Ever since creditors complained about THQ's quick sale to equity firm Clearlake Capital, things have gone from bad to worse for the embattled publisher. What initially seemed like a crafty way of protecting the company as on ongoing concern has quickly transformed into a bidding war for the firm’s most valuable assets – and everyone wants a piece.
According to the Twitter feed of Distressed Debt Investing, a judge ruled this morning that THQ’s assets will go up for sale on 22nd January, where they could be sold individually. That means that various publishers would have the opportunity to buy the franchises that they deem most precious, with Saints Row likely to be the star lot. Just to add to the excitement, apparently Electronic Arts has joined Warner Bros in its pursuit of the company.
EA’s done pretty well out of THQ already, leveraging the publisher’s precarious position to purchase the UFC license for an undisclosed sum. Meanwhile, Warner Bros was an active bidder in the Midway sale, snapping up Mortal Kombat developer NetherRealm Studios for a pittance. Neither publisher has an open world sandbox title in its roster.
You simply can’t make this kind of drama up.