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THQ buys Midway San Diego studio

Up to 40 jobs expected to be saved, while French and German are divisions thrown lifeline by management buyout

THQ has bought Midway's San Diego studio for USD 200,000, according to SEC filings.

The bankrupt publisher sold most of its assets to Warner Bros in a deal reached at the start of July, but its San Diego and Newcastle studios were not included in the deal. According to Gamasutra, the THQ deal would result in at least 40 jobs being saved since the publisher had pledged in its purchase agreement "not less than forty employees of the studio" will be made employment offers. 100 employees in total work at the studio.

Excluded from the purchase would be the contract for the TNA Impact game the studio is currently working on, as well as the third-party tools such as Unreal Engine currently licensed for the game. However, part of the deal would involve a partnering between THQ and Warner Bros, "in connection with a shared [game] engine developed by or on behalf of [Midway] and their affiliates prior to July 10, 2009", which could allow the studio to continue using their existing engine.

In addition to the late lifeline for the San Diego studio, Midway's German and French publishing divisions are said to have been sold to holding companies formed by their heads. The same SEC filing states Midway has reached agreements to sell all the shares of these subsidiaries to current Europe-based Midway executives in what is "effectively a management buyout for each regional distribution area."

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Kath Brice