January 24, 2013

THQ's Asset Sale Gets Approved by Courts


It's the end of an era for THQ as the company earlier today got court approval to stage a sale of its assets to various publishers. THQ had actually already received court approval just recently for a bankruptcy auction process, but stepped up the timetable and sought approval for a much faster process instead.

The early word says that much of the asset pool already has companies interested in buying. For instance, THQ's Relic Studios is set for a sale to Sega Corp of Japan in a deal valued at $26.6 million. Volition, one of THQ's most valuable properties in the wake of the "Saints Row: The Third" release as well as the rest of the "Saints Row" line, sold to Koch Media GmbH at $22.3 million. Koch also bought the "Metro: Last Light" game for $5.9 million. Finally, the widely-anticipated "South Park: The Stick of Truth" game was sold to Ubisoft LLC for $3.3 million.

The process of selling off THQ, meanwhile, has come under fire, mostly from the company's unsecured creditors. Said creditors didn't much care for how investment firm Clearlake Capital Group had taken the lead on the entire company, serving as the "stalking horse"-- another term for the lead bidder -- for the whole shooting match. But after an agreement was reached between THQ and the unsecured creditors, the process opened up a bit more.

THQ's chief executive Brian Farrell described his own state of dismay at the proceedings, saying "While we had hoped that the restructuring process would allow the company to remain intact, I am heartened that the majority of our studios and games will continue under new ownership." Indeed, he seems to be right, as much of THQ's upcoming slate has found a new home, if on a somewhat delayed release schedule.

This also means bad news for those who were looking forward to "South Park: The Stick Of Truth," as there's pretty much no way that game's coming out any time soon now. A recent check of the Gamefaqs.com upcoming calendar of releases shows that it's nowhere in sight now, making an already slim 2013 look even slimmer by comparison. The "Metro: Last Light" website, meanwhile, seems fairly convinced that March 2013 is still the release date to watch. There is even a report of some better news, as reports point to Ubisoft picking up an unknown property with the acquisition of THQ Montreal, which could mean an interesting release this year.

Still, with E3 a little over five months out, and a fair likelihood of some new consoles getting introduced, it's a safe bet that we're going to be up to our collective eyes in games in the not too distant future. While the loss of THQ is going to be rough for anyone who enjoyed their properties, it's likely that we haven't seen the last of these old friends, and new ones will be likely hitting new consoles soon.




Edited by Rich Steeves



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