The THQ fallout is over: everything that could be auctioned off was, and everything else has either been downsized or left to mire in bankruptcy proceedings. Former president Jason Rubin told MCV that THQ was largely responsible for its own undoing.
“I think it is incorrect to attribute THQ’s predicament with overall changes in the industry,” Rubin said. “To be sure, all triple-A publishers have been under pressure, but THQ had every chance to survive had it not made massive mistakes.
“Unfortunately, the mistakes that were made long before I joined, like the incredible losses attached to uDraw, massive wasted capital in the unpublished MMO [likely Warhammer 40,000: Dark Millenium Online] that was cancelled, sticking with children’s and casual titles far after mobile and tablets had killed the business, bad, late, or otherwise inferior titles like Homefront, and a generally haphazard and inefficient approach to deal making, left the company with too much negative hanging on its books.”
Rubin said he had hoped to preserve THQ with a planned bankruptcy leading to a sale to Clearlake Capital Group. This would have wiped away the company’s debts and left it largely in one piece. However, the publisher’s debtholders objected that the deal would not produce nearly as much cash as a piecemeal sale of its assets, and they were right.
Many of THQ’s franchises and studios went to eager new homes, but Rubin considers it a “failure on his part” that he was not able to save the whole Vigil team. He is pleased, however, that Crytek scooped up Vigil’s core developers to form its new Austin studio.
“I made many calls to potential buyers, effectively begging them to take a look at Vigil during the process, but there were no takers. As I have also said before, I think that is a result of timing, and confusion over Darksiders’ quality and sales rather than an indication of the value of the team. When Crytek asked casually about Vigil after the auction I was incredibly happy to be able to put them in contact with Vigil. I am very happy for [studio boss] Dave Adams and the team and wish them the best.”