South Park license owners attempting to claim rights to upcoming RPG off THQ ahead of today's auction.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
@Golden_Gonads Maybe Obsidian will finally get run out of business like they should have been years ago.
@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.
@deathstream Obsidian's only track record is for how many bugs they can shove into one game. Even Bethesda has better quality control.
Sad news, I was genuinely interested in Stick of Truth..Legal battles rarely allow games to come out unscathed.
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
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.
@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.
@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.
@Golden_Gonads @otaviogalileu Obsidian is the reason I was avoiding the game in the first place. Have no problem with THQ, they should have just picked a better developer. But, since THQ couldn't handle a piggy bank much less their own financials, the fact they couldn't handle getting real talent for a South Park RPG isn't very surprising either.
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.
$$$ 'nuff said. THQ is dead and hopes to get as much as they by liquidating assets and auctioning IP's. Time to lawyer up!
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.
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.
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.
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 not every film adaptation is terrible, at least its something different in a genre that resembles cheap hair metal
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.
@slefo29 While it doesn''t look like a Ni No Kuni, I would definitely like to play this.
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!!
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.
@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.
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