South Park attempts to block THQ auction of The Stick of Truth

South Park license owners attempting to claim rights to upcoming RPG off THQ ahead of today's auction.

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As THQ prepares to auction off its IP today at 14:00 Eastern Time, South Park Digital Studios is attempting to block the sale of upcoming Obsidian-developed RPG South Park: The Stick of Truth, which is currently scheduled for release on March 5.

In a filing at the United States Bankruptcy Court in Delaware, spotted on NeoGAF, the South Park owners have submitted their objection to THQ's proposed sale today. THQ, on the other hand, claims it has every right to auction off the title.

The gist of the original eight-page legal document (and THQ's seven-page rebuttal) is that South Park Digital Studios believes that THQ doesn't have the right to auction off publishing rights for The Stick of Truth, and that it should be allowed to buy back the rights to the game and shop them about for a publisher independently of THQ.

South Park Digital Studios argues that its original contract with THQ, which was signed in June 2011, allows it to acquire "all elements of the game and related products" at THQ's cost in the event of the downtrodden publisher breaching the contract.

South Park Studios claims that, under section 365(c)(1) of the Bankruptcy Code, THQ can't sell the rights to The Stick of Truth to another publisher.

THQ, on the other hand, disagrees, and cites a specific clause in its original contract that has been redacted from the public documentation.

What this means for the future of South Park: The Stick of Truth is unclear. However, THQ's legal team says it "will continue to work toward a consensual resolution of the Objection prior to the Sale Hearing."

For more information on South Park: The Stick of Truth, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

Discussion

91 comments
JoshGill8
JoshGill8

If EA would've bought this I would've flipped out

rudyv30
rudyv30

Sounds like Matt and Trey won't want more to do with the game. When I found out it the game was going to be turn based, I completely lost interest in it.

Chozn275
Chozn275

Apparenty Ubisoft now owns it.


deathstream
deathstream

THQ is turning into another MGM.  Their bankruptcy delayed Cabin in the Woods for two years and gave us a bloated Peter Jackson Hobbit instead of a Guillermo del Toro Hobbit.

dbene
dbene

Oh God...what a hot mess this has turned out to be. Let's all hope the game (if we ever get to play it) works out better than it's development. 

Ducez_III
Ducez_III

The Stick of Truth is in jeopardy! NOOOOOO! Dx

OJ_the_LION
OJ_the_LION

This bankruptcy is some sad stuff for everyone involved. I wish they were able to get the original all as one sale to another party done instead of this piecemeal thing they were forced to do, but what can you do. I only hope some of my favorite franchises survive, and in the hands of someone that's not EA or Activision.

RikusTwilight
RikusTwilight

Considering South Park is the license here, and that South Park is both Matt and Trey's IP, I severely doubt they would let THQ shop it around.

marting265
marting265

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO WHY, Why South Park..I was looking forward to this game since forever.

Golden_Gonads
Golden_Gonads

I bet Obsidian are gnawing their nails down to the elbows. If it were to get cancelled now like (seemingly) 70% of what they've worked on...

inebriantia
inebriantia

I really hope this doesn't get delayed, I've been craving a new RPG badly, and cant wait!

Zero_Echo
Zero_Echo

Sad news, I was genuinely interested in Stick of Truth..Legal battles rarely allow games to come out unscathed.

Defy_The_Fallen
Defy_The_Fallen

As long as I get this game in my hands at some point, I don't care where it goes to at the moment. 

Sepewrath
Sepewrath

So likely delayed? That's what I'm getting out of this.

Minishdriveby
Minishdriveby

Good for the South Park guys. I don't want them censored under a new publisher.

blahblahblah999
blahblahblah999

I'm surprised the Warhammer franchise hasn't jumped on board to grab back the rights to 40K

HankShankerson
HankShankerson

I really hope this game doesn't somehow get lost in legal jumbo mumbos and what have you!

SavoyPrime
SavoyPrime

Knew this was going to get ugly. We shall see how this turns out.

The_Gump
The_Gump

I have high hopes for this game due to Matt and Trey's creative control over it.  Even if the gameplay turns out to be utter garbage (and with THQs name attached, that could definitely be a possibility), but I'm sure it's going to be a laugh riot for South Park fans.  

Despite its troubles, I'm looking forward to this.  I really hope Matt and Trey can rescue it from THQs tentacles.

cdog21
cdog21

This is news that I did not want to hear. I am kind of glad that it can't be sold off all willy nilly  yet.

hippiesanta
hippiesanta

Jason Rubin should have stick with Naughty Dog ..... THQ doesn't help him ... lol

decoy1978
decoy1978

$$$ 'nuff said. THQ is dead and hopes to get as much as they by liquidating assets and auctioning IP's. Time to lawyer up!

joel_c17
joel_c17

I cant wait to play this game.

JimmeyBurrows
JimmeyBurrows

How did the world allow legal documents to become such utter bullshit that it doesn't really give any specific rights to anyone, They should force it to be 1 side of A4 at size 12 times new roman, then there wouldn't be room for it to contradict itself without letting people know.

Seriously a hand shake makes more legal sense than these things.

wizo59mt
wizo59mt

to bad about THQ, they have been around awhile but none of there games really struck me a great. i though Summoner was a great PS2 launch title and still have it to this day but other then that, red faction of PS2 was also note worthy, other then that they didnt strike my fancy, yet i never tried saints row the third, only one i would try, and the yet to be released metro.

FakeKisser
FakeKisser

As much as I want to see THQ recover from this (if that's at all possible...), I hope South Park Studios gets a hold of this game. I think that's the best thing for the integrity of the game to continue on the path it has already been on while also keeping delays down.

JayQproductions
JayQproductions

Why is everyone acting like this game will never be released now? It comes out in a couple months, there is no way any company would let a nearly finished game with such a big name attached to it just sit around and collect dust, if the South Park guys get the right to the game, they will shop it around to other publishers and someone will release it. If they don't THQ will sell it to someone else and they will release it, this is a publishers dream to buy an already made game, release it, and make profit.

slefo29
slefo29

We all know this game is going to horrible. Just look at it. Who wants to play that RPG? Meh.

Daemoroth
Daemoroth

Ugh, if they fight over it, by the time they're done it won't be worth a cent. The winner will likely trash it right after if this becomes a lengthy battle.

Just leave it be and let it get finished properly! PLEASE!!

X_Colbert_X
X_Colbert_X

Well, the law is on Matt and Trey's side.

Under 365(c)(1), THQ cannot legally hand over the rights of an IP to another company other than South Park Studios without the original owners' consent. If THQ really does have protection from this in their contract with SPS, then I'd wonder why Matt and Trey would agree to such terms and conditions in the first place, especially knowing THQ has been in financial trouble for a good couple of years now.

HailHellfire
HailHellfire

Chris & Trey should have done what Gillermo did & made it so they owned the rights to the game...

jubdeidamasta
jubdeidamasta

I was really looking forward to this game. Damn you THQ!!

dark_surge
dark_surge

Matt and Trey must be pissed/bummed.  They finally get the South Park game they wanted and this happens.  Not to mention it had a good chance of being a great game. 

damodar_thade
damodar_thade

They could just threaten to have cartman spawn mel gibson naked.

killerlavaman
killerlavaman

south park is going to win, they have the chewbacca defense.

SirNormanislost
SirNormanislost

@blahblahblah999

Because they shouldn't be able to do this also when they listed THQs assets for the auction there was no mention of any 40k games at all so I'd guess games workshop has already reclaimed its license

It all comes down to something in this particular contract

otaviogalileu
otaviogalileu

@The_Gump Why would a publisher alone be responsible for a game being garbage or not? You should look at Obsidian's work and see if they are able or not to pull it off... Not THQ!

I happen to think they are! Usually their games don't receive high praise, but they are good games nevertheless.

obsequies
obsequies

@slefo29 not every film adaptation is terrible, at least its something different in a genre that resembles cheap hair metal

chuckles471
chuckles471

@slefo29 

It looks exactly like South park, it is written by Matt and Trey and has Mr Slave doing the Paris Hilton...  It could have rubbish gameplay but a feature length south park is an opportunity I wouldn't want to miss out on. 

nigelholden
nigelholden

@slefo29 While it doesn''t look like a Ni No Kuni, I would definitely like to play this. 

chibi-acer
chibi-acer

@X_Colbert_X It's kind of complicated, but in general 365(c)(1) doesn't apply if the contract specified that THQ could contract the work out to a third party.  Which they already did, since the development was performed by Obsidian Entertainment.

burgeg
burgeg

@killerlavaman In all seriousness, I fully expect the chewbacca defense to be an actual move in the game.

never-named
never-named

@killerlavaman Sadly, Johnnie Cochran died a few years ago. =[

Golden_Gonads
Golden_Gonads

@otaviogalileu  It depends what kind of control the publisher has.  Depending on the contract, they might just set deadlines, or they might get to direct the way a lot of the content goes.

slefo29
slefo29

@nigelholden @slefo29 Actually just picked up my copy of White Witch today. Sadly, it will probably collect dust come Feb. 4, when the greatest SRPG of all time releases. 

Golden_Gonads
Golden_Gonads

@mrboone01 @deathstream At least Obsidian try to release bug fixes...  Unlike Bethesda who just leave it to the community - When the unofficial patches for the last two Elder Scrolls games each have a list of well over 1,000 bugs that have been fixed (And no, this is not an exaggeration),  and whole reams of info on bugs which the coimmunity can't fix - Many going back to the original flaws in the engine  for Morrowind there is blatently something amiss.

Golden_Gonads
Golden_Gonads

@mrboone01 @Golden_Gonads @otaviogalileu Different strokes for different folks.  I personally rate Obsidian as the best RPG developer out there.  They do tend to over-reach  though andfail to bug-test their products sufficiently.  Mind, they are no worse in that respect than Bethesda...

Ground_Zero
Ground_Zero

@burgeg @SirNormanislost @killerlavaman Look at the monkey.