The THQ auction has happened, and many of the choice assets and studios of the company have been sold off to different parties. Reflecting on the event, THQ president Jason Rubin thinks that the company was a victim of larger market forces that made it difficult to pull up from its downward plunge.
“I believe that in the near future, digital distribution and alternate business models will bring a greater percentage of dollars spent on games back to the publisher/developer,” said Rubin. “Based on that change, in a few years, a THQ would be able to survive, and larger publishers will be even more profitable. But the next few years of transition are going to be incredibly challenging for all AAA game companies.”
Rubin also feels like the auction failed to reflect the true value of the IP and studios sold, and is particularly upset with the situation at Vigil. “The price that the teams and products ‘went for’ at auction seem to me to have no bearing on the underlying value,” Rubin said. “If someone tries to judge the quality of the products by the price paid for them they are doing themselves no favor.”
“I failed to find Vigil a home. Having just finished a product, Vigil was farthest from release of their next game, and we were not able to garner any interest from buyers, despite a herculean effort. Additionally, they were working on a new IP, which meant even more risk for a buyer,” added Rubin, noting that Vigil’s title was codenamed Crawler. “When the teams got together recently to show each other their titles, Crawler dropped the most jaws. It is a fantastic idea, and truly unique. The fact that nobody bid for the team and title is a travesty. It makes no sense to me. If I weren’t barred from bidding as an insider, I would have been there with my checkbook. I’m sure that’s little consolation to the team, but that’s a fact.”