According to a letter sent to employees last Wednesday from Brian Farrell, THQ CEO, and Jason Rubin, the company’s president, the THQ toy company expected to  sell off its assets in pieces to multiple gaming competitors for $72 million in a bankruptcy auction. The following day, a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge approved the sale.

New owners of THQ assets include a variety of gaming companies:

  • Japanese gaming company Sega Corp. bought the military franchise “Company of Heroes” and its developer Relic Entertainment for $26.6 million;
  • European publisher Koch Media picked up the “Grand Theft Auto” parody “Saints Row”  and its developer Volition Inc. for $22.2 million along with science-fiction game series “Metro” for $5.9 million;
  • Take-Two Interactive bought action game “Evolve” for $10.9 million;
  • Ubisoft spent $3.3 million to release game-based Comedy Central series South Park and also purchased a Montreal studio for $2.5 million;
  •  And Crytek developer bought the action franchise “Homefront” for $544,218.

As there were no buyers for THQ’s Texas-based Vigil Games,  its publishing company and other intellectual properties, those assets  will continue in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy process.

Farrell and Rubin do expect new owners to extend employment to most employees who would continue to develop the games companies purchased, though the companies have not articulated plans for employment yet.

The two regret the outcome, especially for those whose jobs will not continue, and thanked their team for all of the work they’ve done over the years for the THQ family.

THQ was founded in 1989 and grew to become a major producer of kids’ games, operating under Hollywood licenses such as Pixar Animation and Nickelodeon. While the company saw strong numbers in the past, it began struggling in recent years as the market for licensed children’s games shrank. The company tried to compete with top players but ended up producing unsuccessful games which  drained  it of money and resulted in a December 2012 bankruptcy protection claim.

Boasting over 1,000 employees two years ago, THQ shares dropped from $341.70 in 2007 to 36 cents on the day it claimed bankruptcy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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