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Sega, Ubisoft Among THQ Asset Buyers

Sega Corp., French video game maker Ubisoft LLC and two German companies were the successful bidders for video game titles and studios owned by THQ Inc. The bankrupt Agoura Hills video game publisher will receive $72 million for the sale of assets, which includes its popular “Saints Row” franchise and the “South Park: Stick of Truth” game still in development. THQ filed for voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in December, capping a tough year that included layoffs, a reverse stock split to raise its share price, new management and a failed new strategy for its game lineup. Chairman and Chief Executive Brian Farrell expressed disappointment that the company was sold off piecemeal to individual companies but said he was pleased with the new owners. “Although we will no longer be able to work together with a unified mission, I am confident that the talent we have assembled will continue to make an impression on the video game industry,” Farrell said in a prepared statement. THQ’s assets were auctioned off Jan. 22 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware. Sega Corp. of Tokyo bought Relic Studios in Vancouver for $26.6 million; Koch Media GmbH of Munich bought the “Saints Row” and “Metro” game franchises and the Champaign, Ill.-based Volition studio for more than $28 million; Crytek GmbH of Frankfurt bought the “Homefront” franchise for $500,000; Take-Two Interactive Software Inc. of New York City acquired the publishing rights for the first-person shooter game “Evolve” for $10.9 million; and Ubisoft, headquartered near Paris, acquired game studio THQ Montreal and publishing rights for the “South Park” game for a combined $5.8 million. The new owners have not stated plans for the game titles and studios each acquired or if they will continue to employ THQ workers included in the sale, according to a release from THQ. “For those whose positions are not likely to continue, I sincerely regret this outcome and we will be meeting with you over the next few days to discuss the transition,” said Farrell in his statement. Assets not included in the auction, which include some games, will remain part of the bankruptcy case and THQ will seek buyers if possible.

Mark Madler
Mark Madler
Mark R. Madler covers aviation & aerospace, manufacturing, technology, automotive & transportation, media & entertainment and the Antelope Valley. He joined the company in February 2006. Madler previously worked as a reporter for the Burbank Leader. Before that, he was a reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago and several daily newspapers in the suburban Chicago area. He has a bachelor’s of science degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
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