THQ’s assets are to be formally sold off as part of an IP auction which took place earlier today. South Park Digital Studios (SPDS), however, has protested the inclusion of the upcoming Obisidian-developed RPG South Park: The Stick of Truth in the auction-able assets. The studio has filed a preliminary objection to the sale, a filing which alleges that the licensed title cannot be assigned to another publisher without their prior consent as the license owner.
SPDS has stated that they will only give their blessing for a sale after they have “been provided with a copy of the bids, the identity of the prospective purchaser, and a proposal for curing all outstanding defaults and providing adequate assurance of future performance”. These “outstanding defaults”, according to the filing, are currently valued at – at least – $2,275,000.
THQ has contested the objection, arguing that because the “South Park” license was exclusive to the company, it is included within the definition of a “Transfer of Copyright Ownership”. Which means the property rights are in the hands of the license holder (THQ), and thus “may be assigned without the licensor’s consent”.
It was in December of last year that THQ filed for bankruptcy and proposed their assets would be sold to the investment firm Clearlake Capital. Following complaints from THQ creditors, however, bankruptcy judge Mary Walrath ruled against the direct sale, which resulted in the preferable auction format. Formal announcements from the THQ auction are expected tomorrow, but companies that have shown interest in the assets – possibly including The Stick of Truth – are reported to include EA, Warner Bros, and Ubisoft.
Report filed by Thomas Coutts