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THQ Files For Bankruptcy, Discloses Upcoming Games

By Ninjabutter - 20th December 2012 - 04:06 AM

In a move that many of us have been expecting for some time, one of the better-known names in video game publishing and development, THQ Inc., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Wednesday. The filing essentially puts THQ in its entirety up for sale at auction, provided a purchaser is willing to acquire not just the company but also its existing debts. Part of the documentation for the court records included a detailed listing of each of THQ's products, including their upcoming list of games for the next few years, as well as those games' estimated release dates and expected sales information.

The games specifically mentioned by THQ include the following:
  • Saints Row 4, by Volition
  • Company of Heroes 2, by Relic Entertainment
  • Homefront 2, by Crytek UK
  • Darksiders 2, by Vigil Games
  • WWE '13, by Yuke's
  • WWE '14, by Yuke's
  • Metro: Last Light, by 4A Games
  • South Park: The Stick of Truth, by Obsidian Entertainment
  • Evolve, by Turtle Rock Studios
  • 1666, by THQ Montreal
  • Atlas, by Relic Entertainment
  • Crawler, by Vigil Games
While specific release dates were not explicitly mentioned, also included in the documents were charts indicating the rough allocation of each game's resources over the next few years, from which we can deduce when those games are expected to be near completion. 1666, for example, has over 30% of its total current budget allocated as far out as 2015, meaning we likely won't see the game until then. Homefront 2, Evolve, Saints Row 4 and WWE '14 all appear geared for a 2014 release (which we should hope for WWE '14, after all), while South Park, Metro: Last Light and others are heavily invested in 2013. Company of Heroes 2 has an oddly high amount of its budget allocated as far out as 2015, given its expected release in the first quarter of next year. However, this is likely an indication of Relic Entertainment's expected DLC support for the game, which not all titles will have.

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The initial offer for purchase came from Clearwater Capital Group, for a total of $60,000,000 USD. However, there is no guarantee that such a purchase will take place; a company must simply provide a potential buyer and bid while filing for Chapter 11 protection. If the court approves the filing, THQ will then be put up for public auction. The general reaction of potential buyers indicates that there is no desire to break THQ apart and buy its components, but rather that it is worth more to them as a single entity. The market value of the company at the end of the trading day on Tuesday was only $11.5 million dollars, yet prospective bids have been dramatically higher than that.

Despite currently being well over one hundred million dollars in debt, THQ has stated that they currently do not intend to lay off any of their current staff. As any Relic fan can attest, this is very reassuring news after the mass lay-offs last February decimated the Vancouver studio and crippled support for the Dawn of War franchise. THQ currently also claims that the Chapter 11 filing will not cause further delays in its game development. In the words of THQ CEO Brian Farrell, "The sale and filing are necessary next steps to complete THQs transformation and position the company for the future, as we remain confident in our existing pipeline of games, the strength of our studios and THQs deep bench of talent."