December 20, 2012 by Nino Moscardi
It seems the struggling publisher THQ has officially filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The publisher is entering its games (like Saints Row) into an asset purchase agreement with the investment firm Clearlake Capital Group. This allows potential bidders to acquire essentially all assets of THQ, including four studios and the games still in development. Basically, this would mean all of THQ’s business operations will be seeing brand new ownership by the highest bidder, a process in which Clearlake will serve as a “stalking horse bidder,” to assist in the sale process by allowing other interested parties to bid competitively.
According to a statement made by the company, “The sale will allow THQ to shed certain legacy obligations and emerge with the strong financial backing of a new owner with substantial experience in software and technology.”
“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,” says CEO Brian Farrell, who then thanked his team for their hard work over the years. “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.”
Despite the bankruptcy filing, THQ is pursuing court approval to resume contracts of independent development studios with whom it still has relations. They have also noted that international operations are not included in the filings, and that business will continue uninterrupted during the sale period.
“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,” says THQ President Jason Rubin. THQ has stated that the bankruptcy will not affect the release of titles still in development including Saints Row 4, Homefront 2, Metro: Last Light, South Park: The Stick of Truth, Company of Heroes 2, and an unannounced project from former Assassin’s Creed developer Patrice Désilets.