THQ Auction Details “Vigil Update”

Yesterday afternoon the auctioning off of THQ’s various brands and studios took place, and today some of the details have been disclosed. Below are the transactions that are known about according to Giant Bomb

  • Ubisoft has purchased the rights to THQ’s Montreal Studio, and South Park: The Stick of Truth. There is no immediate word on how this purchase will be affected by South Park Studios’ lawsuit to prevent their property from being included in this sale. Also of note is the fact that Patrice Desilets, the former Assassin’s Creed creative director who left Ubisoft to pursue new opportunities at THQ, is now back with his former publisher for at least the moment.
  • Koch Media, the parent company of Dead Island publisher Deep Silver, has purchased Volition Inc. and the Saints Row brand, as well as the Metro franchise.
  • Sega will be taking control of Company of Heroes developer Relic Entertainment and the Warhammer brand.
  • Crytek has purchased the rights to the Homefront franchise..
  • Take-Two Interactive takes over Turtle Rock Studios’ Evolve.

And the supposed prices for each

  • $500k Homefront (Crytek)
  • $26M for Relic (Sega)
  • $2.5M for THQ Montreal (Ubisoft)
  • $3.2M for South Park (Ubisoft)
  • $11M for Evolve (Take-Two)
  • $22.3M for Volition (Koch Media)
  • $5.8M for Metro (Koch Media)

This story has been sad from the start, but also completely engrossing. The companies that made bids were not the ones I were expecting at all, besides Ubisoft. I am very surprised to read that Koch Media, and unknown, picked up two of the strongest brands THQ had to offer: Saints Row and Metro. Sega picking up Relic is another one that surprised at first, but makes sense when you realize they have owned the Total War games for some time now, and it makes them a nice chunk of change.

But perhaps the most surprising is that Vigil Games, developers of Darksiders, have not yet been picked up. Darksiders is a great franchise that unfortunately hasn’t sold as well as it should have, but the developers are still a very talented studio that should be sought after. I’ll update as more details spread.

VIGIL UPDATE:  Bizarre. That is how I feel about the fact that Vigil Games, developers of the Darksiders IP, were not bought in the auction THQ held two days ago. While the above mentioned companies and or their IP’s were gobbled up by Ubisoft, Sega and so on, Vigil Games were left to sit and wait, hoping that they would hear better news. That news never came however, and the opportunity to continue disappeared without it. The creators of the Darksiders world, and a new unnamed property, would seem to be shutting its doors for the last time.

A developer at Vigil took to NeoGAF to post a goodbye message and to thank they’re fans, while later, Jasin Rubin, president of THQ would tweet “I am truly sorry for the employees and fans of @vigilgames. It is a travesty that the team and its potential were not recognized.” 

I do not understand this at all. While the majority of bigger franchises were purchased by other studios, and luckily with the majority of their teams intact, why has Vigil gone unnoticed? I thought the first Darksiders was a great little game that came out of nowhere. Its sequel was even better in many aspects, and received positive marks from most critics. So why than was this studio overlooked? While Vigil and its many employees have to now move on, it seems there is a tiny sliver of luck for those who love the Darksiders brand.

Late in the evening on Twitter yesterday, Platinum Games lead Atsushi Inaba let slip that “In THQ studio and IP selling off auction, Darksiders is unsold? [We] wanna buy it…on the cheap…” Platinum Games are known for their terrific action titles, such as Bayonetta, Vanquish, and their upcoming Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. While it would be nice to see Darksiders continue, it would not at all be the same, and that saddens me.

Hopefully all of those affected during this harsh transition find homes at other studios, but for those at Vigil, you made a unique world and two great games, and now you can ride off into the sunset proud, alongside those four badass horseman you created.

2 thoughts on “THQ Auction Details “Vigil Update”

  1. It is sad to see people lose jobs in some of these cases, but not sad overall. THQ had nothing of any great merit, and the cost of acquiring what little they did have reflects that.

    1. I disagree with that entirely. THQ helped release some of my more preferred games over the last few years. I have enjoyed the Saints Row series since the first. Metro was a slower paced and extremely atmospheric title. The Company of Heroes brand is at the top of most RTS lovers lists and Relics Warhammer titles, while not great, were still solid and had potential. And Darksiders developer Vigil Games created an awesome world with those games and pretty much created the Soul Reaver series for this generation, which I thought was great.
      THQ were moving in the right direction I believe, and that makes this extra disappointing. South Park and the Stick of Truth was one of my more anticipated releases of 2013 as well. While its nice some companies have purchased these studios and IP’s, there are still lots who are losing or have lost their jobs from this, and Vigil has been destroyed entirely.


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