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The great THQ bankruptcy auction

From Saints Row to Metro Last Light to uDraw - CVG examines assets for sale during today's sell-off

Time's up for THQ. After two years of battling against the tide, the company has declared itself bankrupt and its assets have been stripped off for sale.

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The beleaguered publisher initially hoped to decide how it would go into that good night, and it agreed to sell all its business to investment firm Clearlake.

But luck hasn't been with THQ at its darkest hour. A bankruptcy judge ruled that Clearlake was allowed to buy the publisher for an agreed $60 million - but not before the rest of the world has a chance to bid on the company's assets too.

So the games industry has, behind closed doors, been putting cash down on individual THQ assets. Warner Bros, EA, Ubisoft and even Double Fine are among the numerous companies that have shown an interest.

Time's up. The bidding deadline - 9am Eastern Time on January 22 - has just passed. Later today, at 3pm ET, all THQ's assets will be put on the table, the highest bidder will be declared and a second auction will take place to see if any more can be made out of them.

The outcome will formally be announced tomorrow, though some news could leak out later today. The deal is highly complex because each individual asset sale must be added together and the total must be greater than the $60 million Clearlake is offering. If it isn't, then Clearlake cleans up for the agreed sum. But if Clearlake is outbid, then all individual assets go to their highest bidder. However, Clearlake then has a chance to increase its bid - by which point the whole bidding process will become even highly complex, calculated and competitive.

So what's on the auction block? What's the prized asset everyone will be gunning for and what will be lurking in the bargain bin? CVG looks through what's on offer...

(Article updated LIVE as soon as new buyers are announced)


Major IP for sale

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Saints Row

THQ's prized asset: A widely respected GTA rival that, by the last count, had shipped four million units globally. CVG understands that THQ had merged together the Saints Row 4 project along with this year's Enter the Dominatrix DLC as a way to push a full instalment out the door before 2013 is up.


Homefront

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Despite being channelled in the tight corridors of military-based FPSes, Homefront nevertheless managed to shift about 2.5 million units. That was, of course, off the back of an extraordinarily long and expensive marketing campaign. But perhaps that's not so much a negative - THQ has done all the hard work establishing a franchise and a sequel is already in development at Crytek if a publisher wants to pay the royalties.


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