Another one bites the dust…
THQ has filed for bankruptcy. According to a statement released this morning, THQ has entered into an Asset Purchase Agreement with affiliates of investment firm Clearlake Capital Group “to acquire substantially all of the assets of THQ’s operating business, including THQ’s four owned studios and games in development.” THQ notes that the sale will allow it “to shed certain legacy obligations and emerge with the strong financial backing of a new owner with substantial experience in software and technology.”
As part of the sale, THQ has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in U.S. court. The company notes that it “will continue operating its business without interruption during the sale period” and that all studios will remain open with all development teams continuing to work. THQ also notes that “the company’s foreign operations, including Canada, are not included in the filings.”
Clearlake will serve as a “stalking horse bidder” for the sale process of THQ in a “section 363 sale process, which allows other interested parties to come forward with competing bids.”
THQ notes that it “remains confident in its existing pipeline of games” and is seeking court approval to assume the contracts of “some of the top independent development studios around the globe” with whom it maintains relationships. THQ president Jason Rubin added on Twitter that Company of Heroes 2, Metro: Last Light and South Park: The Stick of Truth are “still on schedule.”
“The sale and filing are necessary next steps to complete THQ’s transformation and position the company for the future, as we remain confident in our existing pipeline of games, the strength of our studios and THQ’s deep bench of talent,” said THQ CEO Brian Farrell. “We are grateful to our outstanding team of employees, partners and suppliers who have worked with us through this transition. We are pleased to have attracted a strong financial partner for our business, and we hope to complete the sale swiftly to make the process as seamless as possible.”
“We have incredible, creative talent here at THQ,” Rubin added. “We look forward to partnering with experienced investors for a new start as we will continue to use our intellectual property assets to develop high-quality core games, create new franchise titles, and drive demand through both traditional and digital channels.”
THQ announced in late November that a financial sponsor would help it find financing alternatives, leading to the resignation of CFO Paul Pucino. The news came shortly after an earnings report released in November in which THQ said it was looking to raise additional capital, adding at the time that it “may need to defer and/or curtail currently planned expenditures, cancel projects currently in development, sell assets, and/or pursue additional funding or additional external sources of liquidity, which may not be available on financially attractive terms.”
This is a sad day indeed for the gaming world, but at least they haven’t given up yet. I hope to see Metro: Last Light, South Park: The Stick of Truth, and Company of Heroes do well for them. After all, competition will only benefit us, and one less competitor is never a good thing.
For more up to date gaming news, keep it locked to The Games Cabin.