THQ is no more: SEGA buys Relic, Ubisoft buys South Park, others sold and gone

THQ Breakup

By on January 24, 2013 at 12:50 pm

THQ’s President Jason Rubin has used a company-wide email to confirm the sale of multiple THQ-owned studios to other various publishers as the company continues its Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.

Leading the pack is the sale of Relic to SEGA for a cool $26 million, followed by Koch Media Group who purchased the rights to the Metro series for $5.8 million, and Volition for $22.3 million. Meanwhile, Ubisoft have picked up the THQ Montreal Studio and the rights to South Park: The Stick of Truth around $5.7 million combined.

Crytek purchased the rights to Homefront for an almost insultingly low $500,000, and Take-Two Interactive paid $2 million for the rights to Turtle Rock’s new game Evolve, about which no details have been released. Turtle Rock themselves tried to buy the rights but could only offer $250,000, meaning that Take-Two literally outbid them on their own game. Whatever Evolve is, somebody clearly think it’s going to be a big deal.

Total proceeds from the auction came to around $100 million, but there are some losers in today’s news: namely that Vigil Studios and Darksiders failed to attract any bidders. THQ is hopeful that a sale will go through but warns that buyers may not be found.

Bethesda has lodged a backup bid for Relic if SEGA’s deal falls through financially, offering $26.3 million for the RTS developer.

You can read Jason Rubin’s company-wide letter below:

To All THQ Employees:

We now have the answers we’ve been seeking through our financial restructuring and Chapter 11 case. While much will be written, here are the facts of the bids and auction that occurred:

Yesterday morning, we received a competing bid for the operating business, along with Clearlake’s offer, and numerous offers for separate assets. During an auction process that lasted over 22 hours, the final conclusion was that the separate-asset bids would net more than a single buyer for the majority of the company.

Shortly, we will present the results to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, which must concur with our assessment.

The proposed sales of multiple assets is as follows :

  • Sega agreed to purchase Relic
  • Koch Media agreed to purchase Volition and Metro
  • Crytek agreed to purchase Homefront
  • Take 2 agreed purchase Evolve
  • Ubisoft agreed to purchase Montreal and South Park

We expect these sales to close this week.

Some assets, including our publishing businesses and Vigil, along with some other intellectual properties are not included in the sale agreements. They will remain part of the Chapter 11 case. We will make every effort to find appropriate buyers, if possible.

What this means for employees

We expect that most employees of the entities included in the sale will be offered employment by the new owners. However, we cannot say what these owners may intend, and there will likely be some positions that will not be needed under the new ownership. You should receive notice this week or early next week if the new owners intend to extend employment to you. Please note that the terms of your new employment, including pay and benefits, may be different from the current terms of your employment with THQ.

If you are an employee of an entity that is not included in the sale, we regret that your position will end. A small number of our headquarters staff will continue to be employed by THQ beyond January 25 to assist with the transition. THQ has sufficient resources to pay these employees for work going forward, and we will be contacting these employees immediately to ensure their continued employment during this transition period. We are requesting the ability to offer certain severance pay to minimize disruption for employees of non-included entities as they determine the next steps in their careers.

We know you will have many questions about this news. We’ll be meeting tomorrow when we return to talk through this announcement and to answer any questions you have. You will receive a benefits fact sheet and FAQs with answers to some questions that may be on your mind. Please review these materials closely.

A personal note

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. 

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. We were hoping that the entire company would remain intact, but we expect to hear good news from each of the separate entities that will be operating as part of new organizations.

For those THQ employees who are part of entities that are not included in the sale, we are confident that the talent you have displayed as part of THQ will be recognized as you take the next steps in your career.

Thank you all for your dedication and for sharing your talent with the THQ team. We wish you the best of luck and hope you will keep in touch.


Brian Farrell

Chief Executive Officer

Jason Rubin


Source: GameInformer, VG247

30 comments (Leave your own)

It is a shame that it has come to this for THQ, I feel for the staff caught up in this, and hopefully many will find employment at their new homes, or in whatever direction they go.



They should Kickstarter it if they can’t find a new publisher! Anything! Please! Darksiders was good but Darksiders 2 so far is such an improvement I love it so much! T_T



I hope the guy who forced uDraw and put THQ in the gutter never gets a job again. :@ Many publishers deserve to die but THQ wasn’t one of them.


Shame to see it go, really suprised nobody bought darksiders and vigil.


Still pumped for COH2. Feel sorry for all the employees that have lost jobs and had major reshuffles. Hopefully things settle down and the majority get to keep their jobs. Also hope the new owners do the IPs justice. About time we have a decent Warhammer 40k strategy game though. I liked DOW/2 but I feel it could have been a lot better if it incorporated more features from COH with a few more armies added in for good measure.


What I think is disgusting is how the bigger publishers all circled around THQs corpse like vultures.

I also hate that vigil didn’t find a home. Those poor people that worked on Darksiders 2 didn’t deserve this.


Did Vigil do anything other than Darksiders? I didn’t particularly care for Darksiders that much.

I don’t want to see South Park infected with uPlay. Hopefully that gets successfully contested.

Also, glad to see that Saints Row still lives on. I don’t care what anyone else says. I loved SR3 and want to see more games in that universe.

EDIT: Also glad to see that EA didn’t figure in any of these. The thought of what they’d do with the IPs sickens me.


mebbe if we pool some money together we could buy darksiders :)

ive got…*shuffling nosies* aboot $26 in my cars centre console to start it off hehe

so metro last light still being workd on i hope


All Vigil did was Darksiders. The point is though they’ve got some amazing talent at that studio that just got ditched.

edit: @Ball0Fire, would be better if we bought Relic instead. I don’t trust Sega one bit. (could’ve been worse though).


I feel bad for the devs at Vigil – that seriously sucks for them; it’s like the ultimate “not getting picked for the soccer team” moment, but the thought of the death of darksiders makes me smile more than shed tears.



They should Kickstarter it if they can’t find a new publisher! Anything! Please! Darksiders was good but Darksiders 2 so far is such an improvement I love it so much! T_T


This so bad.

As for the rest meh, it could have been worse.


I hope the guy who forced uDraw and put THQ in the gutter never gets a job again.

Yeah – imagine how bad he must feel. At least he’s not dead. Just imagine if he messed up that bad while working at apple. Assassins. Assassins everywhere.

(Jokes aside, I don’t think you can pin the downfall of THQ on any one person)


Hmm Deep Silver eh, if Dead island was anything to go by we should expect to see Metro Last light and the next Saints row at non regional price gouged, “regular” prices perhaps.

All in all I don’t see any EA or Activision, so all seems good. I’m wondering If Ubisoft will pull some standard UBI bad decision making and remove steamworks from South Park – despite many people already pre-purchasing it being advertised as a steamworks game ;P.



Except in this case given what a colossal failure the uDraw was. From what I had read it was almost an ET scale disaster with over $50 million lost.

Just read that Vigil has actually closed its doors though rumors say that Platinum Games might be interested in Vigil and Darksiders. Don’t know whether to keep some hope or just let it go now. :(


SEGA getting Relic is ok because SEGA publish Total war the only problem is they can be a bit nazi with publishing.



They also published Alpha Protocol and well… look at how that turned out. Hence why I don’t particularly trust Sega, their standards are shit.


Vigil was doing the new Warhammer 40K game too …….. :(


so its up to Sega to do the next Homeworld game.


Does anyone have a complete list of games being worked on that is affected by this?


This is how the auction ended up:

Relic Entertainment
Makers of Company of Heroes
Winning bidder: Sega, $26.6 million.
Backup: Zenimax Media, $26.3 million.

THQ Montreal
Makers of 1666 and Underdog, titles under development.
Winning bidder: Ubisoft, $2.5 million. No runner-up.

(title in development at Turtle Rock Studios)
Winning bidder: Take-Two Interactive, $10.894 million.
Backup: Turtle Rock Studios, $250,000.

Volition, Inc.
Maker of Saints Row
Winning bidder: Koch Media, $22,312,925.
Backup: Ubisoft, $5.4 million.

Released 2011; due for a sequel.
Winning bidder: Crytek. $544,218.

Series; due for the sequel Metro: Last Light.
Winning Bidder: Koch Media, $5,877,551
Backup: Ubisoft: $5.175 million.

South Park
License; South Park: The Stick of Truth is due for release March 5.
Winning bidder: Ubisoft, $3,265,306


Koch Media? I googled them just then .. sounds .. bad. Reads bad too. Crossing my fingers for Volition, lets hope they get given the opportunity to make another freespace?

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