NEWS - Thursday, January 24, 2013

As the THQ auction continues, numbers disclosed

In an auctioning process, THQ has sold many of its studios and upcoming games. Sega has agreed to purchase Relic Entertainment, developer of the upcoming Company of Heroes 2. Given the publisher’s penchant for PC strategy games (like the Total War series), Relic’s future may be relatively safe in the House of Sonic. According to @DDInvesting, Sega fronted $26 million in the auction, proving they want ownership of the PC strategy space.

Koch Media, owner of the Deep Silver publishing label, has agreed to purchase publishing rights forMetro: Last Light, and Volition, developer of THQ’s successful Saints Row franchise. Koch Media offered $22.3 million for Volition, $5.8 million for Metro.

Crytek, developer of the upcoming Homefront 2, has agreed to purchase the IP from THQ--a rare move where a developer can outright buy a property from its publisher. The cost of the IP purchase: a mere $500k.

Take 2, owner of the 2K Games and Rockstar Games label, has agreed to take "Evolve," the unannounced next game from Turtle Rock Studios, developer of the Left 4 Dead franchise. The publisher offered $11 million for the title, suggesting a lot of confidence in the unseen project.

Finally, Ubisoft has agreed to purchase THQ Montreal, ironically recapturing Patrice Désilets in the process. Désilets worked on the Assassin’s Creed franchise before moving on to work on to the yet-announced 1666. The French publisher will also pick up South Park: The Stick of Truth--arguably THQ’s biggest upcoming game. Ubisoft spent only $2.5 million for the Montreal studio, less than the $3.2 million it fronted for the South Park game.

The publisher expects these deals to close as early as this week. However, Kotaku points out that a number of other parts of the business have been unsold. For example, Vigil Games, developer of theDarksiders franchise, is still unclaimed. "They will remain part of the Chapter 11 case," CEO Brian Farrell wrote in a letter to employees. "We will make every effort to find appropriate buyers, if possible."

"We expect that most employees of the entities included in the sale will be offered employment by the new owners," the letter says. "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," adding "unfortunately, employees of a studio that were not purchased will have their position end."




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