THQ Filing For Bankruptcy, Selling Off Assets

By Nathan Grayson on December 19th, 2012 at 10:24 pm.

Buy more THQ games so this poor man can afford a better jacket.

Oh boy. Remember how things haven’t been going so hot for THQ lately? If you’ve somehow forgotten, do you remember your name or any key facts about yourself? Have you hit your head or recently traveled forward to this time period? Are you an amnesiac, infant, or ghost? AT ANY RATE, we’ve finally reached the expected conclusion of this rather depressing series of events, but – as ever – there’s a twist. In spite of how the word “bankrupt” – which is derived from the root “bank account ruptured and screamed in agony as warm monetary lifeblood erupted from its depleted tubules” – often connotates, THQ isn’t doomed yet. Instead, it’s merely employed some tricksy business maneuvers to dodge an avalanche of debt. For now, though, your favorite game series are safe.

In short, the Chapter 11 bankruptcy’s only one element of a larger deal with a “stalking horse bidder” called Clearlake Capital Group. In addition to making me desperately curious about the people who come up with the names for business terms, this means that THQ essentially tried to drive up the price on initial bids for, er, itself. When no other competitors surfaced, however, Clearlake won by default, purchasing the beleaguered publisher for $60 million.

What does this mean for the likes of Metro: Last Light, Company of Heroes 2, Saints Row 4, Homefront 2, and South Park, though? Well, for the time being, pretty much nothing.

“THQ will continue operating its business without interruption during the sale period, subject to Court approval of THQ’s first-day motions. All of the company’s studios remain open, and all development teams continue. The company remains confident in its existing pipeline of games. THQ maintains relationships with some of the top independent development studios around the globe. As part of the sale, the company is seeking approval to assume the contracts of these studios, and Clearlake will assume these contracts.”

“Consumers and retailers should see no changes while the company completes a sale. The new financing will support business operations throughout the period. THQ does not intend to reduce its workforce as a result of the filing, and employees will continue to work their usual schedules and receive normal compensation and benefits, pending customary Court approval.”

In other words, THQ’s not going anywhere just yet. Instead, it’s buying some more time by being bought – in hopes that its formidable force of heavy hitters will eventually swoop in and save the day. Meanwhile, the official filings for all of this business revealed titles for four unannounced games: Vigil’s “Crawler,” Turtle Rock’s (they of the original Left 4 Dead) “Evolve,” Relic’s “Atlas,” and Assassin’s Creed creator Patrice Desilets’ “1666.” Evidently, then, THQ’s hardly treating this like a dead end.

And certainly, other companies have navigated the choppy waters of bankruptcy before and returned stronger than ever. But others, well, haven’t (hiya, Midway Games), so THQ’s still treading on thin ice. As always, fingers crossed. It’s tough to say whether or not the publisher’s still circling the drain, but regardless, it’s got quite a bit of climbing to do before it’s free and clear.

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147 Comments »

  1. Cytrom says:

    I don’t think that word means the same nowadays as it used to…

    • Biscuitry says:

      It hasn’t for some time. The people behind Horizons/Istaria/whatever they’re calling it now have declared bankruptcy and somehow contrived to buy themselves and keep going at least twice now. I’ll be surprised if this is the last we see of THQ.

      • marianthomas4 says:

        as Walter implied I am taken by surprise that a person can make $5859 in four weeks on the internet. have you seen this web site..Read More

    • FakeAssName says:

      yeah, this is a “fuck you” maneuver to the general investors / debtors: they sell themselves to a shell corporation that they set up themselves (“they” being the executives and major shareholders) and walk away while THQ’s debt dies in Bankruptcy court with only a fraction being paid for with the material cost of selling THQ’s PCs and development kits.

  2. Inglourious Badger says:

    You could help by buying Darksiders 2 for £9 on getgamesgo’s today only sale.

    • amorpheous says:

      You could help even more by buying it at full price on Steam! I already have it though and heartily recommend it from any retailer.

    • MichaelPalin says:

      Why would you want to help? Big companies should not be treated like a friend, if they produce good products and treat their customers right, you buy them, if not, you don’t. If they fail, we celebrate the possibility of part of their audience switching to buying games from people who produce video games for better reasons than profit.

      • Biscuitry says:

        I can see where you’re coming from, but it’s precisely because they focus on other things besides mindlessly putting profits first that they’re having financial trouble. Because of The Economy®, margins are very thin for everyone. There’s nothing wrong with people wanting to see a company they like continue, and giving them money in exchange for product sounds like the best way of doing that, whatever the buyer’s motivation for choosing the particular product.

        • The Random One says:

          No, they are in financial trouble because they thought they would be making heaps of money with their weird drawing tablet thingy™ and didn’t, and they had sunk loads o’ monies into it and got almost no return. It’s just economy. They’re not starving artists valiantly suffering the arrows of human indignity as they struggle not to sell out.

      • luukdeman111 says:

        You’re contradicting yourself…. If he thinks the company is so good that they are worth helping, than the company still did a good job and therefore deserves the extra help

        • Ansob says:

          Corporations are not sapient beings. Corporations do not have feelings. Corporations do not “deserve” anything, nor can you be “unjust” towards a corporation. It’s a legal entity.

          • derbefrier says:

            yeah tell that to the thousands of people who jobs are at risk. portraying something as an “entity” as you put may make it easier to be an ass and ease you conscience but real people are going to be affected by this. don’t forget that. corporations dont come from nowhere it takes years of hardwork and sacrifice from many, many people to run a successful company.

          • tungstenHead says:

            It’s a metaphor. Don’t be thick.

          • Universal Quitter says:

            Certain US Supreme Court rulings aside, who is saying that corporations are sapient, or even sentient?How did you even take that away from “a company I like?”

            Reductio ad Absurdum doesn’t really work when you can’t even keep track of what you’re actually arguing against. I mean, what you’re basically doing is telling someone they’re doing capitalism wrong, which is about the stupidest fucking thing I have read in at least ten minutes.

          • MichaelPalin says:

            @derbefrier

            Usually big companies are the first ones dehumanizing their own workers. Do you know the word “redundant”? It is the word they use when it is more profitable to fire someone than having him/her producing. Big companies are the first ones that will exploit their employs as if they were machines. You are basically defending an evil structure appealing to the well-being of those that are exploited the most by that structure. Of course it is a drama that people lose their jobs, but don’t use that to defend these companies.

          • jkz says:

            I am with you comrade Palin!

          • Consumatopia says:

            In a very real sense it is relevant that THQ isn’t a physical person–if the company disappears, the human artists and developers that it is made out of will still live and breathe. If people love THQ so much that they consider saving it some kind of charity case, maybe it would make more sense for the devs and artists to leave and form a new company? I guess they wouldn’t be able to keep the old IP, but I don’t consider that a big deal–those are good games, that doesn’t necessarily mean they need a sequel. Make some new IP instead.

          • Edradour says:

            No thanks i want to keep my darksiders/warhammer games, im all for new ip but these two arent nearly exhausted yet.

      • fish99 says:

        They do make some good games though.

        • Elethio says:

          They used to make some good game, Homeworld series, Dow1, CoH, COHO (best game of all time that only lasted 9 months) not convinced about CoH2 we shall see.

      • Hyomoto says:

        I’ll beat this dead horse! THQ has managed to produce titles that apparently have been out of more than just profit. Hence, they aren’t making any but we have people who love their games.

        Darksiders 2 is a good game. It pisses me of that it got slammed for being ‘generic’ when what that amounted to was all the systems were familiar, fun and worked. The acting was great, it has excellent set pieces and its genuinely fun to play. Yes, buy this game and help out THQ earning yourself a sweet title in return.

        • f1x says:

          Actually yes, when I look at THQ I see a very interesting catalogue, with good IPs and a lot of talent, so I feel like helping them in any way I can in order to see more games coming from them

          I’m not naive I know that CEOs and high profile executives get all the money and talented designer get just the lower thing (even tho working as videogame designer is decently—to—–well paid)
          and the thing is besides whatever mistakes they made in this pasts years THQ doesnt deserve to be bankrupt

    • frightlever says:

      It’s a shame Darksiders 2 sold in relatively low numbers (about a million worldwide according to a Blues News thread I read) because I thought it was brilliant (well, brilliant up until I hit a certain boss battle, but I’ll get by there yet).

      I really hope THQ comes out of this resembling the company it was before, but with tighter financial controls. They make or publish most of the AAA games I buy.

  3. Hoaxfish says:

    I assume the Humble Bundle was a play to show their worth to the buyer(s).

    I’m not holding out that we won’t be seeing asset selling in a while.

    • FakeAssName says:

      no, that was to drive the value of the company down even further; that way these new guys (who are basically the same people that run THQ right now) and “buy” them for even less money.

      • Xocrates says:

        Err… stock price went UP during the HB sale.

        • FakeAssName says:

          only a few cents, while a vast majority of the 5 mill from the HIB obviously did NOT go to THQ.

          stock jumped a little while the company incurred more debt from zero return on those games sold, driving the value farther into the red.

          • bottleHeD says:

            A few cents, yes. From $1.07 per share to $1.6 per share, before settling on ~1.45. That’s a massive increase of over 40%, so yes, the Humble Bundle certainly helped.

    • belgand says:

      It was also an attempt to drive interest towards games that are getting sequels next year or just had them come out recently, i.e., Metro: Last Light, Company of Heroes 2, Darksiders 2, and Saint’s Row 4. Honestly it was a bit odd that Homefront wasn’t in the bundle as it had pretty mediocre sales and has a sequel on the way, but maybe they didn’t want the crappy original to taint views of the new one. Dawn of War 3 is also apparently around at some point in the planning stages. At least Relic was talking about it a year or so ago.

  4. amorpheous says:

    Forget all the others. What about the Darksiders series?!

    • zeekthegeek says:

      Already dead in the water, the second game was mostly a flop and the art director who defined the style of the games left Vigil

      • kyynis says:

        There was a style?

      • amorpheous says:

        What?! Nooooooooooo!!! :’(

        Also, second game was amazing. Better than the first, I thought.

        • Jae Armstrong says:

          I didn’t enjoy the second as much as the first, but that’s down more to the genre shift than anything else. Still a brilliant game.

          • socrate says:

            lvled loot chest,horribly boring enemy and boss,pre-order shit yet again and DLC day one and then more DLC…yeah i don’t buy from THQ anymore because of these pre-order and DLC basically,their game also are quite bad and getting worst and worst….did you see Company of heroes 2…..why even call it 2 when it doesn’t look improved in any freaking way…it just look like a new expansion with the multiplayer lvling that you had in the free to play CoH…

            Its just an horrible company yet again that keep getting worst and dodge stuff like that because of a stupid country that think only to protect big company and rich dude instead of giving to small company that usually have 1000% more potential,got to love capitalism,then again people still vote for Obama for some weird reason….well even in the first place it didn’t make much sense but politic is usually a huge joke anyway and for people to blame someone when it goes bad and then re-elect him when is idea were clearly not what you needed to make it better.

            POLITIC!!!!

      • GoliathBro says:

        That’s a damn shame.

        One of the best games I’ve ever played.

        :(

        The incredible world design, great characters, epic bosses, fun combat, brill soundtrack, some rather devious puzzles and the sort of platforming that you just don’t get a lot of anymore….

        Such an awesome game, oozing inspired development out of every pore.

        PEOPLE ARE SHIT FOR NOT LIKING IT

      • lokimotive says:

        Aww man, that sucks. Darksiders 2 was like bloated prog rock triple album, in the best sense possible.

        • strangeloup says:

          I really, really like Darksiders 2, even though every part of me is telling me I shouldn’t. It’s pretty much Shitty 90′s Comic: The Interactive Game, and yet I’ve played it for an awful lot of hours and don’t think I’m anywhere near the end yet.

          Someone should get these guys making a Legacy of Kain game, seeing as Death is pretty much Buff Raziel anyway.

    • f_zul says:

      Forget Darksiders. Wut about CoH, WH and Homeworld after all?

  5. Armitage says:

    Yeah, I hope that businessy stuff works out for them, I just want to play Metro Last Light.

    Do we know anything about those 4 unannounced titles? All of them seem to be brand new IP’s.

    • SirKicksalot says:

      1666 is set around the Great Fire of London.
      Atlas is a f2p MOBA.
      Evolve is a CryEngine 3 coop FPS from the creators of Left 4 Dead and it’s supposed to have a very unique gimmick. Its previous name was Wild.
      Never heard of Crawler, but I guess Dark Millenium was killed for good and Vigil’s doing this instead.

      • Dave L. says:

        1666 is set in Amsterdam and has a plot so convoluted it makes Assassin’s Creed look like Hop on Pop.

        No idea what Crawler is. Frankly, I thought after Darksiders II’s ‘not quite good enough’ performance that Vigil was going to get the axe. I’d heard that Dark Millennium had been shifted over to Relic, but there being no sign of it on the bankruptcy filing does imply that it was canned.

    • Syra says:

      I’m saddened they no longer have any wh40k games in the pipe. I suppose that’s a post coh2 thing. I’m glad they don’t have to sell off their assets atleast.

  6. SkittleDiddler says:

    Wow, I never saw this coming.

    /s

  7. Maximum_Name says:

    Wonder what this means for Warhammer… (If its even THQ anymore :P)

    • Optimaximal says:

      THQ renewed their 40K license a while back, although the change in scope of Dark Millenium can’t be helping.

      The other licenses are with other companies.

    • iniudan says:

      THQ still got right to make 40k game, but the fantasy warhammer right are Sega and Creative Assembly.

    • solidsquid says:

      Whoever buys THQ gets the licence until it expires

  8. MadJax says:

    So all of those franchises are (essentially) in the hands of a capital investment group?….

    O such joys…

  9. MichaelPalin says:

    I would like to celebrate the fall of a big publisher although it is obvious this does not change things much on the medium. At least, I hope this means a slightly bigger audience for the indies and smaller, more interesting publishers. Any other big publisher struggling financially?

    • zeekthegeek says:

      If you thought THQ was a big publisher you have a very, very distorted view of reality.

      • MichaelPalin says:

        Any publisher that operates on the hundreds of millions of dollars is a big publisher. THQ reached the billion dollars of revenue in 2007, while EA has a revenue of 4 billions of dollars for this year, for example. So, yes, THQ was a big publisher.

    • Armitage says:

      Hur dur, big company bad, small company good !

      • MichaelPalin says:

        That’s an oversimplification, sometimes small companies want to be big companies too, which makes them bad… hur dur.

        • derbefrier says:

          it is, but its enough for most liberals..

          • Droopy The Dog says:

            I’d debate the implication that a liberal outlook somehow correlates with being plain stupid. But when someone throws a crazy ball in out of left field like that I get the feeling it’s most likely going to be pointless. So I’ll skip to the end.

            Don’t don’t conflate liberalism with naïveté. I know you probably still will. But I just wish you wouldn’t.

          • lijenstina says:

            I don’t care about the tribalism of the conservative / liberal divide and the totems, saints, psalms of the ideologies. Companies aren’t good or bad they are amoral tools like a hammer. You can use it to build a house or cave in someone’s skull. Or wealth isn’t a clear sign of having a mandate from god or the holy neoliberal market to decide what to do with the filthy peasants.
            Not to mention the crying over the poor state of democracy around the world while twisting arms around like it is a riot police bouncers tear gas party.
            But the favorite of mine are the plain thieves that just repeat the flavor of the day ideology mantras and then proceed stealing everything. Patriotism, freedom, democracy, tradition, rights, equality, solidarity…. They repeat those but don’t mean it. While for the most of the obnoxiously ideologically blinded people tribalism is an emotional attachment, the opportunists are the biggest bastards because they are there in power so something can be embezzled, nicked, stolen or sold out.
            And the funny thing is they are empowered by the blinded ones because they are in their team – so automatically are right and good.

            Anyway, i know i had my beef with THQ (Stalker), but i wish them to survive. While they’ve had their fair share of screw ups they do have some good IP’s. :)

        • tungstenHead says:

          But that’s not the whole story, either. Sometimes, big companies wish they could go back to the good old days when they were just a small little place, wholly owned by the handful of friends that got together to make something cool. This makes them good! Herpty derp!

    • Grygus says:

      What a strange notion, that high-profile failures will help the industry. Do you work in PR?

      • MichaelPalin says:

        Not the industry, the medium. I want the medium to thrive and the people with the talent and the love for video games to have the opportunity to produce them. THQ was part of the industry, the production philosophy of maximizing profit, of exploiting franchises and trends to no end, of ridiculous spendings on marketing and advertisement and of abusing players with DRM. It’s a good thing that companies like this disappear (although I didn’t want to fully celebrate due to the obvious possibility of a bigger publisher buying all their assets).

        • Marik Bentusi says:

          You don’t advance the medium by keeping it in the stone age, you don’t get complex AAA games from a handful of guys in a garage, and simple indie titles with a little gimmick that’s supposed to make them stand out aren’t the salvation to the enlightenment of the interactive medium of the 21st century. Big companies aren’t bad and small ones aren’t good. You need a mixed salad bowl of healthy competition to keep people inventive. Just eating indie snacks is no better than living off of big budget junkfood.

        • Xerian says:

          You’re somewhat of a fucking moron. THQ is exactly the OPPOSITE of what you just said, trying to create unique, enjoyable and loveable games rather than maximizing profit, and that ISNT viable in the medium and the industry as it is today, as proven by their bankruptcy. They’ve been one of the very best of “big publishers”, ever, regarding treatment of their development studios. So please get your head out of your fucking ass and realise that this may have huge consequences, especially as the people / companies tied up to THQ *ARENT* gonna go indie anytime soon, and they wouldnt be able to express themselves nor innovate very much as indie without any fucking funds except for what they get for working at a local Seven-Eleven.
          So now, with all the might in you, if there is any besides ignorant ranting, pull that big head of yours out of your rectum, and get out. The doors right there. Go, get out.

          • MichaelPalin says:

            We are talking about the same THQ that has aggressively target the second hand market aren’t we? Or the same company that forces Steam on every one of their games? Or the same company that created the “me-too” Homefront disaster because they wanted some of the money of the Call of Duty franchise? Or the same company that closed 5 studios at the end of 2008, even if the fiscal year 2006-2007, was their best year ever? Or the same company of the many, many awful licensed games?

            What is this, another EA with John Riccitiello, that releases a few games that people like and suddenly it’s the best company ever?

            As for the layoffs, look at my response to twig_reads.

        • Puppy says:

          I love how you are judging a company based on its ‘size’ rather than its ‘product quality’ and ‘work ethic’.

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            That’s not what he’s doing. See his reasoned reply to Xerian above.

    • twig_reads says:

      Are you even aware how many people would lose their jobs if THQ would go down? That’s kinda pety thing tobe happy about only because you like indie games. Hey, I like alot of indie games too, that doesnt mean that I would want to wish financial uncertainties to lots of people… only because of games. And Warhamemr games have been fair fun so far, haven’t played Metro but it has had a positive buzz, even on this very site. So you know, there’s a possiblity of games being good even when not being indie games. Shocking, I know.

      • MichaelPalin says:

        Yes, it is not optimal for the people at the bottom of the company to lose their jobs, but this cannot be an excuse for not closing production models that are overall negative for society and the medium of video games. It is perfectly well known that working conditions in big companies are terrible. For example, it is common of big publishers to lay off hundreds of developers the moment they become “redundant”, even if the company is making good money. The reason is that stock-holders want big profit and that Bobby Kotick needs an extra mansion.

        Think of it, if all the money that people put in THQ products would go only to the developers of the games (maybe because they are in a smaller company now or have formed independent studios), they would have much better working conditions than they have now. The transition is obviously traumatic, but it could be for the better.

        • twig_reads says:

          Valve is a big game company, I kinda thought their working contitions were good. You can’t be serious in thinking that all companies are evil if they are large. Some are, sure, but that’s not enough to lump every company in one big negative backage.

          • MichaelPalin says:

            Valve is the father of modern DRM, that’s quite evil.

          • Xardas Kane says:

            DRM was invented years before Valve even launched Steam. You make a fool of yourself with each comment you make. And I don’t know since when Valve wanting to protect their business is evil. I’ve forgotten how black and white the world is through the eyes of a teenager.

          • The Random One says:

            OK, Valve is the father of well-disguised modern DRM.

          • GepardenK says:

            If the DRM is well-disguised then its not a problem though. The reason we don’t usually like DRM is because it gets in the way of our play experience, not because it tries to make piracy harder… right?

          • phlebas says:

            It’ll certainly get in the way of your play experience if Steam ever goes down. Steam is certainly better than Starforce et al, but requiring an external key to enable software you’ve bought is not must making piracy harder.

        • Hauskamies says:

          We are so happy now that THQ is out of the picture and EA and Activision can have more power in their hands than ever before. A true victory for the proletariat, don’t you think? Somehow I feel I now have more choices than ever before.

    • malkav11 says:

      You’re celebrating the likely demise of the best of the major publishers while the ones that are the most relentlessly damaging to gaming as a medium and cultural space continue to rake in money hand over fist. This is not a victory for anyone.

      • LionsPhil says:

        Indeed. Hell, just look at:

        THQ does not intend to reduce its workforce as a result of the filing, and employees will continue to work their usual schedules and receive normal compensation and benefits, pending customary Court approval.

        I’ll be surprised if EA do the same when their time comes.

      • f1x says:

        dont know about people stalking horses and what not

        I have the feeling that THQ before going totally bankrupt probably had some offers, some of them with the condition of selling or dismantling studios or reducing workforce

        suposedly this Clearhorse capital group is “chosen” by THQ from a pool of bidders (my wikipedias working here to understand this), lets see if its a good thing in the end
        with this I mean that looks to me in terms of gut-senses that THQ is not a totally “evil” company

    • xao says:

      Yeah, we’ve got too many good games. Let’s get rid of some of the folks who publish them. We can’t have all this fun floating around.

    • TCM says:

      Just consider for a moment: How much does it encourage new blood to get into game design, out of their own pocket, with no name and no credibility, if a big company that rakes in millions every year can fail this hard, and this publicly?

      If you even dare to think that game designers should be doing it for the art, as opposed to make a profit, then there’s nothing further to discuss. However, I would like to hear your answer.

      • Eukatheude says:

        I take it you only play COD sequels, then?

        • Spoon Of Doom says:

          Wtf does this have to do with anything? Is it already evil these days to suggest that even game designers might have to pay their rent?

          The point was that a lot of people who think about goint into the games industry to earn their living look at this and think “jeez, if even a big ship like THQ can sink so hard, then the risk for an unproven guy like me without track record is pretty big, I guess. And even if I don’t have my own company but work for one of the big guys, my job apparently isn’t very secure either. Maybe I should think about choosing another career”. I personally think this is a valid point.

          If you have something to say about this point, whether you agree or not, then say it, if not, then don’t. Vague ad hominems and non sequiturs don’t add anything to the discussion.

          • Eukatheude says:

            Just like strawman arguments then?
            It’s perfectly acceptable to want to make a living out of games, but it’s idiotic to suggest people enter this industry to only go after profits – lots of devs call it a labor of love. Great games are great games because there’s a so called artistic vision behind them: i don’t think Shadow Of The Colossus is the result of focus testing. And if truly you want to make games because of their potential of profitability, you end up with COD clones.
            Also, how exactly is my comment an ad hominem?

          • Spoon Of Doom says:

            What I meant with ad hominem was that this comment read like a variant of the typical “you are st00pid cuz U like COD lolz” comment that’s been plaguing gaming sites. “Vague” because it was formulated as a question and implied instead of stated explicitely. If that was not the intention, I apologize.

            I fully agree with you that artistic vision is important and can make game great. I also agree that excessive profit maximizing in most cases leads to samey and ultimately forgettable games.
            However, the comment you replied to made a completely different point, namely that THQ’s failure might deter people from going “all in” as a game developer, as an example why the fall of a big pulisher is not somethin to be celebrated, as was suggested by the post this comment was directed at.
            People on the fence might see this as a reminder of how insecure a job in the games industry is, and how your company can tank hard even if it has a “big” name and the output is for the most part good. That can apply to the whole spectrum from people who want to go into gamedev for the money to those who only wish to make their artistic vision a reality and everyone in between those two extremes.
            All of those have to pay for rent and food, maybe have families or other responsibilities, and many people will rather play it safe and get a job they can rely on, even if that means abandoning their dream careers. Not all of those will be willing or able to put out their dreams and visions in their spare time, so in the end it’s a loss for gaming as a medium.

            Now, you might disagree with that point, but I don’t see how COD sequels play into this.
            Also, I don’t believe that THQ or any other big publisher going belly up will automatically give more exposure to smaller developers or publishers. Games like Minecraft, Terraria and Day Z and more got hugely popular even with the big guys as existing competition, and just because Big Publisher X is gone, its fans who didn’t care about indie games before will not suddenly drool over art games. I’d argue that even if all AAA companies went bankrupt and stopped producing, the people who only played those games will either stop playing at all or only play the old games (as far as DRM allows them to), because that was the experience they wanted and they just have not and will never care about Shadow Of The Colossus, ICO or other more niche experiences.

          • Eukatheude says:

            Actually i agree with you on every point. I even agree with the first part of TCM’s post, since i too believe there’s nothing to celebrate about THQ’s death. My comment was a response to the second part, which, as i understood it, implied devs should only focus on profit, rather than experimenting, taking risks and so on.

  10. SuperNashwanPower says:

    First sentence had me shouting WE’RE READY … TO BELIEVE YOU at the screen

    Who you gonna call? Apart from the receivers that is.

  11. Beelzebud says:

    Another company brought down by short-sighted get-rich-quick MBAs with no concept of building a company for the long term.

    And who takes them over? A firm that operates not much different from the mafia. Sell off assets to make a few more quick bucks for the owners, and then load it with debt and sink it.

    Our business class needs to start thinking a bit more long term than the upcoming quarterlies.

    • Grygus says:

      They probably would if the investment class didn’t judge them nearly 100% based on those quarterly reports.

      • Beelzebud says:

        That’s why you need leadership that has a clue. Those investors aren’t going to be making dick now. I hope a few good quarters was worth it for them.

        • FakeAssName says:

          it was, they all got insider tips before the stock plunged and sold off their shares to sucks who had no idea what they were getting into.

    • lijenstina says:

      The good old conflict of interest. :) The interest of the owners, the management, the company itself, the workers, the state and the society all clash in so many neat ways that make any 1000 episodes soap opera look like a 30 seconds commercial.

      Don’t forget that the management getting a part of the pay through shares have an interest of making them as high as possible in the short run while they are still in the company by funneling money into dividends, buying off stocks to raise their value, layoffs etc.

  12. luukdeman111 says:

    This whole situation sorta feels like my favorite xcom soldier is critically wounded on the front line and the only guy with a medkit is a sniper all the way back near the skyranger……

    • Michael Fogg says:

      Interesting metaphor, but unlcear. THQ is the XCOM soldier and the sniper with the medkit is the prospective buyer? Or the soldier is your favourite THQ franchise? Can you elaborate?

      • Cuddlefish says:

        My read is that it’s appealing more to the general sense of desperation / helplessness when something you like is about to be wrecked and there’s not much to be done about it.

  13. ghling says:

    Imagine EA buys them…

    • FakeAssName says:

      why not? this is actually THQ buying themselves through a shell corporation to walk away from their own debt (that gets left with the “old” THQ)

      • Dave L. says:

        I don’t think shell corporation means what you think it means.

        • FakeAssName says:

          not THE Shell corporation; A shell corporation.

          … and yes it means roughly what I am using the term for: a corporation with no real substance used to free viable assets from the unrecoverable debt of one corporation by “selling” them to another, that happens to be controlled by the first.

          • Dave L. says:

            Yeah, see that part about being ‘controlled by the first?’ That’s the part where you’re completely wrong. Clearlake Capital was formed in 2006, and has no executives in common with THQ. Thus: not a shell corporation.

          • MrMud says:

            Dave L:
            Clearlake are buying at the behest of a partner who is currently un-named.

            That said considering that the party is indeed un-named perhaps FakeAssName should provide some fact to base his statement that THQ is being bought by their own execs. I don’t know that those guys have a spare 60 million dollars in cash laying around.

      • ghling says:

        THQ has at least some good games I want to play and it would be a pitty for me, when I have to pass on them because the then belong to EA and require Origin.

  14. Stromko says:

    Well at least they’ve still got the Homefront license, probably making another big expensive game for the franchise right now too. Yeah that’s smart.

    I mean it has a reputation of being complete sh*t and an example of everything that can go wrong with modern shooters, but hey, name recognition is everything right?

    • Kadayi says:

      Homefront wasn’t a success, but their main problems stem from a push on a peripheral for the Wii called Udraw, which tanked majorly. Games wise on the whole they’ve been doing ok, just not stellar.

      • Grayvern says:

        uDraw apparently didn’t do too badly on the wii, however the deciders at THQ then thought they could sell it to PS3 and xbox 360 owners, which left them with over a million unsold tablets.

  15. Liudeius says:

    I’m not sure what to think about THQ. The only series from them that I like is Saints Row, and as it’s their largest they are both rushing it and milking it for as much money as possible (through those twenty or so DLC packs). If another publisher bought it, would it be better or worse?

    • Xerian says:

      You dont like Metro, dont like any of the recent 40K games (Dawn of War, Space Marine), you dont like Darksiders, Red Faction or Company of Heroes? The possible loss of THQ will not be a good thing. Cause a lot of the greatly talented developers would have trouble being indie, and many would be likely to drop out of the industry entirely. Thus, this is A Bad Thing. Yes, they really do need to learn about DLC and such, but fact is that they dont have the pipeline to not release a bunch of DLC all the time, they dont have the massive amount of studios that EA or Activision do, nor do they have shitty annual games just like those two companies. And in the industry as it is today, you cant survive as a publisher without flooding the market with lots of shit games, apparently. And thats just fucking sad really. The thriving publishers are the ones with the lowest-quality games, and that is just messed up.

    • malkav11 says:

      Worse. For all that they’re prone to large amounts of overpriced cosmetic DLC, there’s absolutely nothing requiring you to buy that DLC, and THQ is easily the most PC gamer friendly of the major publishers. (I mean, yeah, they’ve made missteps on that front in the past, but unlike other companies they seem willing to learn from those missteps.)

    • Splode says:

      I don’t have many THQ games either, but the ones I do have are excellent, especially for a major publisher. Considering my experiences with EA and Ubisoft (Particularly EA), THQ are the best large studio around: DLC spam is frustrating, but usually junk content rather than critical pieces of the game sliced out, and they fund good games.

    • Saiko Kila says:

      I have the same (more or less) thoughts about THQ. The Saints Row is the only their series I really do care about (though I hate the DLC-spam), maybe because it was getting better with time. The others are either unknown to me (Company of something, a RTS-style game), or slightly disappointing in their newer iterations, or were getting worse during play. In retrospect I could just have watched most them on youtube. There was something good in the past, but the future look wasn’t promising. And there really are too many shooters, RTSs and action-adventures to care about specific ones.

      I haven’t installed Darksiders and Darksiders 2 yet, though I have bought them in dark, together with some DLCs recently, based on some recommendations (I hope I won’t be forced to kill the recommending people in anger if I’m disappointed, because their recommendations are usually correct).

      Also, THQ was really special with their penchant for bad, too costly licenses.

  16. lordcooper says:

    I would prefer it if this was not occurring.

  17. Gap Gen says:

    What is it about being effed that makes THQ so awesome right now? Humble Bundle, Linux, etc.

    • Supahewok says:

      That we as a species tend to perform at our best when under adversity? That they know that they’re in deep shit and are willing to do and say anything that could possibly pull them out of it? I dunno.

    • GepardenK says:

      THQ have always been awsome. At least compared to certain other publishers…

  18. Kadayi says:

    There’s a 30 day window where in someone could technically up the bid. However I’d imagine if any of the other players we’re intending to, they’d have done so by now. Though THQ does have a lot of nice IPs and some promising titles already in development (SP should sell comfortably) so it might happen.

    • MrMud says:

      The problem is that they don’t have a lot of IP’s
      They have Saints Row and Company of Heroes.

      Warhammer, south park and metro are all licensed properties.

  19. ancient_scars says:

    Noooooohohohohhohooooooooohoooooooo. What about Homeworld 3. And The Saints 4. And DoW 3, andandandand…

  20. gulag says:

    Declare Bankruptcy – Reveal even more new IP = Nice One, Good Guy THQ!

  21. int says:

    If it were EA or Activision, people here would sing, dance and ritualistically slaughter goats.

    Since it’s THQ I’m content with just the slaughtering.

  22. Scroll says:

    Atlas a code name for homeworld 3? Very wishful thinking but please!

  23. Axyl says:

    I’m gonna be utterly crushed if Dawn of War 3 doesn’t arrive. Ditto (though to a lesser extent) Company of Heroes 2.

    Beyond that, I couldn’t give a shit. It’s just high-business people pushing money and paperwork around, but I don’t want THQ to close. They’ve put out some great games over the years. Far better than most of the shite ActiBlizz push out.

  24. 12kill4 says:

    Now we just need Valve to swoop in, buy Relic from THQ and make beautiful Homeworld 3 babies.

    • Prime says:

      Valve? Christ, no. Homeworld 3 from them would probably arrive in 2021, after 9 years of stunning silence on the topic.

      #valvearenotgods

      • solidsquid says:

        What are you talking about, they’re works are mysterious and unseen! Of course #valvearegods

        • RedViv says:

          Their judgement is mysterious, their joy in baiting and drama great, yet still their followers are many! #valvearegods

      • 12kill4 says:

        What I seriously think is that valve’s management and business framework would be harmoneous with the qualities of relic as a studio. I can’t think of a way to explain it right now without writing a novel.

  25. rsanchez1 says:

    Oh, they’re really humbled now.

  26. Supahewok says:

    You’re doing it wrong, spam. Where’s my link to malware?

  27. SuicideKing says:

    And to think that i just wrote yesterday to Volition a slightly emotional and very enthusiastic piece asking them to make FS3, pointing to the likes of Star Citizen.

    Talk about bad timing :|

    • GepardenK says:

      If volition makes FS3 Im going to go balistic. Nice work pushing them a little. You are a proud asset to the 242th

      • SuicideKing says:

        You just made my day :D

        Though honestly, i think more of us should write to them. Maybe they start their own Kickstarter, the old [V] team.

  28. MrMud says:

    The header for this article is wrong btw.
    THQ are not selling of assets. They are being sold whole cloth.
    What their new private owners do with their property is not something that we know anything about.

  29. Network Crayon says:

    Ouch, maybe the homeworld licence will be baught by someone actually intent on making it now.

  30. horseflesh says:

    I wonder if valve could afford them? Valve a straightforward publisher…

  31. zeekthegeek says:

    This article isn’t actually accurate; Jason Rubin stated today that the ENTIRE company has been bought by Clearlake, staff, IP, existing contracts and all.

  32. maxhewitt says:

    For all those who are still fans of THQ, get your butts over to Steam and buy their package, £155.53 worth of games for £19.99 – you’ll be saving £135.54! It’s got Darksiders 2, Company of Heroes, DOW2, Red Faction etc.

    To weigh into the hot debate, I think that most people win out of this situation. The existing studios will stay open for the short term, most people will keep their jobs, and the Capital Group gain another asset. Surely it’s better to have a few average and a few good titles being developed than none at all?