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Bidding war begins over TimeGate's Minimum and Section 8

A bidding war is broiling over the rights to two of now-defunct developer TimeGate Studios' video games, reports The Wall Street Journal.

First-person shooter Section 8, which launched in 2009 for Xbox 360 and Windows PC and in 2010 for PlayStation 3, along with unreleased free-to-play title Minimum are at the center of an offer feud between three companies. Hedge fund CNH Partners, France-based Atari SA and Southpeak Interactive Corp — publisher of TimeGate's Section 8 — have all placed bids for the rights to the two games.

According to documents obtained by The Wall Street Journal, CNH Partners joined with developer Digital Tribe Games to offer $50,000 in cash plus a 25 percent royalty fee for Section 8 and Minimum, effectively outbidding Atari SA. However, Southpeak said its offer of $40,000 plus 50 percent royalty also trumps Atari's.

The reports states the bankruptcy trustee working on TimeGate's case endorsed the Atari bid. However, CNH Partners has asked a bankruptcy judge to reopen the sale process and approve a live auction. Judge Jeff Bohm is scheduled to discuss the sale this Thursday at a hearing in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of Houston.

In 2009, TimeGate sued Southpeak Interactive, stating the company owed an "unknown" amount in royalties and did not follow through with localization responsibilities for Section 8. Southpeak countersued, claiming TimeGate did not invest enough of its own capital into the game's development, among other errors. After arbitration with a third party, the ruling came in favor of Southpeak, awarding the publisher $7.35 million in compensatory damages and control of the Section 8 license. This decision was overturned last March in federal court, but TimeGate lost the court appeal in April of this year.

The following month, TimeGate filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, shortly after the launch of Aliens: Colonial Marines, which it co-developed alongside Gearbox Software.

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