Earlier this week, we found out that THQ had filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy after its incredibly successful Humble Bundle. Clearlake Capital Group put in a stalking horse bid for the company's assets, which effectively wipes out THQ's debt so the company can keep day-to-day operations and development on upcoming games going while a buyer is tracked down. According to MCV, that buyer might just be massive French publisher Ubisoft, which is responsible for the very popular Assassin's Creed series, among other big franchises.
It seems like Ubisoft isn't all that interested in buying THQ as a whole, but rather some of the company's key properties. An anonymous source tells MCV that Ubisoft has entered into "lengthy discussions" to try to hammer out a deal, but an Ubisoft offer may not come until THQ is forced to begin selling off individual properties. In other words, Ubisoft wants to make some of THQ's big franchises - Saints Row, Company of Heroes, Darksiders, so forth - its own, but it doesn't want to pay a premium price for them.
Little surprise there, as Ubisoft has expressed interest in buying up THQ's properties in the past, so now is definitely the time to strike if Ubisoft wants to act on those desires. It may have some stiff competition from other publishers though, as a number of THQ's franchises are very much loved among the gaming community. We imagine that more potential buyers will come out of the woodwork before long, so Ubisoft may have quite the wait ahead of it if it wants to hold out until THQ starts selling off properties on the cheap.
THQ has been heading toward bankruptcy for quite some time now, but throughout the whole decline, it never really seemed like any of its franchises were at risk. It was always assumed that some other publisher would swoop in and buy up the company's properties when the time was right, if not the entire company itself, and it looks like we're starting down that road now. Stay tuned, because this is only beginning to get interesting.