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Publisher THQ dissolved, all game assets auctioned off

THQ, twenty year veteran games industry publisher, has been split up and its assets sold off, as a last-ditch attempt to avoid bankruptcy through an investment group failed.

THQ has been in financial trouble for some time, and recently announced that it was to enter Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection proceedings to find enough time for a buy-out package to arrive from an independent investment group. Sadly, hopes of the company surviving in one piece were dashed when a US court ruled that it would be forced to accept the highest offer received - even if that offer involved splitting the company up and selling its assets to multiple parties.

That nightmare scenario for THQ and its staff is exactly what has come to pass: aggregate bids for the company's various divisions and intellectual properties totalled more than any singular bid for the company as a whole, meaning an end to the 24-year company as it exists today.

For its fans, however, the news isn't all bad: THQ's various games have been sold off to other publishing houses, meaning that upcoming titles including Metro: Last Light and South Park: The Stick of Truth may see the light of day after all. In all, the company's Relic division (responsible for Warhammer 40K and Company of Heroes products) was purchased by Sega, Saints Row and Red Faction developer Volition was purchased by Koch Media along with the rights to the Metro franchise, Crytek bought the Homefront licence, Take 2 Interactive snapped up an in-development title dubbed Evolve, and Ubisoft picked up THQ's Montreal studio and the rights to the upcoming South Park: The Stick of Truth title.

Not all of THQ's assets were successfully sold, sadly: Vigil Games, a wholly-owned subsidiary responsible for the Darksiders series, did not find a buyer and will be shut down - and those redundancies may be joined by others from sold divisions, as the buyers seek to eliminate duplicated positions.

In a letter to staff, THQ chief executive Brian Farrel and president Jason Rubin expressed their disappointment that the company would be broken up, but professed to be hopeful that THQ's legacy would live on in its now-separate entities.

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