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THQ cut up and sold off

A leaked memo from the heads of THQ has confirmed the fate of several of the publisher's studios and properties, including Vigil, Relic and Volition.

Kris Graft, Contributor

January 23, 2013

2 Min Read

It's truly the end of THQ, as auction bidders swooped in over the past 24 hours, chopping up the remains of the bankrupt publisher and buying up the most valuable parts. A note to employees, obtained by Kotaku and signed by THQ CEO Brian Farrell and president Jason Rubin, stated that the company opted to try to net higher-value offers through sales of individual assets, as opposed to selling off a majority of the publisher to a single bidder (namely, Clearlake Capital Group). That means the proposed asset sales played out as follows:

Sega agreed to purchase Relic (which is working to finish Company of Heroes 2) Koch Media agreed to purchase Volition (Saints Row dev) and Metro (from 4A Games) Crytek (which is working on a Homefront sequel) agreed to purchase Homefront Take 2 agreed to purchase Evolve (from Turtle Rock Studios) Ubisoft agreed to purchase THQ Montreal and Obsidian's South Park

The memo said those sales are slated to close this week, pending approval from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Not all employees and studios were part of the sell-offs. Vigil, developer of the Darksiders series at THQ, is one studio that did not find a buyer. "If you are an employee of an entity that is not included in the sale, we regret that your position will end," the note reads. Staff who were working on game franchises that were left on the table are also presumably now jobless. But even employees at acquired companies are not necessarily safe, as the memo adds: "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." Assets not acquired during the auction will still be part of THQ's Chapter 11 case. The company said it will continue to try to find buyers for properties that were not picked up, though the window of opportunity is shrinking rapidly. THQ added that a "small number" of headquarters staff will continue to work at THQ through January 25 to aid with the transition. Update: Both Ubisoft and Koch Media have confirmed their respective purchases to Gamasutra. Ubisoft added that it has acquired an unannounced new game being developed by Ubisoft Montreal. Koch says that its Deep Silver game publishing imprint will handle future entries in the Saints Row and Metro franchises. Sega declined to comment.

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