Game developer THQ has just announced that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, and will be selling off its studios and games in development. According to THQ's press release, the company will continue daily operation as normal and it will be proceeding with developing all games currently in the pipeline. THQ also announced it had entered into an agreement with affiliates of Clearlake Capital Group, L.P. acting as a "stalking horse bidder" — basically, a company willing to enter a bid on a company in order to garner it a certain value in the marketplace. Clearlake has put forth approximately $60 million, and has asked the court to finalize the sale within the next month.
THQ makes clear that customers should see no changes due to the move, and that it will not be laying off any employees. The company has also secured commitments of around $37.5 million in financing from Wells Fargo and Clearlake to help it through the transition.
Chairman and CEO Brian Farrell said in the company's statement that "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."
President Jason Rubin added that "We have incredible, creative talent here at THQ. We look forward to partnering with experienced investors for a new start as we will continue to use our intellectual property assets to develop high-quality core games, create new franchise titles, and drive demand through both traditional and digital channels."
Update: THQ's Jason Rubin has posted a letter addressing the situation, writing that Clearlake is "investing in a new start for our company," and that the Chapter 11 filing "does not mean the end of the THQ story or the end of the titles you love." In an effort to tamp down any concern, Rubin even lists a number of well-known entities that have filed for Chapter 11 protection and come back to fight another day, including Macy's, General Motors, and Marvel Studios. After reiterating that the company's focus will continue to be on great games, he signs off with the reassurance that "I'm excited about the future and hope to have more to report soon."
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