Fin: THQ Sells Off Most Studios, Basically Done

By Nathan Grayson on January 23rd, 2013 at 9:45 pm.

Update: Helpfully, reader and probable Prince of Handsomeness The JG Man dug up the court form outlining details (including amounts, back-up bidders, etc) of each sale. You can peruse that here.

Original: Well, I suppose it was inevitable. After THQ’s attempt at averting a Humpty Dumpty sales situation failed miserably, the writing was pretty much on the wall. So now the grim reaper’s scythe has hacked the once-gargantuan publisher into itsy-bitsy pieces and scattered any remaining ashes to the winds. On the upside, pretty much every major THQ franchise and developer (minus Darksiders dev Vigil, sadly) landed safely in less-likely-to-kerplode homes. Also, Relic and Creative Assembly live under the same roof now. Can Company of Shoguns: Total Homeworld or some other dream team RTS be far off? Probably. It’s still kind of a silver lining, though, and anyway SHUT UP I’M SAD.

CEO Jason Rubin sent out a somber letter to employees explaining, among other things, where exactly everyone will end up in the wake of THQ’s dissolution.

“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
  • Ubisoft agreed to purchase Montreal and South Park

“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.”

So basically, I see a fair amount of good news in there (Company of Heroes 2, Metro, Saints Row, South Park, and Homefront I guess will go on), but there are still quite a few pieces dangling precariously in the air as well. For instance, is developer 4A Games still helming the Metro franchise? Will Left 4 Dead creators Turtle Rock get to keep their new game? (Edit: Sure does’t look like it.) What will become of Darksiders, Vigil, and their new project codenamed “Crawler”? And, most importantly, how silly does Assassin’s Creed creator Patrice Désilets feel having left Ubisoft, only to have his new game gobbled up by the purple behemoth?

To his credit, Rubin says he still hopes to find buyers for the properties that haven’t already been snapped up. Unfortunately, everyone else won’t be so lucky. “If you are an employee of an entity that is not included in the sale,” the letter continued, “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.”

The full letter‘s over at Kotaku, if you’re interested in giving it a read. But yeah, that’s pretty much that. Goodnight, sweet prince, etc. THQ wasn’t always the smartest or the best (Hello, uDraw, Homefront, et al), but it brought together some marvelous games and developers, took actual risks, and fought to stay afloat until the bitter end. We all knew this was coming, but it doesn’t make it any less heartbreaking. Triple-A development’s become depressingly cutthroat. It’s a damn shame to see one of the Good Ones go.

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228 Comments »

  1. Brun says:

    Since the only game I really care about on that list is Metro, who the hell is Koch Media and do they have any gaming resume whatsoever?

    EDIT:

    What will become of Darksiders, Vigil, and their new project codenamed “Crawler”?

    Kyle Orland over at Ars answered that question in his article:

    Darksiders developer Vigil Games received no bids and unfortunately will be shut down.

      • MrLebanon says:

        if your friends step-sister makes so much money maybe SHE should purchase Koch Media

      • Zarunil says:

        Does her job involve a web-cam?

        Edit: My reply makes all sorts of sense now that the original post was deleted.

        • Lawful Evil says:

          Indeed :)

          EDIT: Ok, this was a reply to Zarunil. What an irony.

      • rokahef says:

        The best part is, she apparently only works ‘a few hours’, but if she earns 68 dollars an hour and made 14k, then basic math tells us she works a 51 hour work week.

    • gaiusimperator says:

      They publish the X Series of Space Sims, and are a fairly respectable PC friendly group. They tend to listen to their fans, and continue support for months, if not years after release. They are also known for stupid DRM that is then removed later.

      All in all, not too bad…

      • Kelron says:

        You’re getting them confused with Egosoft, the developers. Deep Silver just handle the boxed copies, they don’t have anything to do with the games or customer support for X, that I know of.

        • FionaSarah says:

          But doesn’t that at least show that they know of the value of space sims and how to market them? Seeing as the x-series is pretty much the only modern space sim. I’m sure you know where I’m going with this… I don’t like getting my hopes up though.

          • Kelron says:

            Maybe. There’s a few decent games in their lineup but I haven’t seen anything that makes them stand out as a publisher. I’m pretty sure Egosoft are independently funded so Deep Silver wouldn’t have been taking a big risk publishing their games.

          • hamburger_cheesedoodle says:

            That’s… actually surprisingly good news. Volition were the devs of Freespace, and they were also bought by them. So maybe we will get a new Freespace!

          • SuicideKing says:

            I’ll never see FreeSpace 3 in my lifetime, will I? :’(

          • HeavyStorm says:

            @SuicideKing, quite the opposite. Volition, creators of the original freespace series is in the hands of a publishers that have another space sim series under his belt. Nothing more likely than freespace 3.

          • Gaytard Fondue says:

            Let alone Descent 4…

          • SuicideKing says:

            @HeavyStorm:

            It’s quite interesting that you pointed out that VOlition made FS1/2 when it was sort of assumed already in the discussion that this was the case :D

            ANyway, i know, i thought so, so did FionaSarah, and others. But, i was reading about Koch Media’s attitude towards the PC in the comments below, and it didn’t inspire too much confidence in me.

            FS2 was a lovingly created PC game, extensively modifiable and heavily optimized.

      • Sgt.Knumskull says:

        Hello folks,
        just registered to reply to that (long time reader and Follower of the Chruch of RPS :D )
        Koch Media will surely f*ck things up. They will absolutely not listen to any fans in any form. They are a mediocre publisher for mediocre products ‘ere in Germany. Producing is not one of their strenghts. So you can almost be sure that METRO will go down the drain. It would even be a better choice of yourself to hope taht Ubisoft picks up the licence for that game.
        German publishers had proven to be pretty dip-sh*ts just like EA and Juntas like ‘em. I wish i could say smt better ’bout publishers from the motherland.

        • gaiusimperator says:

          You’re right, I got Koch confused with Deep Silver, because of their connection, but they do not equal each other.

          • Sgt.Knumskull says:

            To decide which one is worse is like to choose between the devil and the deep blue sea. Look at their portfolio (IMHO they pretty much effd up Risen 2) nothing of name and importance. So im guessing they won’t fare good with METRO either. The start of Dead Island wasnt very surprising too and the game itself is said to be “not good” (or utter shite as some of my colleagse told me). Thats why they are to me the new JoWood.
            Also Kalypso Media effd things up in the past: bought almost every game from them, never gonna again. Happily torrenting Omerta for demoing.
            So the sings aren’t good for METRO, which I was hoping would get into hands able to handle this underdog/”misunderestimated” piece of art.

          • Askeladd says:

            Every time, I see the name Kalypso Media, I want to crush their bank accounts, see them driven before me, and hear the lamentation of their women. Wait, scratch that last part.
            But seriously: Koch and Kalypso should just join together and die in a fire.

          • Brun says:

            The good thing is that the Metro IP is still technically owned by 4A, Koch only has the right to publish the games. So Koch can’t kick 4A out and develop Metro with another studio.

    • breakfastcereal says:

      They’re… businessmen…

    • TetherBound says:

      Koch Media is in essence Deep Silver.

    • Premium User Badge darkChozo says:

      According to Wikipedia, their games branch is Deep Silver. Their big brands appear to be Dead Island and the X series, among others. So I think it’s time to start making jokes about what Saints Row 4′s collector edition knick-knack is going to be.

      • Nathan Grayson says:

        Severed dildo bat!

        Also, I mailed them asking about specific plans for Metro, Saints Row, etc. Not sure if they’re ready to discuss just yet, but it can’t hurt.

      • ulix says:

        Deep Silver only published Anno 1701 before Related Design (the developer of the series since 1701) was gobbled up by Ubisoft. The Anno brand (and its developer) is since then owned by Ubisoft.

        • Premium User Badge darkChozo says:

          Whoops, I’ll edit that out. That’s what I get for Wikipedia research.

          Also, point of interest, they also published STALKER Clear Skies. So that’s cool.

      • Premium User Badge phlebas says:

        A giant silver-plated koch?

    • Drinking with Skeletons says:

      Vigil may be shut down, but what about the Darksiders IP? While I understand it didn’t sell amazingly well, it seemed to have generated enough buzz (hell, it sold enough to get a sequel) that it’s bound to be worth something.

        • Ruffian says:

          This is kind of cool at least. Platinum certainly know their 3rd person action.

        • waaaaaaaals says:

          They’ve also expressed interest in hiring at least some of the now ex-vigil staff.

          Hopefully this all goes somewhere.

        • zeroskill says:

          The Darksiders series were my favorite THQ published games.

          While Platinum Games are seriously an awesome company making fantastic games, they also only develop for consoles unfortunately. So far anyway.

          I have been hoping that Platinum sees reason and brings their games to PC at some point, but at this point I don’t think they are really interested in bringing anything to the PC and if they would hire former Darksiders developers or even acquire the franchise there is also little hope for us to ever see an PC Darksiders game again.

          One can always hope though…

          • Screamer says:

            Its a damn shame! Don’t think Darksiders will be Darksiders without Vigil :(

        • bigjig says:

          This is something the Japanese would call “tatemae.” There’s no way he’s actually thinking of buying it.

        • apocraphyn says:

          That would be pretty bloody brilliant if he’s actually serious about it.

    • JFS says:

      Sgt. Knumskull has it right. They’re mediocre. Very mediocre. They’re not the worst, I’d say, but sometimes it might be better to let an IP die than put it to mediocre use… we’ll see. Could’ve been worse, I guess.

    • Sayori says:

      Well, you know somewhat it makes sense. I guess Virgil would be the most expensive asset. They just left it to die instead paying a lot of money and then shutdown the studio. They could do so with the rest if the games had any competition but they really don’t. On the other side Darksiders have.

  2. pakoito says:

    I heard Bethesda lost Relic for a mere 300k :( Get ready for sega effin them in the a with console shit.

    • B1A4 says:

      Yeah, thank God for that.

    • The JG Man says:

      Sega have made a concerted push to go with digital distribution. They also have a large PC contingent, with Sports Interactive for Football Manager and Creative Assembly for Total War. As a strategy developer primarily, you’d actually be hard pressed to find a better publisher for them. I can’t imagine Sega wanting to suddenly take a developer great at making PC only games and going “Yeah, consoles too, now.”

      • SkittleDiddler says:

        SEGA have shown how misguided they can get with console-ported tripe like Binary Domain and Viking. but I’ll have to retain judgement on how well they plan on treating their new properties.

        • apocraphyn says:

          Shut yer mouth. Binary Domain was rollicking good fun! Sort of equivocal to a ridiculous blockbuster action movie.

          It wasn’t exactly optimised perfectly for keyboard and mouse (and the voice command recognition was abysmal), but with a few personal adjustments to the keyboard layout, it felt fine to me. I really enjoyed it.

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            I know that BD has a relatively large number of defenders, but I found it so bad I had to put it in my Top Ten Most Atrociously Horrible Games of All Time. It’s close to nothing but endless QTEs and filler boss-fights, two items out of console portlandia that have polluted my precious PC territory in the last few years. I honestly can’t put into words how much I hate that fucking game.

            I’m glad you liked it though :)

      • stupid_mcgee says:

        What I find interesting about this is that Relic does W40k and Creative Assembly recently got the nod to do a Warhammer Fantasy Battle game. I know it was, technically, THQ that had the W40k license, but if Sega could get the W40k license for Relic,Sega would then be the go-to publisher for anything Warhammer.

        If they could do that, it could be a strong and profitable position for Sega to be in.

        • Arkhonist says:

          Total war: 40.000
          Total warhammer.
          Oh god, make this happen!

          • RoAE says:

            Actually I more I think about it…. Company of Heroes: Total War!

            Now that would be a game I’d pay for. Still concerned by the SEGA purchase though….
            DAMN YOU TO HELL uDRAW! WHHHHHHHHYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!

          • derito says:

            While total war could be very nice for Warhammer Fantasy Battle, I hope their will be no such thing for 40k. Total war’s gameplay fits WFB’s overall feeling, but 40k’s ? Not so much.

          • ItalianPodge says:

            I think the “Epic” version of the Warhammer rules would fit right in with the Total War style of gaming. As someone that played Epic a long time ago I would like to try it.

          • Guvornator says:

            Seconded. Epic: Total war would be, well, epic.

            Edit: Although, thinking about it it, Chris Taylor could also probably do something fun with the license.

        • neonordnance says:

    • zeekthegeek says:

      SEGA have done good by Creative Assembly and Sports Interactive (Football Manager)

      • BlackAlpha says:

        I agree. Relic landed pretty good if you look at Sega’s history with Creative Assembly, who creates pretty good and complex, pure PC RTS games.

    • ulix says:

      Yeah, like they fucked the Creative Assembly with “console shit”. Wait a minute… they didn’t.

      • imperialus says:

        not that they didn’t try…

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viking:_Battle_for_Asgard

        • empyrion says:

          And what about this ‘gem’ of a game? :P

          • ulix says:

            I’ll give you Viking (which apparently was quite okay). For Stormrise though they opened (and later closed) a completely new studio. Had nothing to do with the studio in the UK.

            Even Viking probably wasn’t even pushed by Sega. Might I remind you of this game: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spartan:_Total_Warrior), one were Sega had no hand in (since development started years before they were bought by Sega). I guess the internal team that made Spartan later made Viking.

            So after Spartan they had a choice:
            1. Let the team go.
            2. Let them make another similar game.
            3. Let them make a classic strategy game (or some other genre), something they have no experience in.

          • RoAE says:

            Oh god Stormrise, I still consider that one of the top 10 worst games Ive ever played

          • yrrnn says:

            @ulix, Stormrise was actually developed by the Australian branch of The Creative Assembly. They existed long before attempting their own IP, and helped the UK studio out with the Total War series. After Stormrise, Sega broke them off from The Creative Assembly and rebranded them, and they are now called Sega Studios Australia. They did the London 2012 Olympics game and are now doing mobile games I believe.

    • iniudan says:

      Don’t forget that Sega also earned the right to make Warhammer Fantasy a few month ago, and by buying relic they most likely get the right to make 40k game also.

      Now they just need to get Bloodbowl right, so Sport Interactive can do something with it I guess, not that it will be hard to do a better job then Cyanide.

      • TsunamiWombat says:

        Warhammer: Total War

        • Kuraudo says:

          If that happened… no I won’t say that I’m glad THQ bit the bullet because they gave us a lot of joy, but man it would mean something great happened as a result of this tragedy.

          • Syra says:

            That’s happening independent of relic joining sega, as WHFB license was already given to sega and confirmed that creative assembly will be working on a warhammer game a couple months back.

      • stupid_mcgee says:

        Actually, it was THQ that had the W40k rights, not Relic. It would be a very good idea for Sega to try and get the W40k license for Relic. Considering Sega already has a working relationship with Games Workshop, obtaining the W40k license is only a matter of money.

    • Premium User Badge Gap Gen says:

      Oh man a Homeworld / Total War hybrid would be awesome.

      • GepardenK says:

        That made me think. Imagine a Homeworld / FTL hybrid

        • corinoco says:

          I’m just imagining a Homeworld 3. With a soundtrack by Brian Eno & Vangelis. That would be enough for me.

    • Thoric says:

      SEGA have done right by The Creative Assembly in my opinion. This might actually be the best possible outcome.

    • Premium User Badge Stellar Duck says:

      Best news out of this clusterfuck. :D

    • AdrianWerner says:

      You don’t know what you’re talking about. Sega is a lot more PC-friendly than Bethseda. There’s no way Relic could ever continue being PC-focused strategy studiu under Bethsoft, they would be switched to multiplat development.

  3. GenBanks says:

    I just hope Sega don’t interfere in any way with Company of Heroes 2…

    • mouton says:

      There is no reason they should. After all, it was not Relic’s fault THQ fell. At this late stage, Sega probably won’t meddle too much besides making sure it of reasonable quality etc.

      • Shuck says:

        “it was not Relic’s fault THQ fell”
        Sadly, in the game industry, whose fault it was is irrelevant to who actually gets screwed over and what gets interfered with.

        • Corrupt_Tiki says:

          Correct me if I’m wrong;

          But doesn’t that happen in most/all industries these days?

  4. The JG Man says:

    You can look at the court form here: http://www.thesangreal.net/gafpics/results.pdf

    Other than that, it’s worth noting what studio was sold with what IP. Volition, for instance, were sold only with Saints Row. They clearly didn’t own Red Faction, so that IP is probably now in limbo. I imagine the scraps will be picked over later by other people. In the same regard, Relic were sold with COH, but not DOW. I suspect this may be because the IP is instead owned by Games Workshop, so if that is correct, there’s no reason why they wouldn’t be able to continue that series, so long as Sega paid for the publishing license of 40K, which I imagine wouldn’t be an overly big problem considering Games Workshop have worked so closely with Relic in the past, and GW recently gave the fantasy license to Sega (for Creative Assembly). So, like Volition not having Red Faction, I fear Homeworld is truly lost at this point.

    EDIT: We’re discussing this in a thread on the forums, http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/forums/showthread.php?2692-THQ-is-dead-cancels-all-2014-games-including-Warhammer-MMO-looks-for-buyers/page25 It might contain some answers to possible questions you had.

    • zeekthegeek says:

      Homeworld actually still belongs to Activision from the Sierra acquisition days.

      • The JG Man says:

        Well…bums.

      • Dave L. says:

        No it doesn’t. THQ bought the Homeworld IP in 2007.

        • Brun says:

          They bought a *license* for it, according to Wikipedia:

          In November 2007, THQ finally confirmed that it had acquired the license for the Homeworld franchise but didn’t confirm a sequel maintaining that it had no comments on future games from THQ based on Homeworld.

          The wording is a bit vague, it’s unclear if “licensing” the IP is the same as ownership. In other businesses when you purchase a license from a company (say, for a product design, or whatever) you’re paying for the right to manufacture or utilize it in your own designs, but the company issuing the license retains full ownership.

          • Dave L. says:

            USPTO Assignment history for the Homeworld trademark. November 29, 2007, Sierra Entertainment, Inc assigns the entire interest to THQ, Inc.

            Then there are some weird financial things, and it was used as collateral for the credit facility with Wells Fargo (but so was Homefront, so Homeworld doesn’t necessarily end up with Wells Fargo).

        • Premium User Badge Cinek says:

          Yes, they did. Few people from Relic told that now when they own HW IP back again they’d love to create HW3, but… That’s all. Seems like either it’s their greatest secret that they work on for way over 5 years no, or THQ never managed to pull enough money to create such a big and (very) risky project.

          That’s a shame, cause I’d be ready to pay for that twice as much as Blizzard asked for SC2. But these peeps who grew up on mobiles & consoles most likely wouldn’t be able to handle real 3D strategy, so… I doubt it’d be a huge commercial success. I doubt it’d even return the expenses needed for HW3 to be now what the HW1 was in ’99.

      • DK says:

        It does not. THQ acquired the Homeworld license about a year ago, rescuing it from nobody-knows-who-owns-it. Now it’s probably back in license limbo.

    • tyren says:

      I totally forgot about Sega nabbing the Warhammer Fantasy IP. It would certainly be interesting to see both franchises under the same roof for a change.

    • The JG Man says:

      Hah, Prince of Handsomeness? I could like that! Credit where credit is due, I found that browsing elsewhere, which was in turn taking from a Twitter account. Simply spreading it though if anyone else was as intrigued as myself.

    • Cinnamon says:

      Relic should make an RTS called Warhammercraft: Edge of the Scrolls if they don’t have 40k.

    • Premium User Badge FriendlyFire says:

      My greatest concerns are the Homeworld IP and the Freespace IP.

      Did THQ/Volition even have the FS IP? I really want a new Freespace…

      • HothMonster says:

        From what I can wrangle from public info on the us copyright office site, yes Volition owns the Freespace copyright. Though it was tied up in a Wells Fargo loan. (I guess these time out, you can start over and keyword search V3608D617 ) From my understanding of copyright this means they have rights to the sequel.

        Interplay just recently filed to renew the trademark after it expired last October, someone didn’t do their homework. Oddly Stompy Bot also filed for a Freespace trademark covering space sims, last August.

        Or I have no idea how any of this works…

    • AngoraFish says:

      RPS has forums?

  5. gaiusimperator says:

    Also, as far as I can see from the Forms, 4A is still developing Metro, so that is nice to see…

    • welverin says:

      It was supposed to be out in March, so there’s little to develop at this point and bringing another developer in now would be waste of money.

      Anyone putting in bids for Metro or South Park had to of done so with the intention of just acquiring the publishing rights, at least for the current games future one they could mess with.

  6. Milky1985 says:

    So we can expect to hear about the delay of the PC version of South Park : Stick of Truth within the next couple of weeks then :/

  7. CaspianRoach says:

    Well, fuck. Ubisoft taking South Park means it’s not going to get Steam achievements. Lost my sale, then.

    • Ironclad says:

      Are you actually serious? Are steam achievements a deal breaker/maker for anyone at all??!

        • jonfitt says:

          Wow. That is the oddest thing I’ve heard all week.
          Steam cheevos mean the difference in you wanting or not wanting a game… I… buh… wuh?

          • Cytrom says:

            I don’t care about the achievements, but I care about not having Uplay on my computer (as well as steam at the same time, for the same game).

          • Teovald says:

            With the notable exception of Team Fortress I have yet to see a game implementing achievements in a satisfying way.

          • derbefrier says:

            this is what you call an achievement whore. They don’t play games for fun but for status. This is a PC gaming site so maybe you’ve never been exposed to this but there are plenty of people that will rent xbox games like “barbies dream house” or something designed for children just to pad their achievement score. grown men do this all the time. I don’t understand it either but there it is.

          • gwathdring says:

            @Teovald

            TF2 did a fantastic job with achievements! I kept wanting Just Cause 2, the perfect game for that kind of thing, to whip out some really bizarre and challenging, or stealthy-surprise achievements but it didn’t.

            I really can’t think of a game that has challenged, entertained and (most importantly for me) surprised me with it’s achievements other than TF2. I really appreciated the comedic timing element that arose from, for example, my not having know about OMGWTFBBQ and Rasputin.

          • Milky1985 says:

            “With the notable exception of Team Fortress I have yet to see a game implementing achievements in a satisfying way.”

            Only game i can think of is double dragon neon, first of all to annoy all the idiots on 360 who insist that their gamerscore ends in a 5 or a 0, you got a 1 point achievement for starting the game called “curse of skullmageddon”. Achievement for finishing the game was 39 points i think so to get your OCD cured you had to complete the game.

            Also during teh (awesome) ending sequence, where the big boss you just beat up is falling off the cliff, he is singing the credits to you about how you beat him up (http://virt.bandcamp.com/track/end-credits-dared-to-dream for the song), sings a line “Here’s a medal for your victory “. That is the point where the complete game achievement pops, made me laugh :P

            This is the sort of thing achivements should be used for!

          • jonfitt says:

            That Double Dragon Neon ending is brilliant!

        • Dariune says:

          Yeh I’m kinda having trouble understanding why the pointless, rewardless steam achievements are what make you decide to play a game.

          Can you elaborate on that one?

          • CaspianRoach says:

            Gotta catch ‘em all! They make me feel good, what’s to elaborate here? They also serve as a metric to show other people what games I’ve completed or 100%ed. Because without achievement support, what’s the difference between a pirated game and a legit one?

          • Arren says:

            “Because without achievement support, what’s the difference between a pirated game and a legit one?”

            …..?!

            You can’t be serious.

          • CaspianRoach says:

            Why not? I never play multiplayer so the only reason to buy games for me is for this little side thing I really enjoy. It makes me really sad when developers don’t understand that. It’s not that hard of a task including achievements, seeing as they are required on the consoles, meaning they already have them in the game code and the artwork for the little plaques.

          • Arren says:

            How about the fact that in buying the game you’re actually, you know, supporting the people who labored for years to make the game? That has zero value to you, but virtual merit-badges are indispensable?

            ::shakes head::

          • CaspianRoach says:

            Yes, it doesn’t matter to me as an end customer and I just won’t buy or play that product then. There are plenty of other games to play.

          • Arren says:

            “I, me, me, mine”

          • frightlever says:

            This is why the space aliens are hiding from us. We don’t handle difference very well. People are different. Get over it.

        • Premium User Badge Cinek says:

          +1. It’s also a deal-breaker for me and I try to avoid that crap as much as possible.

        • SkittleDiddler says:

          Aren’t you more concerned that the Steam version of Stick of Truth will now require two clients to run? I can honestly understand your gripe about achievements, but the whole two-client system for some Ubi games goes beyond the realm of superficiality.

        • SelfEsteemFund says:

          I think this is the most hilarious yet pathetic thing I’ve ever read in the comments here. I’m not sure if I don’t belong here anymore or you’re simply on the wrong site.

      • lanster27 says:

        Preeetty sure that’s sarcasm

    • tyren says:

      Why wouldn’t it? Isn’t that the developer’s call? Ubisoft is probably still just publishing the game for Obsidian.

      • bonescraper says:

        Because it will use Uplay, their own digital platform. Even if you buy it through Steam. Not that i care for Steam achievements though.

      • CaspianRoach says:

        I hope you’re right, but as a rule, Ubisoft games don’t have Steam achievement support and you have to use Uplay launcher to play them. Only Clash of Heroes and these games http://store.steampowered.com/search/?category1=998&publisher=Ubisoft#category1=998&category2=22&publisher=Ubisoft&sort_order=ASC&page=1
        seem to have achievement support, which is not much.

        I also don’t like Uplay very much because I accidentally registered my copy of AC3 to a blank account and they won’t help me transfer it to the one where all my other Ubi games are. Sad times.

        • wu wei says:

          The only time I bought games through the “Ubishop”, despite giving them my existing UPlay credentials, they registered _all_ of the purchases to shop417somestupidlongstringofnumbers, and then refused to acknowledge that it was their error or transfer them to my existing account.

          Given that any Ubisoft game bought through Steam doesn’t show up in the regular UPlay client, and games registered outside of Steam don’t show up in the Steam-launched version of the UPlay client, I have _three_ separate locations to keep track of any Ubisoft games I own. Needless to say, I just don’t buy them anymore.

          So no, I don’t agree with those who say it’s “just like” the Steam client. UPlay is utter garbage.

    • Emeraude says:

      Hey, might be a good news… with any luck, there’ll be no Steamworks use – or similarly unacceptable DRM – and I can actually buy that game.

      Who am I kidding ? It’s Ubisoft.

      • CaspianRoach says:

        How is not using Steamworks good news? I’d much rather prefer it to Uplay or Origin’s half-assed attempts at PC gaming convenience.

        • Emeraude says:

          I’d much rather prefer it to Uplay or Origin

          Those *are* similarly unacceptable DRMs.

          • CaspianRoach says:

            Good luck living in the past, then. I guess you enjoy downloading, installing and patching games manually. And carrying your savefiles with you everywhere. And manually organizing a screenshot collection. And alt-tabbing out of the game to chat with a friend or use a web browser. And remembering where did you get that old game you wanted to replay and how to install and patch it. And manually installing mods.

          • Emeraude says:

            a) NONE of those services are co-dependent on Steam being a DRM platform. There are NO reasons why I couldn’t benefit from any and all the advantages of that infrastructure in the future.

            As I keep saying, if Valve is so convinced of the superiority of open platforms and quality of service as a mean to gain and retain market share, then let them put their money where their mouth is and open their platform.

            b) I love how people present those things you meantioned as necessarily desirable. I don’t care for those really. Not one bit.

          • CaspianRoach says:

            I don’t care for those really.

            You don’t.

          • Emeraude says:

            Good luck living in the past,

            Well, your post was addressed to me, so I don’t really see why I would have addressed anyone else’s preferences (which Is till did with point a), and you totally ignored anyway)

        • RodHope says:

          GOG.

      • Alexrd says:

        Ah, I guess I’m not the only one who doesn’t buy games with crappy, acount-based DRM schemes like Steamworks, Origin and Uplay.

        @CaspianRoach: “Living in the past”? What kind of stupid argument is that? Do people really want a game to have DRM over not having any? What the…?!

        • CaspianRoach says:

          over not having any

          What’s with the weird desire to make your gaming harder, really? Do you seriously want to rely on your HDD not dying in order to have access to a game you purchased? Steam adds a shitton of great convenience stuff and takes very little away; I’m surprised there are still people that don’t want games to be on their Steam account.

          • RandomEsa says:

            Coincidentally my hard drive died month ago had my steam games in it ( and non-steam) and I didn’t find it any harder compared to steam to either install those games using a dvd or download from the developers / publishers website or from gog.com.

            So I don’t see your point. I’ll still have to re-download every game I want to play in steam if the installation path happens to be in my dead HDD.

          • CaspianRoach says:

            You are relying on third party servers to hold your DRM-free copies for future downloads already. I trust huge cloud server networks much more than I trust my HDD which can easily die at any moment. There are much more failsafe mechanisms involved in Steam.

            And when your HDD with “DRM-free” copies crashes your saves, screenshots, configs, mods are fucked. This isn’t the case with cloud computing.

            I don’t think Steam is going anywhere any time soon. And if they are, I’ll revert to pirating as I did before then.

            And talking about DVDs? Really? Last time I used a gaming optical media was to play Fallout 2.

          • Emeraude says:

            @CaspianRoach:

            I know it may surprises you, but some of use are competent enough to run their own archiving website and script monthly scheduled HDD image-saves. We don’t need a third party to do it for us.
            It’s great that unskilled (or lazy) people like you now have an option to do it without having to learn to do anything by themselves.

            That doesn’t mean we all want to be forced to use a sub-par service.

          • CaspianRoach says:

            So you don’t want a free automatic service and want to waste time and money doing it all yourself? Good idea.

          • skinlo says:

            @Emeraude

            Ok thats a stupid argument. Just because you back everything up onto a server automatically doesn’t mean the rest of the world should have to or does.

  8. Sp4rkR4t says:

    Do we have any word on what has happened to the 40K licence? Did Sega get that as well or will they have to re-negotiate it if they wish to play with that world.

    And if they do have it can we please announce Warhammer 40K: Total War RIGHT NOW!

    • The JG Man says:

      Probably similar to the WWE license THQ had; reverts to original owner, so Games Workshop. I imagine they’d have to negotiate with GW for that.

      I would, however, pre-order WH40K: Total War.

      • Commissar Choy says:

        Do want.

      • DK says:

        Warhammer 40k in the Epic subversion is a far better fit for a Total War scale RTS anyway, while Warhammer Fantasy already had a Total War style RTS recently (it was bad).

        Relics brand of small-party RTS view tactical RPG they’ve displayed in DoW 2′s singleplayer and Last Stand would be a perfect fit for Warhammer Fantasy.

        So please Sega: Warhammer Fantasy Tactical RPG by Relic and Warhammer 40k Epic grand scale RTS by Creative Assembly.

        • Premium User Badge FriendlyFire says:

          You know Creative Assembly already are working on a Warhammer game, right?

          • DK says:

            Yes, but they’re doing the Fantasy one. Now they have Relic so switch em around.

        • Asurmen says:

          Both large scale fights and skirmishes occur in both settings so why would they switch them around?

    • Premium User Badge darkChozo says:

      Clearly we need to see Chaos Marines added to Sonic and All Stars Racing.

    • Brise Bonbons says:

      “And if they do have it can we please announce Warhammer 40K: Total War RIGHT NOW!”

      Oh dear yes please. Frankly, I would be 100 times more excited for Creative Assembly’s take on 40K than a hypothetical Relic-developed DoW3. The Total War style of combat – with a set number of troops positioned at battle’s start and then thrown together in great waves – always seemed to capture the spirit of Warhammer better than the tiny squads and abstract bases/CPs in DoW.

      I’m glad Relic got a new home, either way. Their squad-based combat model is really great for certain kinds of RTS, and I’m excited to see what they can do in their new digs.

      • Archonsod says:

        The hell with that. They already have the Warhammer license, combine it with the 40K license and bring back the Squats!

        • John says:

          Dawn of War is one of my favourite games, I didn’t enjoy the sequel but won’t necessarily say it was a bad game. Any Warhammer-based game is welcome in my opinion!

        • iniudan says:

          Someone else beyond me who remember the Squat, what a joyful day, I had long abandoned hope they there was still some that held the grudge pass the door of the Hidden Library of Tzeentch.

          Now if only I was good at modeling and painting, I would do build a Chaos army with 4 Squat has the leader, each one representing an aspect of Chaos, in a Great Grudge Crusade against the Imperium.

          They and their treasonous guardian of the Ancestor, may we someday spit on his Pyrite Throne. They who dared abandoning the ancestor at the maw of the devourers and erasing record of the grudge.

          May this grudge make of Terra
          Ocean of blood and continent of skulls
          Crafted in the grandest throne and liquor
          In the name of Khorne
          May the putrefaction left in our wake
          Be our gift for Father Nurgle
          May our hate be grandest emotion
          Ever felt by Slaanesh
          For this grudge shall be eternal
          For it’s keeper be Tzeentch

      • DK says:

        Relics small squad/small group of heroes approach would be perfect for Fantasy Warhammer

  9. zeekthegeek says:

    There is literally no way TakeTwo would buy Evolve – by all accounts a new IP – without the developers continuing on. What even is that game without what Turtle Rock has done with it so far?

    Also Metro LL is 2 months from release, so it’s basically done at this point right? Like, 2 months is barely the time to go through QA and manufacturing.

    • Dave L. says:

      The Turtle Rock developer agreement was part of the sale. See Page 13 of the Results PDF.

  10. Ironclad says:

    I don’t think 4A Games is a subsidiary of THQ, they only got a publishing deal. If this is true (can’t find confirmation yet, just a bunch of reddit and SA comments) 4A Games keeps the rights to any metro sequel, it’s just who gets to print and ship the boxes (and steam deal) that changes.

    • SirKicksalot says:

      The Metro videogame IP belongs to Dmitry Glukhovsky and 4A.

  11. Neurotic says:

    “Company of Shoguns: Total Homeworld” – my stomach hurts from the laughing.

  12. vodka and cookies says:

    I guess we will eventually find out what happens to Red Faction, De Blob, Homeworld and the other lesser IP’s at THQ in due course. If sold at cut price there might be some takers, Crytek got Homefront 2 for practically nothing at 500K seeing as their developing it too.

    Sad to see THQ go like this.

    • Krupp says:

      Scratch that, no one knows what happend to Homeworld it seems.

  13. jsinnottdavies says:

    This is a sad day indeed.

  14. Cytrom says:

    Phew. No EA or ActivisionBlizzard. Not all is lost.

    Also, I’m totally fine with relic going with SEGA. While they DLC’d the crap out of the latest Total War games, the vast majority of those micodlcs are truly optional stuff that you don’t need to feel like you own the whole game. As opposed to obvious cut content like a door in the middle of your central hub / ship in mass effect with the message “you have to buy this DLC to access this part of your ship”

    Too bad Square-Enix-Eidos… or however they are called nowadays didn’t participate. I consider them one of the best AAA publishers nowadays. their games are just good, high quality, with little to no bullshit (which probably means they are next to go bankrupt…)

    • x1501 says:

      Phew no EA, indeed. I knew that sprinkling the place of the auction with holy water would keep the evil spirits at bay.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Yea, I think SE has its own financial problems to deal with… and I’m guessing the non-appearance of EA/Acti means they do too since they would’ve probably like to devour some helpless developers just for fun if they could afford it.

      Clouds and silver-linings etc.

      • HadToLogin says:

        Not seeing Activision is not surprising. If you’d check their latest games (around last 10 years) you’ll notice they’ve made nothing great and exist only thanks to CoD (and probably WoW too). And I’m pretty sure they don’t need another company to help make next CoD games, they have at least 6 companies making it already. Unless they would want to make it biannual release (instead of DLC, MW for November and BO for May).

        • Low Life says:

          I embarked on a quest to prove you wrong, but then I opened the list of Activision published games on Wikipedia and gave up after seeing its length.

          But the fact that they’re not a good publisher (from gamer perspective) doesn’t mean they wouldn’t be suitable for ruining another franchise ;)

    • LionsPhil says:

      Ubi didn’t eat anything particularly interesting, either. This could have gone a lot, lot, worse. Phew.

  15. Premium User Badge Clavus says:

    Seems a lot of other game studios are trying to snatch up the fired THQ devs on Twitter using #THQJobs

    • Phantoon says:

      Nothing wrong with offering someone freshly out of work a job.

      • Premium User Badge Clavus says:

        Wasn’t trying to sound pessimistic or anything. Glad to see the industry helping these people in a turbulent time.

  16. Premium User Badge Trinnet says:

    It’s sad to see THQ close down, but this feels pretty close to the best that could be made of a bad situation – none of the buyers seem like a bad fit for the studios they’re buying, so we can be hopeful that those studios will continue to produce games to the same standard they did under THQ.

    Will this sale mean that Ubisoft owns two studios called Ubisoft Montreal? Because that seems like it could get confusing.

  17. Hoaxfish says:

    Sega getting Relic is pretty good in my book, since Sega does seem to be interested in the PC platform, and has some strong stuff like Creative Assembly.

    Outside of that pairing, the only game I was interested in was Metro.

  18. Michael Fogg says:

    I hoped RPS would offer to buyout Vigil. They were only 120$. Their own pet developer!

  19. day says:

    This is sad news, I enjoyed quite a few THQ games.

    • Emeraude says:

      Part of me want to be saddened, but I can’t really free myself from the general impression that this was deserved.

      • Kadayi says:

        How? Their games overall sold well. The senior management (at the time) just made some bad calls regarding the Udraw stuff and that scuppered them financially.

  20. Zeewolf says:

    I’m just glad Ubisoft didn’t get any of the things that matter.

    Also, Evolve must be pretty damn promising for Take-Two to fork out 11 million for an unannounced title.

    Also 2, Deep Silver is a very good fit for both Volition and Metro. Deep Silver publishes space sims. Volition made Freespace, and wants to make Freespace 3.

    Also 3, Of course 4A are still with Metro. It’s a publishing deal, they’re not an internal studio.

    Also 4, Sega & Relic? Not a bad match at all.

    • malkav11 says:

      I’m dubious about the South Park RPG, but it matters because Obsidian matters.

      Edit: And Volition was sold with the Saints Row license, not Freespace or Red Faction. That said they could certainly make another space sim akin to Freespace and not use that IP.

      • TimMc says:

        I think the Freespace IP has been untouched for so long that it is public domain.

  21. Commissar Choy says:

    I think Sega+Relic was the best match up that could have happened. I can’t wait for CoH2 and (hopefully) some more 40K based games. Come on GW, if TW:WHF does well can you please make a TW:40K?

    • iniudan says:

      Agree on the TW thing, but I think Total Whaaaarg would be better name. =p

      Anyway what I want to see since Sega got Relic and they will most likely get the W40k IP right, is Homeworld: Battlefleet Gothic.

  22. The Sombrero Kid says:

    Thank God relic are safe, didn’t care too much about anyone else.

  23. UncleLou says:

    Shame. THQ was the best publisher for PC games for a few years, when everyone else thought the grass is greener somewhere else. Titan Quest, Company of Heroes, Stalker.

  24. Cloudiest Nights says:

    Really feel the worst for Vigil. I hope they find new jobs or go it indie with their new project.

  25. Beybars says:

    Relic being bought by Sega is fantastic news, since Sega has been pushing great PC games, most notably the Total War series, and the rumored Warhammer Total War, adding 40k and Company of Heroes to their list is great.

    Also Koch buying Volition could mean the revival of FREESPACE, since they publish the X series, but I don’t know if they can get the ip or not, but I’m hopeful.

    Also, does anyone know if Ubisoft has published any cRPG’s?

    • malkav11 says:

      Yes. Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor, back in 2001. A game so infamously buggy that uninstalling it would also wipe the hard drive it was installed on. (Until the first patch.)

  26. Erithtotl says:

    CoSTH would be the greatest RTS of all time, easily.

  27. Koozer says:

    “Crytek agreed to purchase Homefront”

    Suckers! Now then, back to daydreaming about Relic, Creative Assembly, and both Warhammer licences under one roof.

    • Dave L. says:

      Actually, from what I saw of Homefront 2 it was shaping up to be the game that John Walker thought Homefront 1 was going to be based on the E3 demo that was a giant pack of lies.

  28. cairbre says:

    Happy enough about relic which was my main concern.

  29. Dowr says:

    Deep Silver now owns Metro? Oh lord…

    • iniudan says:

      No, just the publishing right. A4 is independent from THQ, they just had publishing deal with them.

  30. Engonge says:

    YES!!!As a long time company of heroes fan I am delighted that Sega bought relic.They take good care of their strategy game developers.As far as publishers go, I love sega.

  31. Emeraude says:

    @skinlo

    Did you read all my posts or just this one ? Because I think you missed the point.

    So, from the beginning:

    Steam enforces a needless DRM.
    This is bad.

    It’s also a service platform valued by others than me.
    This is good.

    The two are unrelated: Steam would still be the same service if it didn’t have the DRM.
    This is true.

    As such, I don’t accept the argument that one should suffer the DRM because of the service – the latter does in no way justify the former. Trying to, basically tell me, “shut up because *I* enjoy it” is not exactly an argument I’m willing to accept really.

    I’ll give you the language was somewhat aggressive, but I find it a fitting response to the one thrown at me, which tries to paint me as a relic incapable of understanding the “modern world”.

    want to waste time and money doing it all yourself?

    a) You have no idea how those things work, do you ?
    b) Why is the fact that I should *have* the possibility if so I wish, given it would cost *you* nothing a problem to you ?

    I’m not saying you shouldn’t have access those services if you find them convenient. I’m saying there’s no reason they should be made mandatory.

    • stupid_mcgee says:

      Steam allows for publishers to choose their DRM measures. If you don’t want any DRM at all on your published game, you don’t have to.

      • Emeraude says:

        I get that by “you” you mean the publisher ?
        The publisher bears the blame of using the DRM, Valve bears the one of being the provider.

        Steam remains a DRM in itself, even without Steamworks.

        • HothMonster says:

          By that same token is GOG a DRM? You can launch non-steamworks titles purchased from steam off your HDD and you have to maintain an account to log into GOG.

          • Emeraude says:

            Am I forced to use the GoG client at any point to *install* a copy of a game I bought and stored ?

            Not at all.

          • HothMonster says:

            Ah, fair point.

  32. solymer89 says:

    Pour some out for Darksiders.

  33. kodjeff1 says:

    So bummed about Darksiders. I won’t enumerate the reasons I love the franchise. Suffice it to say that my heart is sad.

  34. kud13 says:

    Sad to see Vigil get left out. I was really hoping Squeenix would pick them up and get them working on a new Legacy of Kain game, or Darksiders 3.

    Sega treats Strategy devs well (Creative Assembly), but then I remember Alpha Protocol, and I worry again.

    I hope 4A is able to do well with Metro. After GSC’s collapse, they are the last major Ukrainian dev still out there.

    South Park RPG going to Ubi…. ugh. until they get that Uplay is a bad idea, anything from Ubi is tainted.

  35. uh20 says:

    the fact that sega and other O-K companies got the pieces of THQ at auction means that there probably wont be too much of a difference.

    i believe that the games that they make wont be turned into shitty cutscene-exposing regurgitating FPS games by their new owners, as they are actually quite good owners.

    THINK: WHAT IF EA GOT ALL OF THE AUCTIONS….. <_<
    (the whole of RPS would then commit ___cide, the media later finds it was a single picture of farcry3 that had created the violence)

  36. McDan says:

    This is indeed a sad day. THQ you will be missed.

  37. hatseflats says:

    No! No no no no no! NOOOOOOO! THQ, one of the very few good publishers, is bust.
    And UBISOFT, by far the worst publisher, is buying parts of it? WTF!? This is a loss to gamers everywhere.

    • sabasNL says:

      Ubisoft isn’t bad, it just made some decision errors last year. They were going to be the next Activision and EA, but they’re fine now. Their emphasis on Free2Play and Browsergames is a bit worrying though.

  38. sabasNL says:

    Crytek purchasing Homefront and SEGA purchasing Relic is quite good. Some nice products may come out of that.

    Kinda worried about the others though, their futures are either unclear or are doomed already…

    By the way, I though Electronic Arts was purchasing the whole of THQ? Kinda glad they didn’t, they would atleast have fucked up Relic and Homefront. (on the other hand, Saints Row and Red Faction could be more safe there)

  39. Megakoresh says:

    WOW, this sucks… What about Metro: Last Light?

    Hard to believe someone like THQ can just pop like this. Why? Why THQ of all people when EA has given a trillion more reasons to people not to buy their games?

    Einstein was right, there is no limit to human stupidity.

    • TCM says:

      EA doesn’t make completely boneheaded business decisions like pursuing an ill-advised third party hardware peripheral with no clear goal, and manufacturing a frigton of them.

      The businesses that stay afloat are the ones that best exploit the markets that exist. THQ tried to exploit a market they thought existed, but in fact did not.

      The relative quality of games, or indeed the company, has nothing to do with economic realities.

  40. Solidstate89 says:

    I had no idea THQ was formed the same year I was born.

    This makes me even sadder to see this happen. :(

  41. Felixader says:

    SEGA aquired Relic. Rellic makes the Warhammer 40.000 Games. TB will be SOOOO pissed.