Report: Double Fine interested in THQ assets

Double Fine has reportedly requested documents regarding THQ's franchise auction, which is set to conclude on January 22.

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THQ declared bankruptcy, and subsequently its individual franchises have been put up for sale on the auction block. We've heard scuttlebutt of interest from big-name publishers like Ubisoft, Electronic Arts, and Warner Bros. But the company's properties are reportedly getting attention from smaller publishers, like Double Fine Productions.

Distressed Debt Investing tweeted the news (via Joystiq). Tim Schafer's studio apparently requested documents, which could indicate an interest in putting down a bid. THQ published two of Double Fine's recent games, Stacking and Costume Quest, but it's unclear which company owns the rights to those IPs. This doesn't necessarily mean that Double Fine will win or even place a bid, but it shows the range of publishers interested in picking through the bones of THQ.

Bids for properties are due by 9 AM ET on January 22, and a hearing will occur the next morning regarding the results. THQ CEO Brian Farrell previously said, "We will now know definitively by Jan. 23rd where we stand." Wherever THQ stands, it will be a good deal lighter.

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    January 11, 2013 7:30 AM

    Steve Watts posted a new article, Report: Double Fine interested in THQ assets.

    Double Fine has reportedly requested documents regarding THQ's franchise auction, which is set to conclude on January 22.

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      January 11, 2013 7:31 AM

      Huh. I'm trying to get a pulse on the health of Double Fine, so this kind of surprises me. I wonder which game would fit their vision.

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        January 11, 2013 7:37 AM

        Yeah, it must be something I can't think of because there isn't a whole lot of properties that seem to mesh with Double Fine's patented flair.

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        January 11, 2013 7:37 AM

        [deleted]

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          January 11, 2013 9:44 AM

          Good point. I didn't realize THQ had the rights to those games.

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        January 11, 2013 7:47 AM

        In addition to the Kickstarter, they are being backed by Dracogen a private investment firm, who helped to fund PC and Mac ports and their current mobile efforts.

        If it made sense for any THQ property to be in DF's stable (Saints Row, I'm looking at you), and the guy behind Dracogen agreed, I don't think they'd have a problem fronting money for it.

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          January 11, 2013 9:45 AM

          Yeah, the guy behind Dracogen would be me if I had that kind of money. Just investing a million or two into a studio's project because I liked what they do.

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            January 11, 2013 5:41 PM

            I've heard he's a pretty awesome guy from people I trust. Picked up one of the high quality full scale prop models of the portal gun at Child's Play a few years back, and then continued to donate money for nothin' 'cause that's how he rolls.

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        January 11, 2013 8:13 AM

        Dawn of War / Iron Brigade mashup

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          January 11, 2013 9:45 AM

          Sold.

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          January 11, 2013 7:36 PM

          Actually I would shoot for a mash up of mechanics between Space Marine and Brutal Legend.
          Take the combat mechanics of Space Marine and then add that odd pseudo RTS elements to it. You've got a pretty solid Warhammer 40k game.

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      January 11, 2013 7:40 AM

      Didn't they just have a kickstarter cause they didn't have cash to make a game?
      Guess 3 million goes a long way.
      Shit at these prices maybe we can all buy some games from THQ.

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        January 11, 2013 7:43 AM

        I dont think you know how things work.

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        January 11, 2013 7:50 AM

        They've already budgeted all of their kickstarter money (and more) to their Adventure game project.

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        January 11, 2013 7:59 AM

        Games are generally funded before people start making them. That funding usually comes from a publisher. In the case of DFA, the funding came from people who wanted to play the game.

        If they made games without securing funding they actually WOULD run out of money very quickly.

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        January 11, 2013 8:09 AM

        Let's put our money together and buy an IP. maybe start a kickstarter to buy an ip

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          January 11, 2013 2:37 PM

          Crowd ownership of an IP would never work as some one will have to be primary owner of the IP. The best you could do with would be to create an IP under a permissive license like Creative Commons like most opensource games currently do.

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        January 11, 2013 9:26 AM

        how about a kickstarter to buy some THQ ips?

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        January 11, 2013 2:42 PM

        They had a kickstarter to see if it was a viable way to do that sort of game, not because they were about to go out of business or something.

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          January 11, 2013 2:50 PM

          I think they said they would have had to lay a few people off if it wasn't successful because they just had a game canceled on them.

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      January 11, 2013 7:45 AM

      Saints Row + Schafer = OH SHIT DUDE.

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        January 11, 2013 7:51 AM

        Yeah, I was sorta thinking the same thing.

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        January 11, 2013 8:07 AM

        I would approve of this hilarity in its entirety.

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        January 11, 2013 8:10 AM

        now as a 15 dollar downloadable title with a fraction of the content!!

        this is what i'm most worried about

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        January 11, 2013 9:49 AM

        When has Schafer done anything remotely that crass or adult?

        His stuff is funny but is usually aimed at all ages.

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          January 11, 2013 10:34 AM

          Yep. Saints Row is the last thing I'd expect them to be interested in.

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        January 11, 2013 11:24 AM

        Chris Remo's Saints Row 4: Grenade Hill Rolling Emergenstravaganzaaaaa!

        Box art is a subcompact car double-parked in front of a Saints Flow statue.

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          January 11, 2013 8:38 PM

          Chris Remo's Red Faction Guerilla: Space Asshole!!!

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      January 11, 2013 7:53 AM

      I've read that this is because THQ owes Double Fine money and not that they're not just interested in buying back IP, specifically.

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      January 11, 2013 7:59 AM

      Come oooon 50 Cent Blood on the Sand!

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      January 11, 2013 8:03 AM

      THQ published Costume Quest, so I think it's a lot more likely that Double Fine wants to regain full rights to their own title than it is that they want Saint's Row (which seems like a really bad fit for them, in my opinion)

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        January 11, 2013 8:04 AM

        Your opinion is terrible and I am now mad at you.

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        January 11, 2013 8:05 AM

        Costume Quest and Stacking, actually.

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        January 11, 2013 8:06 AM

        I believe they own the rights to CQ and Stacking (Dracogen's investment to port them to PC probably wouldn't have happened if THQ was still the rightsholder). Given what Schafer's said about how much it means to DF to have full rights back to Psychonauts (and subsequently making more money from that game since than when it was a published title before), I think Schafer's assured his games have reasonable automony from publishers except where it makes sense (eg the Sesame Street game).

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          January 11, 2013 9:47 AM

          When they secured the rights to Psychonauts again, I bought it for the 5th or 6th time. I think I might (along with everyone else) deserve, not a wing of the DF studios, but at least a drinking fountain.

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            January 11, 2013 5:38 PM

            You aren't the only one who owns Psychonauts a few times over. It's sooo good.

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              January 11, 2013 6:10 PM

              Yep, it's why we probably paid for their snack area with those sales.

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              January 11, 2013 8:36 PM

              Hello multiple purchases of Psychonauts buddy!

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                January 11, 2013 8:37 PM

                I bought it on XBox, Gamecube, PC, then again on PC to have it on Steam...I don't know where my Gamecube copy is at the moment though...pretty much the only one I could play right this second is the one on Steam (the XBox version is somewhere around here...but I'd have to dig it out...Steam is so fucking easy).

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      January 11, 2013 9:14 AM

      Double Fine has filed trademark applications for both Stacking and Custom Quest and they are listed as both developer and publisher on GOG.com for both games so they almost certainly own those IPs. However they may well be interested in buying the publishing rights back from THQ or even just interested in what is gonna happen to it and want to make sure that everything with regards to the auction happens in accord with the contract(s) they have with THQ and to make sure that the publishing rights end up with someone they want to work with.

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      January 11, 2013 9:32 AM

      Too weird. Doesn't fit.

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      January 11, 2013 3:12 PM

      Screw THQ assets, BUY CITY OF HEROES!

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      January 11, 2013 3:35 PM

      Meh, not a fan of their games and I doubt they will be the highest bidder.

      Wouldn't mind Warner Bros TBH. At least most of their games use Steamworks. If EA win they will make the games Origin exclusive :( That's really all I care about: whether or not the publisher will release the games on Steam.

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        January 11, 2013 5:27 PM

        gamer card revocation squad activate. target acquired: scary_monster. reason: Meh, not a fan of their games in relation to Double Fine. Execute with extreme prejudice.

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          January 12, 2013 4:40 PM

          haha lol, well I did like Psychonauts . Can I plead not guilty now?

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      January 11, 2013 5:37 PM

      So who's buyin' Homeworld?

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      January 11, 2013 6:17 PM

      I'm just happy Double Fine is in a position where they can realistically acquire another studio.

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      January 11, 2013 7:35 PM

      I can't imagine many properties that would properly fit in Double Fine's MO.

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