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THQ Properties Up For Auction, Where Will Their Future Homes Be?

It’s official, THQ is no more, well, it will be soon.  On January 22nd, an auction will be held to sell off the intellectual properties, studios, and other assets of the publisher to the highest bidders on an individual title basis.

This is the latest bit of bad news for the struggling publisher, who was recently de-listed from the Nasdaq, as THQ President Jason Rubin had wrote to fans in late December that a bid from Clearlake Capital Group would have committed additional ample capital to let them finish the games currently in production, continue making games going forward.  The plan would be for Clearlake to buy THQ as a whole for approximately 60 million dollars with a sale closing on January 9, 2013.

As mentioned on our Primecast this week, a judge ruled that a quick sale to Clearlake would not be permitted, citing that the fast turnaround had pushed out other interested parties, as THQ did not even put out to the public that it was for sale.

We know thanks to the bankruptcy documents filed at the end of 2012 that the following titles were in the pipeline:
Turtle Rock Studios:  Working Title “Evolve”
THQ Montreal:  Working Title “1666”
Relic Entertainment:  Working Title “Atlas”
Vigil Games:  Working Title “Crawler”
Volition Studios:  Saints Row 4
Relic Entertainment:  Company of Heroes 2
Crytek UK:  Homefront 2
Yukes:  WWE ’14
4A Games:  Metro: Last Light
Obsidian:  Southpark: The Stick of Truth

THQ also has the Darksiders and Warhammer 40,000 franchises.

It has been reported that Electronic Arts, UbiSoft, Warner Brothers, and at least 2 other companies have been visiting these studios and assessing the titles for purchase, so it is once again time to fire up the Speculatron 9000 and see what the potential future of these games and their respective studios is.


Volition Studios:  Obviously the big win here is Volition Studios & the Saints Row franchise.  My hope for this studio would be going to Electronic Arts, as EA while they are one of the “big bad” corporations, they allow their studios the freedom to design as long as they stay within budget and meet their deadlines, so this could give Saints Row a huge influx in budget while at the same time continuing them to let their freak flag fly higher than it already does.  Volition is also home to the Red Faction series, that EA could benefit from.

THQ Montreal: I believe that we will see UbiSoft make a bid for the studio that was allegedly poaching their employees in 2011, not for that reason, but just logistically it makes sense for them to buy THQ Montreal and absorb it and the upcoming title “1666” into their own Montreal studio.

Vigil Games:  Home of The Darksiders franchise, I see this one going to Activision, they love themselves some sequels, and with Vigil working on a new IP with the working title of “Crawler”, Activision has the cash to move forward with the risk of a new IP if it means Darksiders III comes out of Vigil next.

Relic Entertainment:  Company of Heroes and the Warhammer 40,000 franchises are sequel generating machines for the PC, so it’s sort of a no-brainer here that Microsoft takes in this studio and makes it one of their own.


South Park:  The Stick of Truth:  The future of this title puzzles me.  It’s near completion, so obviously it will find a home somewhere, I’m just not entirely sure what publisher makes the most sense.  Maybe Square Enix, since both Tomb Raider and this game are due out around the same time, so it would make sense for them to buy this and maybe push out the release by a month and increase profit of both games.

Metro: Last Light:  Another possible grab by Square Enix as they could benefit from having a solid FPS franchise in their system.  This one could also go to Warner Brothers who, after acquiring the Mortal Kombat franchise, are clearly no stranger to M-rated titles.

WWE ’14:  Quite honestly, I’d love to see EA pick this up and put it under their EA Sports franchises.  Yes it’s not truly a sport, but with their acquisition of the UFC license from THQ last year, it makes sense for them to become the publisher for Yukes’ yearly iteration of wrestling games as well, and they sure do love adding the next year to a title.


Obviously, only time will tell in the near future where these studios and titles end up, let us know in the comments where you think they will end up and what your thoughts are on the latest publisher to go belly up in the industry.  I for one don’t see this as a good thing and wish everyone at THQ best of luck in their future endeavors.

A part time gaming journalist and radio practitioner, and one of the first editors here at Default Prime, Mike has been gaming since birth, starting back with the Atari 2600 and Commodore 64, on through to the PS3, PC, and whatever comes next. He is educated in communications and is a project manager by trade.

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