Unfortunately it finally happened. While THQ may have been showing signs of fighting to stay alive and keep producing new titles over the last few months, seeing the developer closing its doors will come as no surprise to anyone.
Despite making efforts to have the entire company sold after reporting bankruptcy in early November, their efforts seem to have failed. Creditors approved the independent auction of individual series and I.P. rights which was held on the 22nd of January along with dev teams for their most popular titles. The distribution to other companies following the auction is as follows -
Developer Volition along with the rights to both the Metro and Saint’s Row franchises have been purchased by Deep Silver. Best known for publishing Dead Island.
Rights to the Homefront franchise have been sold to Crytek, who are not reportedly developing a sequel.
Relic Games along with the license to create Warhammer 40,000 titles and Company of Heroes has gone to Sega.
The publishing rights to South Park: Stick of Truth and THQ Montreal has gone to Ubisoft.
Finally, Take-Two interactive has purchased Evolve and the rights to WWE titles.
Assets unmentioned such as Vigil Games and THQ’s publishing unit have gone unpurchased but what remains of THQ itself will reportedly still be making an effort to find a buyer. Platinum Games is reportedly interested in purchasing the Darksiders franchise but as of yet there has been no indication of backing this claim.
Considering their reliability in delivering quality titles in the past, with an admitted tendency to publish licensed games for films and franchises, and their long history within the industry this is a sad day indeed. While those which have been sold have gone to fairly reliable companies questions still surround the future of a great number of their series, notably Red Faction, and we can hope to see them continue elsewhere in the near future.
The only potentially good news to come out of this is that none of what was auctioned off was sold to Electronic Arts or Activision.