THQ President: Bankruptcy a 'new start for our company'
Following yesterday's report that THQ filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, company President Jason Rubin took to the publisher's blog to explain just exactly what all of the legal jargon meant. To sum it all up, Rubin assured it "does not mean the end of the THQ story or the end of the titles you love."
"Quite the opposite is true, actually," he added. So what exactly is happening? Every bankruptcy is different, but Rubin gave us a little insight as to what is actually happening with THQ and their beloved franchises.
Basically, THQ has secured an investor, a private equity firm named Clearlake Capital Group, who is interesting in purchasing THQ's assets. This includes its developing studios (Relic, THQ Montreal, Vigil and Volition), Intellectual Property (titles, source code, etc.), and contracts (like the ones with Crytek, South Park Digital Studios, 4A games, Obsidian, and Turtle Rock). For the record, four unannounced titles from THQ have been revealed because of this bankruptcy.
Clearlake is providing the money THQ needs to keep working on the products throughout this whole process. Once the purchase is complete, Clearlake will invest in the company to finish the games currently in development and beyond.
"In short, they are investing in a new start for our company," Rubin said.
"Chapter 11 is a safety net for U.S. companies," he explained. "American Airlines is currently in Chapter 11 restructuring, yet I flew back and forth on that airline when I visited Volition two weeks ago. Donald Trump and his companies have been in Chapter 11 four times. You can add to that list household names such as Macy’s, Eddie Bauer, the Chicago Cubs, Chrysler, Delta Airlines, General Motors, the Pittsburgh Penguins, Marvel Studios, and MGM, among many others."
Rubin added: "MGM filed Chapter 11 two years ago, and this year it released “Skyfall” and “The Hobbit,” two of the biggest titles of the year. That’s what I mean when I say new start!"
Just because Clearlake has been named as an investor doesn't mean someone can't outbid them, however. THQ's Chapter 11 process allows for other bidders to make competitive offers for THQ.
"Whatever happens, the teams and products look likely to end up together and in good hands. That means you can still pre-order Metro: Last Light, Company of Heroes 2, and South Park: The Stick of Truth," Rubin assured. "Our teams are still working on those titles as you read this, and all other rumored titles, like the fourth Saints Row, the Homefront sequel, and a lot more are also still in the works."
Rubin explained that because THQ's worldwide employees are off for a week and a half paid vacation starting Friday for the holidays, the timing of the announcement "hardly matters anyway." He did describe the timing as "unfortunate", though.
"In short, the teams will be unburdened by the past and able to focus on what they should be focusing on -- Making great games, Rubin concluded. "I’m excited about the future and hope to have more to report soon."
We should learn more about the deal when the process completes in 30 days.