THQ is officially dead, its games and talent auctioned off

THQ logo
THQ is no more

It's a sad day for video game fans, as THQ, the California-based video game developer and publisher founded in 1989, is officially kaput.

It's been more than a month since the company filed for bankruptcy, though at the time a private investment firm called Clearlake Capital emerged to keep things afloat.

Clearlake's support evidently dried up, though, as this week reports came in that THQ would be broken up and auctioned off piecemeal in federal bankruptcy court, different studios and properties going to the highest bidders.

At least THQ's numerous games, ranging from an RPG based on South Park to a horror-shooter set in post-nuclear Moscow, won't have to go down with the ship.

Picking up the pieces

The auction for the various pieces of THQ began on Tuesday and continued on to Wednesday. The highest bidders were revealed Wednesday afternoon.

Based on an early report from Joystiq, with Eurogamer and Kotaku backing up several of these claims, it seems that:

Relic Entertainment and the upcoming Company of Heroes game were bought by Sega for $26.6 million (UK£16.7 million, AU$25.2 million);

THQ Montreal and its two little-known projects "1666" and "Underdog" were bought by Ubisoft for $2.5 million (UK£1.5 million, AU$2.3 million), along with South Park: The Stick of Truth for $3.26 million (UK£2.05 million, AU$3.08 million);

Take-Two Interactive purchased the rights to Evolve for $10.8 million (UK£6.8 million, AU$10.2 million);

Koch Media, which publishes games under the name Deep Silver, got Volition and Saints Row for $22.3 million (UK£14.07 million, AU$21.1 million) as well as the Metro games for $5.87 million (UK£3.7 million, AU$5.5 million);

And Crytek won Homefront for a bid of $544,218 (UK£343,420, AU$515,650).

Meanwhile there's been no official word yet of the WWE license that THQ possessed, and company CEO Brian Farrell and President Jason Rubin wrote in a letter to employees (published by Kotaku) that Vigil and the Darksiders franchise currently have no buyer.

Letter from the president

Farrell and Rubin reportedly sent the letter out to all THQ employees in the wake of the auction.

They told employees that many, though not all, of those whose studios were included in the auction should receive employment offers from the various buyers within the next week or so.

"The work that you all have done as part of the THQ family is imaginative, creative, artistic and highly valued by our loyal gamers. We are proud of what we have accomplished despite today's outcome," they wrote.

"It has been our privilege to work alongside the entire THQ team. While the company will cease to exist, we are heartened that the majority of our studios and games will continue under new ownership."

TechRadar's thoughts go out to all those whose jobs were lost or are uncertain this week.

Michael Rougeau

Michael Rougeau is a former freelance news writer for TechRadar. Studying at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Northeastern University, Michael has bylines at Kotaku, 1UP, G4, Complex Magazine, Digital Trends, GamesRadar, GameSpot, IFC, Animal New York, @Gamer, Inside the Magic, Comic Book Resources, Zap2It, TabTimes, GameZone, Cheat Code Central, Gameshark, Gameranx, The Industry, Debonair Mag, Kombo, and others.

Micheal also spent time as the Games Editor for, and was the managing editor at GameSpot before becoming an Animal Care Manager for Wags and Walks.