Published on January 25th, 2013 | by Adam Lee
THQ Torn Asunder
Alas, another giant is claimed by our caustic economic climate. For a moment, it looked as though THQ had been pulled from the flames of oblivion, but as quickly as our hope was kindled, it was once again extinguished.
For those unaware, THQ has been in financial troubles for quite some time now. Back in March 2012 the company had a huge downsizing, cutting away everything but the most profitable and potentially successful games. However it wasn’t enough to steady the ship, and things quickly worsened. The limited success of recent releases sealed their fate – yes Darksiders 2, I’m blaming you for this one.
Phase two involved selling holdings to a group called Clearlake Capital – who would babysit everything while THQ rebuilt. Positive in their ability to turn a profit to the bitter end, they just needed the time to do so. Unfortunately, after an exhausting 22 hour auction process the judges weren’t so confident, and thus THQ was divided into chunks and sold to the highest bidder.
Kotaku managed to get a copy of CEO Brian Farrell’s letter to his beleaguered employees, which you can read in its entirety here. It’s not all doom and gloom though, thankfully the majority of forthcoming titles have found reputable homes, with my personal favourite – World War II RTS Company of Heroes 2 – being picked up by Sega with their acquisition of Relic. A ‘Value Investor‘ revealed all the cold, hard numbers via twitter,
THQ auction results: 26M for Relic (Sega), 2.5M for Montreal (Ubisoft), 11M for Evolve (Take-Two), 22.3M for Volition (Koch Media) 500k Homeland (Crytek), 5.8M for Metro (Koch Media), South Park for 3.2M (Ubisoft)
THQ have released a horde of games that I’ve adored over the years, and in particular I’m a huge Relic fan, but with Sega taking the reins I’d be remiss if I wasn’t concerned by their recent conduct regarding YouTube content.
One of the more surprising developments was the absence of bids for Darksiders studio, Vigil, who were working on an entirely new IP codenamed ‘Crawler’. Further evidence of the disappointment surrounding Darksiders 2. Perhaps it was deemed too risky from an investment perspective, but there’s no denying the talent at their disposal.
Well, time to tip the hat and raise a glass to THQ – it’s a shame to see another company go under especially so soon after Gas Powered Games announced problems. Good luck to all the employees who have lost their jobs, and here’s hoping those last few games fulfil their promise.