Despite the apparent success of the Humble THQ Bundle and other desperate gambles made to keep the company fiscally solvent, THQ announced today that they have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. A press release from THQ says that the company filed for bankruptcy in order to ensure a smooth transition as the company and all of its subsidary studios and IP’s are sold off to a new owner.
While filing for bankruptcy usually signals the immediate death of a company, it seems like THQ will continue their publishing business as usual until the company transitions over to a new owner: the company currently has no plans to lay-off any employees, nor have they announced the cancellation of any of their upcoming titles, which include Obsidian’s South Park: The Stick of Truth and the highly anticipated PC RTS, Company of Heroes 2.
THQ’s wholly owned subsidiaries, like Saints Row developer Volition and Darksiders developer Vigil Games, will also be sold off to the highest bidder. THQ expects that all of their company’s assets will be sold off within the next 30 days. By THQ’s own estimates, the total value of their company and their IP rights is about $204 million, however, that value is negated by their massive debts, which total more than $248 million.
Today’s news is seemingly the beginning of the end of THQ’s epic financial drama: the company announced losses of over $21 million dollars during the last financial quarter, defaulted on a loan from Wells Fargo Bank, and its stock was threatened with a delisting from the NASDAQ. Hopefully THQ’s employees and franchises can find a new owner who will treat them with the respect (and financial backing) that they deserve: Darksiders and Saints’ Row are two of my favorite new IP’s to emerge this generation, and it’d be a shame to see both of the series’ come to a premature end because of corporate mishandling. We’ll have more news on this story as it develops.