THQ files for bankruptcy

Struggling publisher files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and has entered into asset purchase agreement with bidder to sell nearly all of company's assets, including four wholly-owned studios and games.

Beleaguered Saints Row publisher THQ has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the company announced today. The company has entered into an asset purchase agreement with a bidder to acquire "substantially all of the assets of THQ's operating business." This includes THQ's four wholly-owned studios and games in development.

"The sale will allow THQ to shed certain legacy obligations and emerge with the strong financial backing of a new owner with substantial experience in software and technology," the company said in a statement.

THQ's day-to-day operations will not be affected during the sale period, the company said. Every THQ studio remains open and development on all projects is unaffected. No layoffs are expected to be a result of the filing. Employees will continue to work on their usual schedules and will receive their previously agreed upon compensation and benefits.

THQ's international operations, including those in Canada, are not included in the filings. Additionally, the company said it has obtained about $37.5 million in financing commitments from lenders Clearlake and Wells Fargo. These investments are subject to court approval.

"The sale and filing are necessary next steps to complete THQ’s transformation and position the company for the future, as we remain confident in our existing pipeline of games, the strength of our studios, and THQ’s deep bench of talent," said THQ CEO Brian Farrell in a statement. "We are grateful to our outstanding team of employees, partners and suppliers who have worked with us through this transition. We are pleased to have attracted a strong financial partner for our business, and we hope to complete the sale swiftly to make the process as seamless as possible."

Clearlake estimates THQ's assets are worth approximately $60 million, which includes a new $10 million note for the benefit of THQ's creditors. THQ expects to complete to sale process in the next 30 days.

"We have incredible, creative talent here at THQ," new THQ president Jason Rubin said. "We look forward to partnering with experienced investors for a new start as we will continue to use our intellectual property assets to develop high-quality core games, create new franchise titles, and drive demand through both traditional and digital channels."

THQ has a range of games in development. These include Saints Row 4, Homefront 2, Metro: Last Light, South Park: The Stick of Truth, Company of Heroes 2, and an unannounced project from former Assassin's Creed developer Patrice Désilets at the company's Montreal studio.

THQ stock will be delisted from NASDAQ in nine days.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

Discussion

0 comments
ROGUE_OP
ROGUE_OP

okay lets all stop whining for a bit and take a look at some of  the games thq was responsible for publishing


50 Cent: BLood on the sand

all star cheer squad

are you smarter than a fifth grader

avatar: the last airbender

barbie: jet set and style

big mutha truckers

bratz

cars

costume quest

darksiders

destroy all humans 

evil dead redemption 

fairly odd parents

fifa 2000 mls 

finding nemo

home alone

hot wheels

james bond jr. 

kung fu panda 2

mx vs. atv

marvel super heroes 

megamind 

metro 2033

power rangers 


blah blah blah blah essentially this was a company that accidentally bumped into a few good games other than that the sole reason for there existence was money and the easiest possible way to get it. There is nothing to mourn over here, not even really worth thinking about considering that the good franchises with talented developers will get picked up by someone who actually gives a shit about gaming. if something like this happened to rockstar, rocksteady, polyphony, or naughty dog just to name a few, that would be something to mourn over. THQ  barely deserves the half ass piece i've just written about them. 

Hreath
Hreath

No more darksiders......

BH14
BH14

THQ made a great game........ trailer for Homefront.

3D3
3D3

Pretty sad, I can already see EA drooling for WWE.

ApocaLeepse
ApocaLeepse

Hopefully EA won't end up buying them. I shudder to think what would become of great series such as Dawn of War, Metro, Saint's Row and Darksiders if they did. Probably half-assed watered down generic action games, if any of EA's latest sequels are anything to go by.

qioden
qioden

i just hope whatever Dawn of War game they have in the making is not going to be affected...

mechmaster525
mechmaster525

I really hope THQ doesn't go under. I really want Metro: Last Light and Homefront 2 to come out and I would love to see sequals to those to games as well. If THQ goes under I hope whoever buys the assests specifically buys those two, but I really hope they don't go under in general. To many Nickelodian, Wrestling, and crappy movie tie in games. I hope this is a lesson to THQ and other publishers. Activision better watch out with their crappy movie tie ins.

digi-demon
digi-demon

THQ - too many yearlys - and way too many Wrestling and MMA titles.

Saints Row 3 was a good title and worth publishing though.  

Bangerman15
Bangerman15

well im definitely gonna be supporting them next year most likely by getting last light and south park.  Idk about homefront 2 whenever that comes out as I never played the first.  Saints row 4 maybe.. it's kinda weird I kinda like saints row, but not GTA lol surprisingly :o

IceJester45
IceJester45

Sad. THQ is my favorite major publisher. I hope they emerge from Chapter 11 protection stronger.

GunBladeHero
GunBladeHero

This also explains the THQ publisher sale on Xbox Live.

OJ_the_LION
OJ_the_LION

I hope THQ makes it through this. I'm not as big a fan of theirs as I am of, say, Rockstar or Valve, but they produce some good games and aren't as blatantly exploitative of the consumer as EA or Activision. They're not guilt free either (look at the amount of shovelware DLC for SR3) but I hope this is the beginning of a good turnaround for them.

xtraflossy
xtraflossy

I only like a few of THQ's offerings, but they have been around so long and more recently been struggling.  It's kind of like watching a wild animal escape being eaten.  

 

I can't help but rout for little fella 

Assimilat0r
Assimilat0r

10 more frenchies gonna be ruined by Activision or EA. The end of story !

wolf503
wolf503

Please let R* buy them and not EA or activision >.>

Mega_Loser
Mega_Loser

they use the system's tricks fully, i see. free market rules, for the win.

blakeney
blakeney

People really do need to learn to actualy read MORE then just the headline!!!

 

Im mainly talking bout the bit where it says "THQ's day-to-day operations will not be affected during the sale period, the company said. Every THQ studio remains open and development on all projects is unaffected. No layoffs are expected to be a result of the filing" .....................

Noorida
Noorida

there goes my dreams about darksiders 3,4 and 5.... :'(

NoDzombie
NoDzombie

this is sad news THQ is probably my favourite publisher out there

 

all the games they have in development look pretty awesome to, its sad they have run out of money before getting the chance to release them

 

and if Relic ends up at EA and im forced to buy Company of Heroes 2 from Origin...............

MVan86
MVan86

So much for Darksiders... WWE will just find someone else to make their games for them.

Dessicator
Dessicator

Shit. Well I guess now we have to worry about who will ruin or bury their franchises; EA or Activision

Falru
Falru

"No layoffs are expected to be a result of the filing. Employees will continue to work on their usual schedules and will receive their previously agreed upon compensation and benefits."

 

Well at least that's good news, if it's true.

WillyChong
WillyChong

THQ, one great company get to filed bankrupcy while the stinking Activision an EA still sit their fat ass on their throne!?!? FUCK!

501stormtrooper
501stormtrooper

Wait, what? I thought that THQ was still going strong, with Saints Row and whatnot. Too bad, I guess. Soon enough, only the big companies are going to remain.

WillyChong
WillyChong

WHAT?!? Then what is going to happen to Company of Heroes 2!?!? Don't let it die!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooooooooooo

hekifier
hekifier

I didn't even know they were still around!

ZeRo2545
ZeRo2545

The old THQ was great, but ever since they piled a million DLC into Saints Row 3 to try and milk customers to the max, I've disliked them and have not purchased anything else from them. I hope other publishers take note.

BisnessPirate
BisnessPirate

Please valve don't let them be bought by EA or ActivisionBlizzard Pretty please with sugar on top?

StaticPenguin
StaticPenguin

That's sad to hear. THQ is a good company, they just made some poor moves. Sucks to see them going this way.

DarthLod
DarthLod

Now if only this would happen to EA....

mstrchf12
mstrchf12

RIP THQ...you were a great publisher.

GH05T-666
GH05T-666

u have a good past THQ but ur games have been very bad lately thats why this has happen to you!

strayfies
strayfies

 @IceJester45 Yep.  This is pretty bad, but it's something we all knew was coming.  I do hope they can pull it together with some restructuring.

ROGUE_OP
ROGUE_OP

@wolf503 that's actually a ridiculously good idea and extremephobia took the words right out of my mouth when he or she explained why

ExtremePhobia
ExtremePhobia

 @wolf503 Wow... not something I even thought of. I just assumed it'd be EA. I agree, I hope that it's Rockstar that will pick them up. If you pair Rockstar's uncanny quality with the charm of some of THQ's games, you could have something really special.

TaintedMindz
TaintedMindz

 @blakeney "The company has entered into an asset purchase agreement with a bidder to acquire "substantially all of the assets of THQ's operating business." This includes THQ's four wholly-owned studios and games in development."

 

Whoever purchased these assets, essentially, can do whatever they want with them. Even cancel future projects and or close down studios. Basically they pretty much own THQ. At least thats what it looks like it says to me.

Bleak5170
Bleak5170

 @Noorida       

 

     I'm a Darksiders fan and even I knew that was never going to happen. The second game was never going to sell enough copies even to ensure Darksiders 3.

GrilledCharlie
GrilledCharlie

@MVan86 Good...there hasn't been a good wrestling game since No Mercy.

MajinSquall
MajinSquall

 @WillyChong they can still "sit on their throne" as you say because they own IP's like Fifa (EA) and Call of Duty (Activision) for example and as much as people moan about said franchises they are big sellers not to mention other franchises they own

 

the sad truth is THQ really hasn't done anything of note lately they have some interesting upcoming games but that's not enough a lot of the games they have released over the last few years have been either mediocre or just plain crap and in this day and age with the way gaming is now that's not gonna cut it

neilcottee
neilcottee

 @TaintedMindz  @blakeney I agree blakeney, people just don't read the full story :/

 

And, TaintedMindz, yes you are correct that the new owner can do what they want...but if they are spending upward of 60 million, and then can all the assets, how they going to get their money back?! They are buying the studio and assets (games in development) because they see it as a money maker. It's true though that some of the less popular titles could get canned. But those popular ones are as safe as houses...I would say :)

96augment
96augment

 @renato_passos  I never played Dawn of War or Metro. So, I can't comment on those. It sucks that a lot of people didn't like Metro or Darksiders. THQ needs to get a way bigger advertising budget. If it did that, it could sell millions of units. It's too bad that THQ can't sell games in November. It worked well for Saints Row. Problem is COD and Assassin's Creed keep taking all the sales. 

renato_passos
renato_passos

 @96augment  @MajinSquall Have to agree with you here, 96augment - and I would add Dawn of War and Metro to the list.

 

But maybe that's the problem: great, creative games that are *not* entirely clones (and DoW has no counterpart outside of Relic) and not "real life" (yeah. right.) FPS. It seems the masses didn't like them though. And that's very unfortunate, indeed.