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Posts Tagged ‘THQ’

ea_sports_ufc

Lawyers, man: even when a company is dead and gone, they’ll still defrib it one more time in order to squeeze out another lawsuit. Six months prior to THQ declaring bankruptcy, the publisher transferred the UFC license to rival publisher Electronic Arts. That deal set EA back $10 million. As a result, we now have EA Sports UFC (above) heading to next-gen consoles around March to April next year.

Now, however, there’s a problem because THQ is claiming that EA and Zuffa (the parent company of the Ultimate Fighting Championship) colluded to bring about the transfer. It does sound a little like sour grapes, but THQ has some pretty hefty allegations levelled at EA and Zuffa.

According to THQ’s court documents, the publisher began looking for outside buyers for the UFC license as far back as 2011. By that stage it was clear to THQ that some tumultuous financial waters were ahead. One such company that began negotiations for the UFC license was EA. During negotiations, THQ divulged internal sales figures and data on the UFC franchise. Negotiations between the two publishers ended shortly after that, but soon after negotiations ended, Zuffa approached THQ saying they wished to terminate their license agreement. The reason for Zuffa wanting to terminate the agreement was because of THQ’s financial troubles, which THQ alleges Zuffa couldn’t have known unless EA had divulged the financial information to Zuffa.

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company_of_heroes_2_screenshot_04

In January this year, Sega bought Relic and its Company of Heroes IP from the rotting corpse of THQ. By that stage, THQ the publisher had been dead for quite a while, and the choice morsels of valuable developers and franchises were being picked off through assets auctions. Sega went on to publish Company of Heroes 2 a few weeks ago.

The day after THQ filed for bankruptcy (which was on 19 December 2012), Valve paid them $941,710.93 for the pre-orders of Company of Heroes 2 that were made through Steam. That amount is from 20, 755 Steam pre-orders (which mean, if you were wondering, that Valve pockets just less than $15 per pre-order; but that’s just really an aside for interest’s sake). Sega is claiming that that amount of $941,710.93 is actually owed to them, and THQ needs to pay up.

Sega filed the claim on 2 July 2013, so this is still in the early stages. It’ll be interesting to see what happens considering that payment from Valve came after bankruptcy filing. It’ll also be interesting to see whether THQ coughs up considering, you know, they’re bankrupt and Sega is one company in a long line of creditors all clamouring for money from THQ.

Source: Kurtzman Carson Consultants
Via: Polygon

patrice_desilets_ac

Wow, this has just become increasingly messy over the years. First, some background: Patrice Désilets is the creator and designer behind the Assassin’s Creed series – you know, Ubisoft’s most successful and lucrative IP to date. In 2010, Désilets left Ubisoft and at the time it was believed he did so because he wasn’t happy with the direction the AC franchise was heading – you know, the whole annualised releases thing. Désilets departed Ubisoft Montréal and ended up working at THQ Montréal.

During his time at THQ Montréal, Désilets was working on two games that had working titles of 1666 and Underdog. Very little is known about these games, but you can guess what happened next: THQ imploded and the now dead publisher began offloading studios and IPs. Ubisoft acquired THQ Montréal along with 170 members of its staff and all the games it was working on – yes, including Désilets and his two new games 1666 and Underdog. It must have been a slightly awkward “homecoming”. Regardless, there was no concrete evidence on whether Désilets would slot back into Assassin’s Creed development or if he would continue work on his other two games.

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darksiders_war

The remainder of THQ’s intellectual properties have been purchased by publisher Nordic Games. The Swedish company is known for bringing Alan Wake to the PC as well as Painkiller: Resurrection. You might also know of them via their occasional publishing label of JoWood Entertainment.

For $4.9 million, Nordic walked away with the Darksiders IP as well as “Red Faction, MX vs ATV, Other Owned Software (includes Destroy all Humans!, Summoner and more), and Other Licensed Software (includes Marvel Super Hero Squad, Supreme Commander and more).”

Shortly after the purchase was made public, Nordic Games started a new forum asking fans for feedback on what they would like to see happen to the various IPs. One “fan” to respond to the Darksiders thread was Ryan Stefanelli, the principal designer for Darksiders and co-founder of  the series’ original developers Vigil Games. Awkward…

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dawn_of_war_2

Relic held the license from Games Workshop to develop the incredibly good Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War series of RTS games. That deal was alive and kicking when Relic was still owned by THQ; they were busy making Dawn of War 3 and at one point it was due for release sometime between August 2012 and February 2013. Now that THQ is dead, and Relic is owned by Sega, the Dawn of War license agreement has kind of disappeared.

When Sega acquired Relic, they also acquired IPs that Relic had worked on, namely Company of Heroes. When pressed for comment about the Dawn of War IP, Sega kept quiet and Relic’s game director Quinn Duffy maintains that he is “still a bit fuzzy on that”. Despite this apparent AWOL state that Dawn of War finds itself in, Duffy sounds adamant that Relic will be given the green light by Games Workshop once again.

Dawn of War, because it’s a license and it’s owned by Games Workshop, they have the opportunity to work that license with whoever they want,” he told Eurogamer. “I would hope it would be us again. We had a great working relationship with Games Workshop.”

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homeworld_screenshot_2

About three months ago, this tiny software development company called teamPixel, announced to the world that they were going to save the Homeworld IP. Homeworld, of course, was one of the IPs in jeopardy during the whole THQ meltdown. Software company teamPixel aimed to attend the specified auction during which Homeworld was put up for grabs, and they used crowdsourcing websites IndieGoGo and Kickstarter to accumulate bidding funds.

That auction has now come and gone; it ended on 15 April. Unfortunately for the tiny company, teamPixel didn’t manage to acquire Homeworld. They were outbid. “While we reached qualified bidder status for the bankruptcy auction,” they wrote in an update on Kickstarter, “we were unable to raise the necessary funds to remain competitive against the other parties at the auction.”

The question now remains: who owns Homeworld? The auction was a success so the RTS IP has definitely found a new home with somebody. We’ll find out around the middle of May, once all transfers and deals from this mid-April auction have been finalised. As for teamPixel, they’re moving forward with development of their own space-based RTS game, which will obviously be heavily influenced by Homeworld.

Source: Kickstarter
Via: Polygon

darksiders_ii_artwork

We’ve just received a press release from local THQ distributor SterKinekor Entertainment notifying us that all THQ games distribution has been put “on hold”. This shouldn’t come as a surprise considering the recent collapse of THQ and the auctioning off of their major intellectual properties to rival publishers.

Many of the more popular THQ games are now owned by other companies, such as Koch Media taking over the Saints Row franchise and the Metro franchise. Distribution companies all over the world might not necessarily have the rights to distribute the games made by some of the publishers who purchased THQ assets. For example: Ubisoft recently purchased THQ IPs, but SterKinekor doesn’t have the rights to distribute Ubisoft games in South Africa.

It’s all a little tumultuous at the moment but it’ll be interesting to see if previous THQ games will be repackaged and republished by their new owners. You can read the brief press release after the jump. Also, if you were holding off on picking up some THQ games, then you might want to do that sooner rather than later because it doesn’t sound like any new stock will be arriving in our country.

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vigil_logo

Last week, when the decomposing corpse of THQ was hacked up into bite-sized pieces and thrown into the gaping maws of rival publishers, two extraordinary things happened. The first is that Crytek paid actual money in order to become the new owners of Homefront. Granted it was the cheapest sale during the auction but still, this is Homefront we’re talking about here.

The second extraordinary thing is that nobody wanted to buy Vigil Games, which is the studio behind the Darksiders franchise. As a result of this, a few days ago the staff of Vigil packed up their desks and embraced unemployment. Vigil Games is officially dead, and as for the Darksiders IP, it looks like that has also succumbed to the influences of the protagonist from Darksiders II (i.e. Death – come on people, keep up.)

It seems that Homefront wasn’t enough to satiate Crytek’s hunger for THQ morsels, and as a result, the company has hired Vigial Games’ co-founder David Adams and another 35 Vigil staff members. The new Crytek employees will be heading up a new Crytek studio based in Austin, Texas.

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Yesterday, gaming media across the world nearly imploded from all the news that came out of the THQ assets auction. During the 22 hour court proceedings, a judge provisionally approved the sale of most of THQ’s development teams and intellectual properties. Today, that provisional approval has been signed off, meaning all of the acquisitions you read about are now final and legally binding. If you missed all of this due to Real Life getting in the way, then you can read about it all here.

thq_logo

It looks like this THQ saga, which has been in the news for over a year now, is finally reaching an end. Yesterday, during an open court hearing, numerous rival publishers gathered to fight over THQ’s assets. If you recall, late last year THQ announced that they had found a buyer. That purchase was over-ruled by THQ’s previous creditors and as such this court-led auction took place instead.

The entire proceedings took more than 22 hours to complete and were presided over by U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Marry F. Walrath. The bids that were received by rival publishers have not been finalised, but they have been accepted on the surface of it. There is no reason as to why the sales won’t go through, and it’s thought that the delay in the judge’s acceptance of the sales is a court proceedings formality. The closing acceptance of the sales should be done today US time.

Sadly, one of the casualties of this auction was Vigil Studios and their Darksiders IP. Vigil failed to receive any bids and as such, if no other buyer materialises in time, the studio and Darksiders will die when THQ dissolves.

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