Saints Row-maker THQ goes bankrupt, sells upcoming games

The gaming giant has filed for bankruptcy with a range of anticipated games still in development.

Luke Westaway Senior editor
Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.
Luke Westaway
2 min read

Videogame giant THQ has filed for bankruptcy, agreeing to flog all of its upcoming games and development studios to an investment firm.

It's bleak news for the Saint Row publisher, which is entering bankruptcy with a host of anticipated titles unfinished, including Homefront 2, Metro: Last Light, South Park: The Stick of Truth, Saints Row 4 and Company of Heroes 2.

Currently it looks like those games will see the light of day however, as THQ insists that its day-to-day operation won't be hampered by the sale of almost everything it owns. Buyer Clearlake reckons the ailing publisher's collective worth totals $60m (about £37m), GameSpot reports.

The good news is that no additional job losses are expected as a result of the bankruptcy filing, with employees usual schedules and benefits remaining intact. While it may be business as usual, moving for bankruptcy is a sign that it's tough times for the publisher, which has been churning out games since the early nineties.

THQ's decline was predicted earlier this year, when Grand Theft Auto publisher Take-Two's CEO said, "THQ won't be around in six months".

GameSpot UK Editor Guy Cocker told me, "It's been a terrible year for games publisher THQ."

"After exiting the kids games business in January, and therefore losing successful Disney franchises such as Cars, the company has laid off hundreds of staff, closed studios, cancelled games and continued to make losses," Guy said.

"This month, the release of THQ's Humble Bundle, whereby people could pay what they like to download some of the publisher's big-name games, was a reasonable success, making the company $5m. However, it wasn't enough and this week THQ was left with no choice but to file for bankruptcy, as it was the only way the company could carry on into 2013 in any reasonable state."

THQ boss Brian Farrell is quoted as saying, "The sale and filing are necessary next steps to complete THQ's transformation and position the company for the future."

He goes on to say, "We remain confident in our existing pipeline of games, the strength of our studios, and THQ’s deep bench of talent."

Were you a fan of THQ's games? Or does the ailing publisher need to do something different in order to survive in the future? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook wall.