By Alan Bell
The long drawn out demise of once-great publisher THQ seems to have accelerated this morning with news that the company has filed for bankruptcy protection.
The application, according to Yahoo Finance, is in order to enable THQ to sell its assets to a ‘stalking horse bidder’. The assets listed include four studios owned by THQ and the games that they currently have in development.
THQ will continue to operate its business while the sale process continues, according to Yahoo, subject to Court approval.
“The sale and filing are necessary next steps to complete THQ’s transformation and position the company for the future, as we remain confident in our existing pipeline of games, the strength of our studios and THQ’s deep bench of talent,” said Brian Farrell, Chairman and CEO of THQ.
“We are grateful to our outstanding team of employees, partners and suppliers who have worked with us through this transition. We are pleased to have attracted a strong financial partner for our business, and we hope to complete the sale swiftly to make the process as seamless as possible.”
Shares in the company temporarily ceased trading this morning, pending the announcements, before plunging steeply once they were back on the market. At the time of writing, the stock price is down to 40c - a dip of some 71 percent in the three hours since the bankruptcy and asset sale were announced.
Information as to who the ‘stalking horse bidder’ might be was not disclosed. The games THQ are known to be working on at the moment include Company of Heroes 2, Homefront 2, Metro: Last Light, Saints Row 4, South Park: The Stick of Truth, and WWE '14.
THQ owns Relic Entertainment (Vancouver), Vigil Games (Austin, Texas), Volition (Champaign, Illinois), and THQ Studio Montreal.