presence, Deep Silver and parent company Koch Media announced this evening.

The company secured the intellectual property rights for these two franchises at an auction earlier today to liquidate the assets of publisher THQ. Deep Silver will share further information on its plans for the franchises in the coming months.

"With more than 200 games on notable platforms globally, and its proven success creating renowned franchises like Dead...

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Crytek offers $500K for Homefront franchise at THQ bankruptcy auction

Crytek, the developer best known for its Crysis series of first-person shooters, offered a bid of $544,218 for the Homefront franchise in an auction today that sold recently dissolved publisher THQ's studios and properties.

The offers put forth by Crytek and other companies are not final and await approval from a judge. According to the Notice of Auction Results, Crytek was the winning bidder in an auction that did not have a backup bidder.

Crytek's acquisition of the Homefront franchise would make sense, as the developer has been working on Homefront 2 for several years for a targeted...

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Koch Media offers $22.3M for Volition and $5.8M for 4A Games' Metro franchise in THQ auction

German media group Koch Media has offered $22.3 million for Saints Row developer Volition, Inc. and $5.8 million for 4A Games' Metro franchise, according to a letter sent to employees of THQ subsidiaries and details shared with Polygon this afternoon.

THQ first acquired Volition in September 2000 in a stock transition in which THQ assumed approximately $500,000 in net liabilities for the developer's operations.

A document detailing Volition's assumptions included in the sale lists Volition's QA headquarters in Champaign, Ill. and various contract services for Saints Row 4.

Assumptions...

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Vigil Games and properties fail to find buyer, remain as part of THQ's bankruptcy case

The assets for Vigil Games, developers of the Darksiders series, were not sold at auction today and Vigil employees jobs have ended as the studio's fate remains part of THQ's Chapter 11 bankruptcy case, according to a letter from THQ CEO Brian Farrell.

"Some assets, including our publishing businesses and Vigil, along with some other intellectual properties are not included in the sale agreements," Farrell wrote in a letter to all THQ employees provided to Polygon by a former employee. "They will remain part of the Chapter 11 case. We will make every effort to find appropriate buyers, if...

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Take-Two offers $10.8M for Turtle Rock's Evolve, Turtle Rock attempts to buy IP for $250K

Evolve, the cooperative action game in development at Turtle Rock Studios, has been bid upon by Take-Two Interactive as part of the piecemeal auction of THQ's franchises, according to an internal memo sent to Polygon by a former employee.

Details about the title have been slim since the collaboration was first announced in mid-2011. The developer is known for developing the original Left 4 Dead, which sounds remarkably similar to the cooperative nature of the new game. In February 2012, THQ filed a trademark for Evolve, which was revealed to be the working title of the game in THQ's l...

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Ubisoft bidding $2.5M for THQ Montreal, $3.265M for South Park in THQ auction

Ubisoft has put forth an offer of $2.5 million for THQ Montreal and $3.265 million for South Park: The Stick of Truth in the auction for THQ's subsidiaries, although the sale will not be final until a judge approves it.

THQ's CEO Brian Farrell and company president Jason Rubin outlined the sales in a letter to all employees, stating that sales are expected to close by the end of the week. Employees involved with the projects up for sale are expected to be offered jobs under the new companies, although employment is not guaranteed. Additionally, pay and benefits might differ from the...

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Sega offers $26.6M for Relic Entertainment in THQ auction, ZeniMax bids $26.3M

Vancouver-based Relic Entertainment, developer of the Company of Heroes and Warhammer 40,000 franchises, has been provisionally acquired by Sega at auction today for $26.6 million, according to a letter from THQ officials provided to Polygon by a former THQ employee.

Sega's bid to buy Relic remains a proposal for now, pending approval by a U.S. bankruptcy court judge. ZeniMax Media, parent company of Bethesda Softworks and id Software, has submitted a backup bid of $26.3 million, in case Sega's offer doesn't go through. The auction began yesterday and concluded today, with THQ's brands up...

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THQ dissolved, studios sold off, CEO announces in letter to staff

THQ will be broken apart, its games sold off to at least five different publishers, according to a letter sent to employees today from Brian Farrell, THQ CEO, and Jason Rubin, the company's president.

In a hearing in open court today, lawyers for those involved presented the seven sales to five publishers to U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Mary F. Walrath. The hearing ending without a final decision, but it appears to be all but a formality. The final decision will be made tomorrow.

"I wasn't sure it was going to work, but I'm glad it did" Judge Marry F. Walrath, said when presented with the...

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THQ and subsidiary employees begin tweeting about departures from company

Though the Delaware Bankruptcy court judge has yet to rule on the sale of THQ's franchises and assets to the highest bidder, a number of employees from THQ and its subsidiary developers are bidding the company farewell on Twitter.

The tweets in question are coming from former employees from all facets of the company; from THQ proper, and in-house developers like Relic and Vigil. Members of development teams, executives and PR leads for the publisher are all departing the company, according to the missives:

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South Park Studios objects to THQ's sale of The Stick of Truth, seeks $2.275 million in default payments

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...

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Metro: Last Light PC pulled from GameStop digital store in fear of THQ instability

Metro: Last Light is no longer available to pre-purchase on GameStop PC Downloads, the retailer's hub for downloadable PC games, due to fears of publisher THQ's instability, a GameStop exec told GameSpot today.

Shoppers searching for the game on GameStop PC Downloads can no longer pre-order THQ's upcoming, post-apocalyptic shooter, and anyone who already reserved the PC downloadable version of the title is eligible for a refund from GameStop customer service. The console versions of the title are still available to pre-order in-store and on the retailer's website; we've contacted GameStop...

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Double Fine interested in THQ games, assets

Independent studio Double Fine, renowned for its Double Fine Adventure Kickstarter success and games like Double Fine Happy Action Theater and Stacking, may be one of the potential buyers of THQ's intellectual property when the bankrupt company's assets go up for auction Jan. 22, according to Distressed Debt Investing.

Double Fine reportedly asked for a copy of THQ's bankruptcy filing. The studio joins a list of at least five publishers that previously expressed interest in buying THQ properties, including Electronic Arts and Warner Bros. Interactive, which purchased many of the studios...

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Future of THQ games could be settled by Jan. 23

The future of publisher THQ could be decided by Jan. 23, one day after the auction that will disperse the company's assets and titles, according to the company's CEO.

THQ's franchises will be broken up and sold title-by-title, with all bids due by 9 a.m. ET on Jan. 22. The auction will take place at 3 p.m. the same day, with a hearing scheduled for the following morning at 9:30 a.m. The auction's closing will take place on Jan. 24.

"Today's ruling provides a clear path. We will now know definitively by Jan. 23rd where we stand," said THQ chairman and CEO Brian Farrell in a statement,...

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THQ's franchises will be auctioned off 'title by title' on Jan. 22 (update)

THQ bidder Clearlake Capital Group has agreed to sell franchises belonging to bankrupt publisher THQ on a title-by-title basis to potential buyers, one of which is Electronic Arts, according to a tweet from Distressed Debt Investing.

Clearlake Capital, the group that sought to purchase THQ's assets shortly after the company declared bankruptcy in December, has agreed to allow potential buyers to purchase rights to titles individually and hold bidding until Jan. 15. According to DDI, Judge Marry F. Walrath said Clearlake's proposed timing is not enough, and today's hearing will focus on the...

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Five buyers reportedly interested in buying THQ assets and games, including Warner Bros.

Publisher THQ reportedly has five strategic buyers investigating a possible purchase of the company, which filed for bankruptcy protection in December, including Warner Bros., according to a report from Distressed Debt Investing.

Reporting from a hearing in the case at a United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware, DDI writes in a series of tweets that Centerview Partners banker Sam Greene testified that five buyers are in active due diligence on THQ. Greene also reportedly said those buyers are interested in purchasing individual games and franchises from THQ, not buying...

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THQ lenders object to quick sale of company, want game franchises sold piecemeal

A group of lenders have filed an objection in a Delaware court over the quick sale of THQ's assets to Clearlake Capital Group following the struggling video game publisher filing for bankruptcy protection last month. But THQ says it's likely to run out of cash this month, necessitating the short sale window of just 30 days.

The lenders say the quick turnaround on the sale of THQ's studios and game franchises doesn't afford other potential buyers the opportunity to make competitive bids and that the publisher's stable of franchises — Saints Row, Darksiders, Homefront, Company of Heroes, et...

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THQ delisted from NASDAQ stock exchange after bankruptcy filing

Embattled publisher THQ was delisted from the NASDAQ stock exchange over the holiday break, shortly after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, reports Gamasutra.

THQ stock is now trading on OTC (over-the-counter) markets, meaning that transactions involving it will take place directly between parties electronically or over the phone instead of on an exchange. The company's new ticker symbol is THQIQ, rather than THQI.

The company had faced delisting for much of 2012, and enacted a 1-for-10 reverse stock split in July — converting every 10 shares of stock to one — to successfully stay on the...

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THQ president Jason Rubin says bankruptcy signals 'a new start' for company

The president of THQ says that the publisher's filing for bankruptcy protection and a proposed purchase by investment firm Clearlake Capital Group "does not mean the end of the THQ story or the end of the titles you love," in a letter to the community posted by Jason Rubin.

Rubin, who was appointed president of THQ in May, writes that the bankruptcy proceedings and investment from Clearlake represent a "new start for our company." THQ's Chapter 11 filing for restructuring is a "safety net," Rubin says to fans concerned about the gamer maker's future, noting that companies like Marvel...

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Upcoming THQ projects detailed in bankruptcy filing, games from Turtle Rock, Vigil, Patrice Desilets

THQ's bankruptcy filing includes a number of updates on the company's upcoming internal and external games, revealing the working titles of projects from development studios Vigil Games, Turtle Rock, Relic Entertainment and more.

Vigil Games, the THQ-owned studio behind the Darksiders series, is developing a game with the working title "Crawler," details for which went unrevealed in the filing. Vigil's Haydn Dalton said in an interview with Strategy Informer that the continuation of the Darksiders franchise would depend on Darksiders 2 sales. Whether "Crawler" is a codename for the series'...

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THQ files for bankruptcy protection, selling studios and games to bidder

Struggling video game publisher THQ announced today that the company has entered into a purchase agreement with a bidder to acquire "substantially all of the assets of THQ's operating business, including THQ's four owned studios and games in development."

THQ has also filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for its U.S. operations in a Delaware court, the company says, to facilitate the sale of the publisher's owned studios and current games in development. The four studios, according to a bankruptcy court filing, include THQ Wireless, THQ Digital Studios Phoenix, Volition Inc and Vigil...

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THQ financial trouble has not yet affected Homefront 2 development, says Crytek CEO

Financial trouble at publisher THQ has not significantly affected the development of first-person shooter Homefront 2, but the consequences remain to be seen, according to a recent interview with Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli at Rock, Paper, Shotgun.

"We know how our relationship is, but we don't know what's happening to fix THQ's financial problems," he said. "That's THQ's prerogative. But we have hopes that THQ is going to turn around, and Homefront 2 is a very big part of that turnaround.

"I would say it's probably the most important project, actually," he added. "I would say it's the IP...

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THQ in talks with mystery financial sponsor, CFO resigns

Struggling publisher THQ says it has reached a temporary agreement with lender Wells Fargo, announcing that it has entered forbearance with its creditor and will take additional loans from the bank, despite its financial defaults.

THQ also announced that it has entered into exclusive negotiations with an unnamed financial sponsor regarding previously announced "financing alternatives" the company is pursuing in the wake of poor earnings and key game delays. THQ says it's keeping the identity of its sponsor and the nature of the potential financing a secret for now, so it's unclear if the...

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THQ details its loan default with Wells Fargo in new filing with SEC (update)

Publisher THQ announced it was in "certain defaults" with lender Wells Fargo in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission last week when it notified the commission of a late filing of its quarterly report. Today, THQ details the nature of those defaults in its 10-Q filing, writing that it was "over-advanced" under its credit agreement with the bank, which then led to the triggering of a technical default.

THQ writes in its SEC filing that its borrowings under the credit facility were $21 million at the end of its most recent fiscal quarter ending Sept. 30. After detailing the...

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THQ in default with Wells Fargo over $50 million credit facility

Troubled publisher THQ dropped more potentially bad financial news on Friday, revealing that it was in "certain defaults" on a $50 million credit facility with lender Wells Fargo.

The Agoura Hills based publisher of Darksiders, Saints Row and WWE wrestling games wouldn't clarify the conditions of the credit facility it has defaulted on, but did report "loan availability on the Credit Facility was less than 12.5% of the maximum revolver amount," a technical default of the terms of the loan. THQ tells Polygon that Wells Fargo continues to fund its requests while the two parties discuss the...

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THQ posts $21 million loss, seeking financing after key game delays

Struggling video game publisher THQ reported earnings for its second quarter today, posting a $21 million loss on $107.4 million in revenue for the three months ending Sep. 30. In addition to announcing delays for three key titles originally slated for release in early 2013, THQ also revealed it was looking for financial help.

THQ announced it had engaged investment banking and private equity investment firm Centerview Partners to help the publisher find additional capital. The publisher says it is "evaluating strategic and financing alternatives" to improve THQ's "overall liquidity" and...

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THQ cancels production on Guillermo del Toro's 'Insane' video game

Publisher THQ said during an investor call today that it has canceled pre-production on Insane, the company's video game in development with director Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Pan's Labyrinth).

"We have decided not to pursue further pre-production on Insane, and have returned all of our IP rights to Guillermo del Toro," said THQ president Jason Rubin.

Insane was previously in development at Volition Inc., the studio responsible for developing THQ's Saints Row and Red Faction franchises. The survival horror title was announced at the Spike Video Game Awards in 2010 by del Toro himself....

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THQ names Naughty Dog co-founder as new president; Danny Bilson out

Struggling publisher THQ announced today that Jason Rubin, co-founder of Naughty Dog, has been appointed as president of the company, effectively immediately, as part of a major leadership restructuring.

Rubin will be responsible for all of THQ's worldwide product development, marketing, and publishing operations, and will report to Brian Farrell, THQ Chairman and CEO, according to the announcement.

Rubin co-founded Naughty Dog in 1984 with Andy Gavin. The developer gained wider notoriety when it created the Crash Bandicoot and Jak & Daxter series for PlayStation platforms, on which...

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Itagaki's 'Devil's Third' being sold by THQ

THQ has announced it is in the process of finding a buyer for Devil's Third, the first project from former Team Ninja head Tomonobu Itagaki since his contentious departure from Tecmo.

The publisher, which suffered a staggering $239.9 million net loss during its 2012 fiscal year, has changed its priorities in recent months. According to THQ president Brian Farrell, Devil's Third — the debut outing from Itagaki's new studio Valhalla Games — no longer fits into the picture.

"The profitability profile for Devil's Third no longer met our internal threshold and we are currently in discussions...

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