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

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

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 Phoenix are also included in the claims register. Hundreds of companies and individuals are seeking money from THQ.

Included among the claimants are companies like Microsoft, who registered a claim with the court for $213,772 in licensing fees for third-party peripherals and $888,652 for financing fees; UFC parent company Zuffa, LLC for $1.9 million in unpaid royalty fees; and Codemasters, which is seeking $1 million in unpaid royalties and stock on Dirt 3, Bodycount, F1 2011 and other titles.

Double Fine Productions, creators of THQ-published games Stacking and Costume Quest, is seeking $595,000 in royalties related to the sale of those games and money owed for PlayStation Plus promotions.

Tattoo artist Christopher Escobedo is listed among the claimants. His representation claims he's owed $4.16 million as part of a copyright infringement suit filed last November over the inclusion of a tattoo he created, which appears on UFC fighter Carlos Condit in UFC Undisputed 3.

Former THQ executives Jason Rubin and Jason Kay — both brought on to help turn THQ around in May 2012 — are also listed among the claimants, seeking $2 million and $2.1 million, respectively, from THQ Inc. and each of its four subsidiaries. A small portion of Rubin and Kay's claims are for unpaid salary and severance, with the larger sum — part of general unsecured claims — arising from a breach of employment agreement.

THQ subsidiaries in Europe, Asia and Australia represent some of the highest dollar amount claims, many of those claims related to loans and interest.

Also listed is the Entertainment Software Association, which is seeking the $190,424.75 for booth space reserved for E3 2013 and associated damages related to converting that space to a "lounge area." LucasFilm has a claim filed for royalties owed on mobile games Star Wars: Lightsaber Duel and Star Wars Arcade: Falcon Gunner.

The list of claimants helps to illustrate the rocky transition of certain former THQ franchises and the death of the company. Developers and artists, many of them contractors and outsourced developers, are seeking money owed for work on titles like Saints Row 4, Homefront 2 and Metro: Last Light. Creators of trailers, key art and logos for still-unreleased games have gone unpaid, resulting in the filing of claims.

New claims continue to be filed against THQ Inc. as the end of bankruptcy proceedings loom closer.

Bankruptcy case counselors tell Polygon that no claims will be paid out until the end of the case in May.

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