THQ Files For Voluntary Bankrupty, Sells Assets To New Owners
Embattled developer and publisher THQ has finally done what many people expected them to do before the end of 2012, and has filed for Chapter 11 voluntary bankruptcy.
However, all is not as bleak as it sounds. Whilst the move does mean that THQ shares will be de-listed from the NASDAQ within nine days, the company has sold its assets to a “stalking horse bidder“, Clearlake Captial Group for $60 million. This process means that other interested parties can come forward with higher competing bids within the next 30 days before the court clears the sale as per the existing agreement.
The result of this is that Clearlake, or whoever does end up purchasing THQ’s assets, will gain ownership of all four development houses (Relic Entertainment, Vigil Games, Volition, and THQ Studio Montreal) and all games that are currently in development. This includes upcoming titles Metro: Last Light and South Park: The Stick of Truth.
In the press release to investors, THQ have stated that they believe that all upcoming games and surrounding work should remain unaffected by these latest developments, and that no part of the business should subject to interruption as a result of the sale:
THQ will continue operating its business without interruption during the sale period, subject to Court approval of THQ’s first-day motions. All of the company’s studios remain open, and all development teams continue. The company remains confident in its existing pipeline of games. THQ maintains relationships with some of the top independent development studios around the globe. As part of the sale, the company is seeking approval to assume the contracts of these studios, and Clearlake will assume these contracts. – THQ Press Release
Despite the recent success and sales of the THQ Humble Bundle (and THQ’s President Jason Rubin suggesting that they might port the games to Linux to increase revenue) this would come as no real surprise. But it sounds as though the company is going through yet another major realignment in order to shore up its financial position and development houses. Given that work is expected to carry on as normal, and that upcoming titles will not be subjected to delay, it’ll be interesting to see whether 2013 will bring about a year of success for the company.
Although to be honest, if they manage to get through just one financial quarter without the speculation of the entire company going under then that would be a significant improvement on this year.