THQ files for bankruptcy protection

Today, at 18.45pm GMT games developer THQ, responsible for games like Metro 2033, Saints Row and the Dawn of War series, filed for bankruptcy protection.

Over the past few months, THQ has faced difficult times and with the report of a $21 million loss, delays to their release schedules and loss in confidence in their stock value.

In the past hour it has emerged that much of the company’s assets (valued at $60 million) have been sold to a private investor.

This, coupled with their bankruptcy proceedings, does not mean that the company will cease to exist or people who own their games will become unable to play them, but sets legal practices in place to protect the company for a limited time while their finances and options are assessed.

Although rumours that the company was in trouble have existed all year this didn’t concern gamers who were happy to see some of their triple-A titles showcased in a recent Humble Bundle. As the Humble Bundle is traditionally used to showcase indie developers it was commented by some at the time that THQ might be in trouble if they were allowing their best titles to be sold on a pay-what-you-please model – but others suggested it was perhaps just a business taking advantage of shifting paradigms. Pay-what-you-please models have grown increasingly successful in recent years and their adoption has continued to occur in ever larger businesses.

What will eventually become of THQ is still unknown but for now anybody who owns their games through Humble Bundle or services like Steam should continue to be able to play without hindrance.

Update: 19.54.
One of the THQ team, Jason Rubin says that there is a “Commitment from Clearlake Capital to buy the business. Major step in securing financial future.” While this won’t stop bankruptcy proceedings, it should stop the total collapse of the company for the time being.

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