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

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Gearbox Software is the highest bidder for the acquisition of the Homeworld franchise, officials at the developer announced this afternoon.

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 assemble the purest form of the original acclaimed and beloved games, Homeworld and Homeworld 2, with the intent of making them accessible on today's leading digital platforms."

Officials with Gearbox went on to ask gamers interested in the future of Homeworld to go to their forums to share their ideas with the developer.

"And, please try to get our attention if you have capability and interest to join the effort in developing or enabling Homeworld's future," according to the statement.

In February, THQ announced that its remaining games and intellectual property would be auctioned off in lots. Homeworld and Homeworld 2 were in the same lot. The games were were broken down into six groups 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 Licensed Software, including Marvel Super Hero, Supreme Commander, Worms, and more

In some cases, ownership of the overall intellectual property is not for sale, simply the rights to distribute certain games on specific platforms. Those initial bids were turned in last week with the company 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.

In February, the company said they received "more than 100 expressions of interest" in purchasing its IP and that a "vigorous sale is anticipated."

In January, a U.S. Bankruptcy Court approved the sale of some of THQ's in-development games and studios for $72 million. The auction saw THQ properties like Saints Row and Metro go to Koch Media, developer Relic go to Sega andSouth Park: The Stick of Truth go to publisher Ubisoft.

THQ failed to find buyers for some of its intellectual property and studios, like Darksiders and developer Vigil Games. THQ was dissolved and its staff laid off on Jan. 23.

The full list of of owned and licensed games up for auction is listed below in detail by lot.

Lot 1 - Owned Software

  • Red Faction
  • Red Faction Armageddon
  • Red Faction 2
  • Red Faction: Guerrilla

Lot 2 - Owned Software

  • Homeworld
  • Homeworld 2

Lot 3 - Owned Software

  • MX Alive
  • MX vs ATV Untamed
  • MX Superfly featuring Ricky Carmichael
  • MX vs. ATV Alive Tournament
  • MX Unleashed
  • MX vs. ATV Unleashed
  • MX vs ATV Reflex
  • MX vs. ATV: On The Edge

Lot 4 - Owned Software

  • Darksiders
  • Darksiders 2

Lot 5 - Owned Software

  • All Star Cheer Squad
  • All Star Cheer Squad 2
  • All Star Karate
  • Baja: Edge of Control
  • Battle of the Bands
  • Beat City
  • Big Beach Sports
  • Big Beach Sports 2
  • Big Family Games
  • Crawler
  • Deadly Creatures
  • Deep Six
  • Destroy All Humans!
  • Destroy All Humans! 2
  • Destroy All Humans! Big Willy Unleashed
  • Destroy All Humans! Path of the Furon
  • Dood's Big Adventure
  • Drawn to Life
  • Drawn to Life: The Next Chapter
  • Elements of Destruction
  • Fantastic Pets
  • Frontlines: Fuel of War
  • Full Spectrum Warrior 1
  • Full Spectrum Warrior 2: Ten Hammers
  • Juiced
  • Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights
  • Lock's Quest: Construction Combat
  • Neighborhood Games
  • Pax Imperia
  • Stuntman: Ignition
  • Summoner
  • Summoner 2
  • Terranium
  • The Outfit
  • Titan Quest
  • Titan Quest: Immortal Throne
  • World of Zoo
  • de Blob
  • de Blob 2
  • uDraw

Lot 6 - Licensed Software

  • Costume Quest
  • Daniel X (SueJack)
  • Deepak Chopra's Leela (Curious Holdings)
  • Fancy Nancy: Tea Party Time! (Harper Collins)
  • Jeopardy
  • Jeopardy 2
  • Journey to the Center of the Earth
  • Let's Ride Best of Breed
  • Marvel Super Hero Squad: Comic Combat
  • Marvel Super Hero Squad: The Infinity Gauntlet
  • Marvel Super Hero Squad: The Infinity Gauntlet 2
  • Nancy Drew: The Hidden Staircase
  • Nexuiz
  • Paws & Claws Marine Rescue
  • Paws & Claws Pampered Pets Resort 3D
  • PurrPals 2
  • Rio
  • Rocket Riot
  • Screwjumper (Frozen Codebase)
  • Scripps Spelling Bee (Scripps)
  • Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of Osborne House
  • Stacking
  • Supreme Commander
  • Supreme Commander Forged Alliance
  • The Biggest Loser
  • Truth or Lies
  • Vampire Legends: Power of Three (dtp)
  • Wheel of Fortune
  • Wheel of Fortune 2
  • World of Zoo
  • Worms 2
  • Worms: A Space Oddity
  • Worms: Open Warfare 2 (Team 17)
  • Worms Battle Islands
  • Worms Open Warfare
  • You Don't Know Jack (Jellyvision)

We have reached out to Gearbox to ask how much the IP cost and what their plans are for it and will update this story when they respond.

Update: Gearbox will pay $1.35 million for the property pending the approval of the bankruptcy court overseeing the auction, court documents have revealed.

The sale of the Homeworld franchise was actually the most hotly contested of all of THQ's remaining lots, the details of the sale of which can be found in this summary. Three "substantially similar" bids were put in for Homeworld, leading the court to hold a supplemental auction in which Gearbox, Aspyr Media and Paradox Interactive bid on the IP. Paradox's bid came in third, and was not revealed by the court document. Aspyr is the back-up bidder on the property with a bid of $1.3 million, falling just $50,000 short of Gearbox's offer.