Midway Sells San Diego Studio To THQ, Sells German/French Divisions
According to SEC filings, bankrupt publisher Midway, which is in the process of closing
after selling most of its assets to Warner Bros for $49 million, has sold its San Diego studio to THQ, and its French and German divisions to smaller entities.
The Friday filing
reveals that THQ purchased the development studio, formerly developers of the TNA Wrestling
franchise, for $200,000 plus liabilities and paid time off for retained staff.
The purchase agreement indicates that THQ will be making employment offers to "not less than forty (40) employees of the Studio". According to a Chicago Tribune report
, 100 employees in total work at the studio.
Specifically excluded from the bankruptcy purchase by THQ is the contract with the TNA iMPACT!
video game in development at the studio, as well as the third-party tools such as Unreal Engine being licensed for that particular game's creation.
However, part of the deal also seems to be predicated on a licensing deal between THQ and Warner Bros "in connection with a shared [game] engine developed by or on behalf of [Midway] and their affiliates prior to July 10, 2009" -- which might allow Midway San Diego's developers to use their existing engine in some way.
Since THQ currently holds licenses for both WWE
wrestling and fighting games, it seems conceivable that the studio might be used to extend those franchises, even though the current TNA
title is not coming across with the acquisition. In a recent post-earnings conference call, THQ executives mentioned intentions to extend UFC
to new game platforms.
In addition, Midway's German and French publishing divisions have been sold to holding companies formed by their heads -- in what is effectively a management buyout for each regional distribution area.