Today, video game company THQ sold its assets and IP in federal bankruptcy court. THQ was best known for its 13 years of WWE-licensed video games, including WWE Smackdown and WWE Smackdown Vs. Raw. THQ was also recognized for such daring franchises as Saints Row, Red Faction and Metro. Tough financial burdens of the past few years eventually led to today’s demise of the company. Here's what you need to know.
1. THQ Made A Bet On Core Titles to Save the Company
In 2009, THQ created a development strategy to focus on fewer, more core games to carry the company. They wanted to be the core gamer’s company, and started to develop new franchises such as Saints Row, Dawn of War, Metro, and Darksiders. Although critical reception was high, sales were not. Their strategy to introduce core IP did not financially set well with the company, and thus ultimately led to their demise.
2. THQ Cancelled a Handful of Anticipated Games Before Announcing Bankruptcy
2012 was a tough year for THQ. Not only did they hand over their much-defended UFC license to EA, they also cancelled the anticipated Devil’s Third and Guillermo del Toro’s InSane.
3. Relic Has Been Sold To SEGA
Relic, the developer of Company of Heroes 2 and Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War, has been sold to SEGA for $26 million. The two franchises don’t appear to align with SEGA’s development roadmap, so we’ll have to see what Sonic’s owners have in plan with the developers.
4. Koch Media Purchased Volition
Saints Row developer Volition has been sold to Koch Media, owner of Dead Island’s publisher Deep Silver. Koch Media announced Deep Silver will continue with the development and marketing of the Saints Row and Metro franchises.
5. Crytek Purchased the Homefront IP
Crytek, best known for the Crysis series and Cry Engine technology, was already developing Homefront 2, and now they own the franchise. Already veterans with developing first-person shooters, Crytek will be a great home for Homefront.
6. Turtle Rock Studio’s New Game Was Purchased by Take-Two
(Image credit: Giant Bomb)
Take-Two, the parent company of Rockstar and 2K (developers of Grand Theft Auto and Bioshock, respectively), purchased Turtle Rock Studio’s new game, codenamed Evolve. In 2008, Valve acquired Turtle Rock Studios, which later went on to develop Left 4 Dead. In 2010, the studio went independent and partnered with THQ the following year to publish their next game.
7. Ubisoft Purchases THQ Montreal and the Rights to Publish South Park: The Stick Of Truth
The THQ Montreal development team will join Ubisoft’s development teams for future projects. Although South Park’s IP owners, South Park Studios, announced an objection to the sale of the game due to $2.2 million in default payments yesterday, Ubisoft is confident of a 2013 release of the game.
8. Darksiders Still Hasn’t Found A Buyer
There were no announcements today for the purchase of the Darksiders franchise or its development team, Vigil. There have been rumors, though, that Platinum Games, developers of Bayonetta and Vanquish, are interested in purchasing the franchise.
9. WWE Still Doesn’t Have A Buyer
The WWE-licenced games, the most recognized of all THQ video games, still don’t have a buyer. Kotaku has reported rumors that Take-Two, parent company of Rockstar and 2K, will purchase the licence and franchise.
10. A THQ Employee Leaked a Letter from the THQ CEO and President
A letter from CEO Brian Farrell and President Jason Rubin was sent to all employees in wake of the bankruptcy. This letter detailed all of the games and studios that were being sold off. Contents of this letter include:
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.