Court approves THQ sale

Bankruptcy court grants motion to approve sale of assets totaling $100 million; company will continue to look for Vigil Games buyer.

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A US bankruptcy court has granted a motion to approve the sale of THQ's assets as outlined yesterday at the close of the private auction, the company announced today. THQ expects the approval to be finalized by tomorrow, January 25.

The court approved the sale of three THQ studios (THQ Montreal, Volition Inc., and Relic Entertainment), as well as games including Evolve, Homefront 2, Metro: Last Light, and South Park: The Stick of Truth.

Sales from the auction totaled around $72 million, though the total value is higher. THQ said it expects the total sale process to have generated $100 million, which includes "certain assets and other intellectual properties" excluded from the sale.

One of these assets could be the WWE license, which Grand Theft Auto parent publisher Take-Two Interactive has reportedly obtained for an undisclosed sum.

THQ also today addressed the fate of Darksiders studio Vigil Games, which did not attract a single bidder at the auction yesterday. The company said it will continue to seek a buyer for Vigil Games, and other assets and intellectual properties, as part of the Chapter 11 process.

Staff at Bayonetta and Vanquish developer Platinum Games have expressed interest in the Darksiders franchise, though it is not clear if their interest is merely exploratory.

THQ executive management also commented on the news. CEO Brian Farrell said, "While we had hoped that the restructuring process would allow the company to remain intact, I am heartened that the majority of our studios and games will continue under new ownership. Although we will no longer be able to work together with a unified mission, I am confident that the talent we have assembled will continue to make an impression on the video game industry. For those whose positions are not likely to continue, I sincerely regret this outcome and we will be meeting with you over the next few days to discuss the transition."

THQ president Jason Rubin--who was hired just eight months ago--also gave a farewell address, saying he wished the result could have been different.

"I was brought in eight months ago to help turn this ship around, and while I'm disappointed that we could not effect a sale for the entire operating business, I am pleased that the new buyers will be providing jobs to many of our very talented personnel," Rubin said. "When we first announced the sale process, I said I would be happy if the company's games and people had a bright future, even if it meant I did not have a job at the end of it. And I still feel that way."

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