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Jason Rubin interview on the THQ auction results, legacy ip auction in a few weeks

JehutyRunner

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Jul 10, 2012
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Jason Rubin interview on Game Informer. Great, but sad, read. :(

Link.

On taking personal responsibility said:
All of the titles in the portfolio now have the potential to be the great games they should have been. And now that the THQ auction is over, I can also say that the majority of them have found homes and will ultimately reach their intended audience, the core gamer.

Unfortunately, the financial bottom dropped out on THQ before we got to see the fruits of our labor, and I spent the rest of my time at THQ trying to fix non-game issues.

To be clear, I am not claiming that everything I did was successful or that my time at THQ was without failings. 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.

And of course, unfortunately THQ’s non-development personnel are out of work as of the end of this week; this was a casualty of the court’s decision to allow piecemeal sale of assets.

As I type this, I cannot think of anything that I could have done to change the outcome. But I can tell you that I will spend a lot of sleepless nights thinking about what I could have changed. Even if I can’t figure out what I could have changed, I accept those results as failure. I am not dodging that responsibility.

And I would encourage the press, before they judge anybody at THQ, or the process, to reach out to a number of employees and ask them if what I have said above is true. I believe they will corroborate my views.
Can mid-sized publishers survive said:
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. 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.
Vigil's new IP said:
Asking me which title is my favorite is like asking a father to name his favorite child. And of course I can’t comment on the new owners.

But I will say this: The price that the teams and products “went for” at auction seem to me to have no bearing on the underlying value. If someone tries to judge the quality of the products by the price paid for them they are doing themselves no favor.

The best example of this is Vigil’s title, 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.
When the new legacy IPs will be auctioned said:
There will be a separate process to sell off the back catalog and IP. That process will take place in the coming weeks.
 

hteng

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Aug 13, 2007
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what the fuck, why no one wanted vigil? no one wants Darksider? it sold quite well didnt it? wtf?!

edit: read the previous posts, damn that sucks
 

sflufan

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May 5, 2007
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what the fuck, why no one wanted vigil? no one wants Darksider? it sold quite well didnt it? wtf?!
Neither game sold enough to be a viable IP. In fact, all indications are that DS2 didn't even break even.
 

gabbre

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Jan 9, 2012
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The best example of this is Vigil’s title, 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.
How is it possible that no one has made ​​an offer? Unbelievable.
 

Glass Rebel

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Oct 12, 2010
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Well, they technically have a second shot at the second session, if anyone outside of the ten bidders that showed up becomes interested.
Do we know which companies those 10 were?

SEGA
Zenimax
Koch Media
Ubisoft
Crytek
Take-Two
Turtle Rock
(EA?)
(Warner Bros.?)
(???)
 

gabbre

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Jan 9, 2012
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Well, they technically have a second shot at the second session, if anyone outside of the ten bidders that showed up becomes interested.
OK, but without Vigil the project has much less sense don't you think? They were developing it, it was interesing because of them, their ideas.
:(
 

Moertel

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Apr 30, 2012
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Does anyone have a list of THQ's legacy ips? I'm sorry if this has been asked many times.
Off the top of my head...

Homeworld
Destroy All Humans
Juiced
(Darksiders?)
Red Faction
Frontlines
Titan Quest

Edit: Really hope we get to see Crawler in some form or another. If Rubin's saying it looks better than Saints Row 4, than it's gotta be awesome.
 

HueyFreeman

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Jul 27, 2011
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I wonder what the future holds for Rubin, given the fallout from this.

I kind of just wish the guy would get back to game development.
 

Aquamarine

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May 24, 2012
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Does anyone have a list of THQ's legacy ips? I'm sorry if this has been asked many times.
Owned by THQ?

Off the top of my head:

Baja: Edge of Control
Dark Summit
Darksiders
De Blob (Likely)
Deadly Creatures
Destroy All Humans!
Frontlines
Full Spectrum Warrior (likely)
Juiced
Red Faction
Stuntman
Summoner
Titan Quest
uDraw

Etc.

The important ones here are Darksiders and Red Faction.
 

Totobeni

An blind dancing ho
Nov 3, 2007
18,732
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Off the top of my head...

Homeworld
Destroy All Humans
Juiced
(Darksiders?)
Red Faction
Frontlines
Titan Quest
With Summoner,Stuntman and de Blob, those are the "top dogs" in THQ pocket and I think many of the big publishers will want some of them, especially Red Faction (a series that sold more than million+ copies)
 

Massa

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Jan 16, 2009
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Hhow is it possible that no one has made ​​an offer? Unbelievable.
Well, buying Vigil would mean funding a new game almost completely from scratch. So about 20 million dollars at least for a new IP, when most companies are cutting back to stay profitable and already have new IP in development at their own studios for next-gen systems.
 

DocSeuss

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Off the top of my head...

Homeworld
Destroy All Humans
Juiced
(Darksiders?)
Red Faction
Frontlines
Titan Quest

Edit: Really hope we get to see Crawler in some form or another. If Rubin's saying it looks better than Saints Row 4, than it's gotta be awesome.
Impossible Creatures.

EDIT: Aww, nuts. Xian ruins everything, or at least one thing.
 

JehutyRunner

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Jul 10, 2012
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Owned by THQ?

Off the top of my head:

Baja: Edge of Control
Dark Summit
Darksiders
De Blob (Likely)
Deadly Creatures
Destroy All Humans!
Frontlines
Full Spectrum Warrior (likely)
Homefront
Juiced
Red Faction
Stuntman
Summoner
Titan Quest
uDraw

Etc.

The important ones here are Darksiders and Red Faction.
Crytek bought the Homefront IP for around $500k at the first auction.
 

Skiesofwonder

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Wasn't there a rumor going around about Nintendo buying up an old DS franchise? Drawn to Life would make a lot of sense, I believe it sold quite well on the DS and it is a neat idea (similar to FreakyForms).

Edit: I'm really interested in seeing some footage of Crawler now.
 

Kimawolf

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So this is the true end of THQ. A shame reallly, I'd assume a developer like Vigil would had easily found a home someplace simply because they are actually pretty good developers.
 

Thraktor

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Crytek bought the Homefront IP for around $500k at the first auction.
Technically they were paying for not just the IP, but also all the work they've already done on Homefront 2 (which probably cost THQ ~10x as much). Great deal for Crytek, so long as they can get a good distribution deal for it.
 

sflufan

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May 5, 2007
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Technically they were paying for not just the IP, but also all the work they've already done on Homefront 2 (which probably cost THQ ~10x as much). Great deal for Crytek, so long as they can get a good distribution deal for it.
I'm fairly certain that they will just fold it into their existing EA Partners deal for Crysis.
 

efyu_lemonardo

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Jun 19, 2011
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I'm trying to wrap my head around this. Why is buying Vigil and financing Crawler considered to be one and the same?
There are many other options..

Wouldn't Vigil rather strike some kind of deal to develop for a publisher than be broken apart?
Alternatively, couldn't they go independent and do contract work?
 

Glass Rebel

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I'm trying to wrap my head around this. Why is buying Vigil and financing Crawler considered to be one and the same?
There are many other options..

Wouldn't Vigil rather strike some kind of deal to develop for a publisher than be broken apart?
Alternatively, couldn't they go independent and do contract work?
Vigil can't go independent because they're a part of THQ. The people there could form a new studio, sure, but Vigil is owned by THQ's creditors and they wouldn't just let them take the company assets free of charge.

And as for your first question, it's not the same but Crawler was the game Vigil was working on and would have been sold with them. So unless the buyer wanted them to work on something new, they would have financed the development of Crawler.
 

Ignis Fatuus

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The remaining Chapter 11 process will likely have a lot more eyes on it since it's likely to be relatively cheap and pretty open, and they probably won't want the game shown if they're going to buy it.
With all the people gone, what do you get if you buy Vigil? Just the code and the IP?
 

Aquamarine

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May 24, 2012
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Crytek bought the Homefront IP for around $500k at the first auction.
Thanks. Edited that out.

With all the people gone, what do you get if you buy Vigil? Just the code and the IP?
You can't "buy Vigil" at this point. That point has come and gone. You could buy the Darksiders IP at the legacy auction, and I assume the Darksiders 1 / 2 assets and code will be transferred over with ownership.
 

efyu_lemonardo

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Vigil can't go independent because they're a part of THQ. The people there could form a new studio, sure, but Vigil is owned by THQ's creditors and they wouldn't just let them take the company assets free of charge.

And as for your first question, it's not the same but Crawler was the game Vigil was working on and would have been sold with them. So unless the buyer wanted them to work on something new, they would have financed the development of Crawler.
You're right, I should have phrased that more accurately. Basically what I was trying to ask was why there isn't a bigger interest from publishers in getting a whole new development team for peanuts? And a good one at that.
Is it because publishers fear massive fallout if employees aren't happy with whatever work they are given by the new owners?
 
With all the people gone, what do you get if you buy Vigil? Just the code and the IP?
You can't "buy Vigil" at this point. That point has come and gone. You could buy the Darksiders IP at the legacy auction, and I assume the Darksiders 1 / 2 assets and code will be transferred over with ownership.
You can technically do what Crytek did with Free Radical and buy the studio and rehire, but if you weren't at the auction, chances of you wanting to do that are low.
 

Weenerz

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So the hugely successful humble bundle, who got that THQ money? Didn't make a dent at all?
 
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So the hugely successful humble bundle, who got that THQ money? Didn't make a dent at all?
Well, considering the creditors weren't happy with the guaranteed $60 million from the Clearlake deal, a couple million from the humble bundle wouldn't have done much.
 

SolarPowered

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Nintendo should open up it's purse for Vigil and get them acquainted with Retro. They could certainly use a new and exclusive Western IP/Studio for cheap.
 

pedrothelion

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What about Volition? Were they bought or will they be part of this legacy IP auction? Also who owns Freespace and Descent? Is that THQ or Interplay property?
 

Aquamarine

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Nintendo should open up it's purse for Vigil and get them acquainted with Retro. They could certainly use a new and exclusive Western IP/Studio for cheap.
I could definitely see Retro Studios picking up some talent from Vigil (they're both in Austin, Texas, after all)...and there's a very small chance Nintendo might buy the Darksiders IP just to have something new under its stable.

But if Nintendo wanted the studio itself, they would have bid for them at the auction.

What about Volition? Were they bought or will they be part of this legacy IP auction? Also who owns Freespace and Descent? Is that THQ or Interplay property?
Interplay still owns all of the rights to Freespace.
 

JaseC

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Off the top of my head...

Homeworld
Destroy All Humans
Juiced
(Darksiders?)
Red Faction
Frontlines
Titan Quest

Edit: Really hope we get to see Crawler in some form or another. If Rubin's saying it looks better than Saints Row 4, than it's gotta be awesome.
It'd be nice to see this fall into the hands of Crate Entertainment, but I'd wager the folks there need all the money they can get to finish Grim Dawn.