2013 kicked off not with an explosive bang in the video game industry, but a sucking implosion that resulted in one of game publishing’s heavyweights dissolving in spectacular fashion. The once mighty THQ was, after many attempts to stay open, forced to shut the whole thing down and liquidate its assets. Those assets were gobbled up in short order. Ubisoft walked away with the Obsidian-developed South Park: The Stick of Truth; Crytek held onto the Homefront license it was already working with; Koch Media snagged Volition Studios and its Saints Row series. The biggest pieces of the pie were split up and are now being worked into future plans. THQ was a big company, though, and many properties were left unclaimed, including series like cult hit Darksiders. That property and others go up for sale in April.
As reported by Kotaku, everything left in THQ’s once formidable war chest of intellectual properties will be sold to the highest bidders between April 1 and April 15. The line up includes the respected space simulator Homeworld, the open-world almost hit Red Faction, the racing series MX vs. ATV, and defunct studio Vigil Games’ Darksiders.
In addition to those will be two bundles of properties. The first includes Marvel Super Hero, Worms, and Supreme Commander, all of which could handily bulk up a mobile game publisher’s library. The other includes two staples of the PlayStation 2 era, Destroy All Humans! And Summoner as well as a selection of other properties not detailed in the announcement.
Who will buy what? Despite THQ’s cancelling future development of Red Faction and the MX series of racers in 2011, both series enjoyed decent sales. Red Faction: Guerilla sold around 1.6 million copies after releasing in 2008, although the 2011 followup, Red Faction: Armageddon sold poorly.
Darksiders may find a good home as well. The entire series has sold around 2.4 million copies worldwide across two games. That doesn’t place it in league with comparable heavyweights like God of War III or The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, which sold 4.5 million and 3.6 million copies respectively as console exclusives, but still enough of a foundation to pursue future development on a budget. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance developer Platinum Games has even expressed interest in the series. Producer Atsushi Inaba said on Twitter that Platinum would like to buy Darksiders provided it’s cheap enough.