THQs financial troubles finally came to a head this week after what seems like a rather slow and agonizing death. The companys assets were auctioned off yesterday with several of its development studios and properties being picked up by various parties. Ubisoft laid claim to THQ Montreal ($2.5 million) and its South Park: The Stick of Truth title ($3.3 million), Volition ($22.3 million) and Metro: Last Light ($5.9 million) were purchased by Koch Media, and Crytek purchased Homefront 2 ($0.5 million) while Take-Two Interactive picked up Evolve ($10.5 million). THQs press release indicates that the buyers of those properties will be keeping the devs and other employees on through the transition.
Brian Farrell, Chairman and CEO of THQ, noted, While we had hoped that the restructuring process would allow the company to remain intact, I am heartened that the majority of our studios and games will continue under new ownership. It has been my pleasure to work alongside this great group of people, and I am proud of the imaginative and artistic games that our team has created. Although we will no longer be able to work together with a unified mission, I am confident that the talent we have assembled will continue to make an impression on the video game industry. For those whose positions are not likely to continue, I sincerely regret this outcome and we will be meeting with you over the next few days to discuss the transition.
Unfortunately, some developers and property went unsold at the auction. Vigil Games, who previously had been working on a project codenamed Crawler and Warhammer 40k: Dark Millennium Online, was not picked up and will continue as part of the Chapter 11 process. This also, unfortunately, means that the Vigil loses not only its studio, but its team. And thats made more tragic by the heartfelt message that Vigil Lead Designer Ben Cureton posted on the Neogaf forums that serves a reminder that jobs come and go, but teams of people working together long enough become a lot like family, and that's what's lost.
Am I sad? Well yea. I've been in this industry for 20 years. Seriously. Two decades. I've been laid off more than once. It sucks every time. But am I sad I don't have a job? Not really... I'm sure I'll get another one eventually. I'm sad because it won't be THIS job. It won't be at Vigil. That's why I'm sad. The people I waged war with are no longer together. The people that I bled with, vented with, argued with (often times LOUDLY), and kicked back with... these people will never be together again in the same combination.
Not that it was perfect. But what is perfect? Did I like coming to work? Yes. Was I proud of the work that I did? Yes. More importantly, was I proud of the work that WE did? Absolutely. I knew, without a shadow of the doubt, that the project we were working on (Codenamed: Crawler) was going to blow people away. In fact, it DID blow people away. We did, in TWO months, what many companies haven't done in a year. The pride of knowing that no one was doing anything like us was so satisfying, it kept us coming to work and giving 100% every single day, even through the dark times.
We wish the people of Vigil the best.
Source: THQ Press Release
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