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Rubin: THQ sale "a new start for our company"

Rubin: THQ sale "a new start for our company"

Thu 20 Dec 2012 8:02am GMT / 3:02am EST / 12:02am PST
BusinessPublishing

Update: Bankruptcy filing reveals projects Crawler, Evolve, 1664, Atlas in development; projected sales of 4m for Saints Row 4

THQ's president Jason Rubin remains optimistic about the bankruptcy and subsequent sale to Clearlake Captial, calling it "a new start for our company."

Clearlake confirmed last night it would acquire the business and the majority of its assets - IP, code, studios and contracts - for $60 million.

"The most important thing to understand is that Chapter 11 does not mean the end of the THQ story or the end of the titles you love," Rubin wrote in a blog post to fans. "Quite the opposite is true, actually."

He compared the company to US companies that have been through the Chapter 11 bankruptcy process and come out the other side - Macy's, Marvel and MGM, amongst others - and said that games on the release slate will continue to be produced by the same teams.

Titles in that portfolio include South Park: The Stick of Truth, Company of Heroes 2, Metro: Last Light and more in the Saints Row and Homefront franchises.

"So THQ made headlines today - and I am sure there will be tons of click-grabbing headlines over the next month or so," he wrote. "But what matters to us is not what is happening to THQ right now, but what the company and its teams will make of ourselves after we complete the sale.

"In short, the teams will be unburdened by the past and able to focus on what they should be focusing on -- Making great games."

Although Clearlake is scheduled to complete the acquisition of THQ in January, bids for the business will remain open during that time.

The 62 page bankruptcy filing from THQ reveals a number of new projects that have not yet been formally announced.

Vigil is now working on a project with the working title of Crawler, while Company of Heroes developer Relic is also working on Atlas, for release in 2014. Games with the working titles of Evolve and 1664 are also listed.

The company gave estimated lifetime sales of a number of games, including Saints Row 4 which it expects to sell 5 million units and Homefront 2 with 4 million. The South Park game could sell over 3 million units and Metro: Last Light almost 2 million. Evolve and 1664 are down for 4 million units each.

Atlas has no unit sales projections but could contribute over $31 million in sales, suggesting it will be a freemium title.

1

17 Comments

Peter Dwyer
Games Designer/Developer

458 254 0.6
I'll be looking out for a Saints Row 4 add on where we rescue Gant from where ever the heck he crashed (I'm ignoring zombie Gant as a mistake that never happened). Oh and can you finally add a catch phrase maker to the game. I'm pretty tired of having to yell "Welcome to the Row B*$%H" every time I kill an enemy gang leader in story mode.

Seriously I love THQ games and it's pretty sad that they nearly went the way of the tumble weed.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Peter Dwyer on 20th December 2012 9:26am

Posted:A year ago

#1
Clearlake will sell off the IP and the studios, or close them down. I doubt it's interested in being a games publsher. You'd be crazy to stay at a THQ studio.

Posted:A year ago

#2

Dan Howdle
Head of Content

272 761 2.8
Exactly, Matt. Exactly. Which is why concern should lie with the employees, not the games.

Posted:A year ago

#3

Peter Dwyer
Games Designer/Developer

458 254 0.6
@Matt and Dan

I hope you two are wrong on this! Selling off IP never works as those who created it have been proven to be the only ones who manage it successfully. The only notable exception to this being the recent Halo 4 and even then it's really Microsoft who still retain the Halo IP.

I do agree that Clearlake are not who I would have sold a games company to given their track record.

Posted:A year ago

#4

Jelle Schut
Managing Director

13 4 0.3
I've been searching for stuff on Clearlake, but there isn't much evidence that they buy companies, dismantle them and sell them on as small bits and pieces. So not sure if that theory holds ground. Of course it could still happen and I find THQ's tone in the communication about this stuff a bit too cheery and optimistic. If you look at the chapter 11 filing it literally says they ran completely out of money after they went over their credit line from Wells Fargo and the European offices subsequentely decided not to make any more payouts to THQ in the US anymore.

Posted:A year ago

#5

Rick Lopez
Illustrator, Graphic Designer

1,203 816 0.7
Im ok with the sale, I just hope whoever buys the company, leaves the temas and studios the same. They put ou really good gaes. i just think THQ just doesnt have the muscle to push there products out the door like activision or EA can. I clearly love Saints Row more than Grand Theft Auto. And Darksiders should get a 3rd game.

Posted:A year ago

#6
How bout another homeworld game. Relic surely have the ability to do justice to another!!!

Posted:A year ago

#7

Zidaya Zenovka
Blogger, Writer

41 8 0.2
As long as Saints Row 4 isn't half baked like SRTT was, i'll be happy. That, and they need to lose the nickel and dime DLC schedule and for crying out loud, enough with the DLC already in the game but locked bs.

Posted:A year ago

#8

Brandon Hofer
Editor in Chief

14 5 0.4
Saints Row The Third was actually really great. I am really looking forward to the Saints Row 4.

Posted:A year ago

#9

Paul Jace
Merchandiser

765 997 1.3
I have a feeling this is just prolonging the inevitable.

Posted:A year ago

#10

Aaron Brown
BA Computer Science Student

59 22 0.4
I'm not sure how much of a difference it would make but Clearlake Capital Group are the "shadow horse bidder", so its possible THQ will be sold to another bidder.

Posted:A year ago

#11
It seems pretty irresponsible of the president of the company to act like it's all unicorns and rainbows in THQ-land. Who wants to work for a management team that wipes out dept by driving the company into bankruptcy? Farrell needs to go, Rubin needs to go. The best hope is that the studios will remain together either by an MBO that turns them indie or an acquisition that makes sense. And sell the IP. I'd like to see what Activision could do with Saints Row, or what Ubi Montreal could do with Metro.

Posted:A year ago

#12
Rubin is putting on a brave face on a grim situation

Posted:A year ago

#13
With Ubisoft in the wings a "grim situation" is a serious underestimation!

Posted:A year ago

#14
There could be a different stalking horse. a month is a long time..

Posted:A year ago

#15

Neil Alphonso
Lead Designer

50 17 0.3
It seems pretty irresponsible of the president of the company to act like it's all unicorns and rainbows in THQ-land. Who wants to work for a management team that wipes out dept by driving the company into bankruptcy?
Matt, is Rubin's greater responsibility to the employees of the company or to the shareholders? As a developer, I expect nothing but the latter when working for a publicly traded company.

Posted:A year ago

#16

Jeff Wayne
Technical Architect

81 34 0.4
Recently picked up Saints Row The Third in the Steam Christmas sale and am absolutely hooked to it - great fun! Hope to see a SR4. Another Homeworld would be fantastic too - however incredibly unlikely!

Posted:A year ago

#17

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