Dust Settles on THQ Sale, No Buyer for Darksiders Studio Vigil
Written Thursday, January 24, 2013 By Lee BradleyView author's profile
Yesterday, all of THQ’s assets, including its IP and owned studios, were auctioned off to the highest bidder.
And while most of the rumoured buyers from earlier in the day turned out to be correct, including SEGA picking up Company of Heroes studio Relic and Koch Media buying Saints Row dev Volition, there were a few surprises.
Foremost amoung these is that no buyer came forward for Darksiders developer Vigil Games.
Reflecting on the closure, Vigil Games’ Lead Combat Designer Ben Cureton wrote an emotive farewell message on NeoGaf.
“I'm sitting at my desk among... what appears to be a warzone,” he wrote. “The walls look bare. It's quiet.
“The seats are empty.
“We've all been on edge for the past couple months... and more so, the last couple weeks. I mean, I'm sure you can imagine what it's like to wonder if you will have a job tomorrow. Most of us here joked about it just to keep the mood light, but we all knew what could happen. Now I look around and I realize... it did happen.
He continued, “...so maybe you can imagine what it feels like when you read the list of who bought what only to discover your name is not on the list. Why? Did we do something wrong? Were we not good enough? Were we not worth 'anything?' Imagine that.”
Meanwhile, Darksiders lead designer Haydn Dalton also weighed in on the apparent death of the studio.
"There was a shimmer on a slither of hope, that at one point, there'd be a Darksiders 3," he tweeted. "Four-player co-op: it rode off into the sunset today."
That’s four-player co-op with all of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
Speaking to GI.biz, THW President Jason Rubin said, “I was brought in eight months ago to help turn this ship around, and while I’m disappointed that we could not effect a sale for the entire operating business, I am pleased that the new buyers will be providing jobs to many of our very talented personnel.
“When we first announced the sale process, I said I would be happy if the company’s games and people had a bright future, even if it meant I did not have a job at the end of it. And I still feel that way.”
Outside of the auction, some rumour and idle chatter is circulating regarding those properties left behind.
IGN is reporting that Take-Two is interested in picking up the WWE license. That’s in addition to the company’s purchase of the Turtle Rock-developed FPS, Evolve.
Meanwhile, there is a tiny, infinitesimally small glimmer of hope for Darksiders fans, as Platinum Games boss Atsushi Inaba expressed an interest in buying the franchise.
As awesome as that sounds, however, we wouldn’t hold our breath for it.
Below you’ll find a full rundown of the THQ auction, listing all the buyers and properties, courtesy of Kotaku.
It’s interesting to note that with Ubisoft buying THQ Montreal, the stage is set for former Assassin’s Creed creative lead Patrice Désilets to return to the company he so publicly left in 2010.
Makers of Company of Heroes
Winning bidder: Sega, $26.6 million.
Backup: Zenimax Media, $26.3 million.
Makers of 1666 and Underdog, titles under development.
Winning bidder: Ubisoft, $2.5 million. No runner-up.
(title in development at Turtle Rock Studios)
Winning bidder: Take-Two Interactive, $10.894 million.
Backup: Turtle Rock Studios, $250,000.
Maker of Saints Row
Winning bidder: Koch Media, $22,312,925.
Backup: Ubisoft, $5.4 million.
Released 2011; due for a sequel.
Winning bidder: Crytek. $544,218.
Series; due for the sequel Metro: Last Light.
Winning Bidder: Koch Media, $5,877,551
Backup: Ubisoft: $5.175 million.
License; South Park: The Stick of Truth is due for release March 5.
Winning bidder: Ubisoft, $3,265,306