2013 has got off to a bone-chilling start for the video games industry.
Former major player, THQ, has been sold, auctioned off and all of its assets divided. In just a few weeks, the company will cease to exist.
THQ, publisher of such major titles as Saints Row, WWE, Darksiders, Homefront and others, is no more.
A number of major players have picked up some of the company’s lucrative franchises, including a few surprise moves.
- SEGA will purchase Relic, assuming responsibilities for Company of Heroes
- In a shock move, Koch Media will purchase Volition, gaining the rights to Saints Row and the Metro property.
- Crytek now own Homefront.
- Take-Two have taken a chance and picked up the unannounced Evolve
- Finally, Ubisoft have bought THQ Montreal and South Park: The Stick of Truth
At this point, it’s still unclear what will happen to the WWE and Darksiders franchises. It’s also unclear how any future DLC or current expansions/support for THQ games is affected by this.
A letter was sent out from THQ’s CEO, Brian Farrell and President, Jason Rubin, to all THQ employees, explaining the situation in full.
Kotaku have been sent the letter from a former THQ employee. Here it is in full.
To All THQ Employees:
We now have the answers we’ve been seeking through our financial restructuring and
Chapter 11 case. While much will be written, here are the facts of the bids and auction
that occurred t:
- Yesterday morning, we received a competing bid for the operating business,
along with Clearlake’s offer, and numerous offers for separate assets.
- During an auction process that lasted over 22 hours, the final conclusion was
that the separate-asset bids would net more than a single buyer for the majority
of the company.
- Shortly, we will, present the results to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, which must
concur with our assessment.
- The proposed sales of multiple assets is as follows :
- Sega agreed to purchase Relic
- Koch Media agreed to purchase Volition and Metro
- Crytek agreed to purchase Homefront
- Take 2 agreed purchase Evolve and
- Ubisoft agreed to purchase Montreal and South Park
We expect these sales to close this week.
Some assets, including our publishing businesses and Vigil, along with some other
intellectual properties are not included in the sale agreements. They will remain part of
the Chapter 11 case. We will make every effort to find appropriate buyers, if possible.
What this means for employees
We expect that most employees of the entities included in the sale will be offered
employment by the new owners. However, we cannot say what these owners may
intend, and there will likely be some positions that will not be needed under the
new ownership. You should receive notice this week or early next week if the new
owners intend to extend employment to you. Please note that the terms of your new
employment, including pay and benefits, may be different from the current terms of
your employment with THQ.
If you are an employee of an entity that is not included in the sale, we regret that
your position will end. A small number of our headquarters staff will continue to be
employed by THQ beyond January 25 to assist with the transition. THQ has sufficient
resources to pay these employees for work going forward, and we will be contacting
these employees immediately to ensure their continued employment during this
transition period. We are requesting the ability to offer certain severance pay to
minimize disruption for employees of non-included entities as they determine the next
steps in their careers.
We know you will have many questions about this news. We’ll be meeting tomorrow
when we return to talk through this announcement and to answer any questions you
have. You will receive a benefits fact sheet and FAQs with answers to some questions
that may be on your mind. Please review these materials closely.
A personal note
The work that you all have done as part of the THQ family is imaginative, creative,
artistic and highly valued by our loyal gamers. We are proud of what we have
accomplished despite today’s outcome.
It has been our privilege to work alongside the entire THQ team. While the company
will cease to exist, we are heartened that the majority of our studios and games will
continue under new ownership. We were hoping that the entire company would remain
intact, but we expect to hear good news from each of the separate entities that will be
operating as part of new organizations.
For those THQ employees who are part of entities that are not included in the sale, we
are confident that the talent you have displayed as part of THQ will be recognized as you
take the next steps in your career.
Thank you all for your dedication and for sharing your talent with the THQ team. We
wish you the best of luck and hope you will keep in touch.
Chief Executive Officer
These are sad times. We wish all former THQ employees well during this difficult time.