THQ Sold: Studios, Games Go to Sega, Ubisoft, and Others
The feeding frenzy over THQ took place yesterday, but no news of the event had leaked out until now. Kotaku has published an internal THQ memo from THQ CEO Brian Farrell and President Jason Rubin that details the sale of the company and most of its assets.
The letter is fairly sad, and the latter half is highly personal and flattering toward the people who worked at THQ. The main point of the memo, however, is to inform THQ employees of whether or not they still have a job. Overall, the outcome of the bidding could have been worse, though some beloved game franchises have ended up in odd places.
Fans of the Company of Heroes series can breathe a sigh of relief, as Relic Entertainment appears to be going to Sega. With Company of Heroes 2 so far along in its development, it’s almost certain that Sega will be able to get the strategy game into shape for a release sometime this year.
Fans of the Darksiders series have not been as lucky. Vigil Games, the developer of Darksiders and Darksiders II has not been sold, and remains a part of the THQ bankruptcy case. This could very well mean that the studio will be closing.
Developer Crytek has agreed to purchase the Homefront series, something that should excite shooter fans, and Take 2 is looking to buy Evolve, a game about which nothing is known.
One of the more odd sales is of the studio Volition and the Metro series to Koch Media. Volition is the developer of perhaps the hottest property THQ had to sell, the Saints Row series. Though Koch’s subsidiary Deep Silver is a relatively small niche publisher, it has recently been trying to break out with the Dead Island games.
Ubisoft was also a part of the bidding, and has nabbed THQ’s Montreal studio and the upcoming South Park: The Stick of Truth RPG. This is pretty great news for those employees and South Park fans alike. The Montreal employees will likely be folded into Ubisoft’s Montreal studio in some way, and the publisher is unlikely to let a hyped game like The Stick of Truth fall through the cracks.
Unfortunately, the employees of THQ properties that were not part of the sale are being laid off. From the memo:
If you are an employee of an entity that is not included in the sale, 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. THQ has sufficient resources to pay these employees for work going forward, and we will be contacting these employees immediately to ensure their continued employment during this transition period. We are requesting the ability to offer certain severance pay to minimize disruption for employees of non-included entities as they determine the next steps in their careers.
A sad day for the gaming industry, which has seen so many sad days of layoffs in the past year. Though the THQ logo has now been relegated to nostalgia status, a few of the publisher’s coveted titles, at least, seem to have found a decent home.