This week, THQ has been officially split up and sold to the highest bidders from the gaming and technology communities. While like companies like Crytek and Sega all made bids and won some pieces of the THQ pie, the biggest news is probably about Ubisoft’s purchase of THQ Montreal and the intellectual property rights to the upcoming South Park: The Stick of Truth.
Ubisoft has a small habit of buying up smaller developers, but it always does it in smart ways. THQ Montreal isn’t a tiny developer, however, working on pretty big titles like the official South Park game, first unveiled at E3 2012.
There are 170 employees who have already officially been folded into the Ubisoft family, though it doesn’t specify exactly to where those employees have moved. Based strictly on geography, we assume most of the THQ Montreal team will be folded into the Ubisoft Montreal team, though we suspect some of them will move to Ubisoft’s expanding Toronto team as well.
It seems that employee morale is high at what used to be THQ Montreal, with employees saying that they’re quite happy with the move, according to The Financial Post. Ubisoft Montreal’s Chief Executive Yannis Mallat said, “today I asked people from the HR department at Ubisoft to come over and spend some time with the guys here so they can ask any questions they may have. It’s fair to say that the people here are pretty happy and that everything went well and hands were shaken and it’s just great.”
It’s good that others recognize that while Ubisoft is a powerhouse of a developer and publisher rolled into one massive entertainment company, they have a reputation for treating their people right and handling big moves like these kinds of buyouts properly.
The other big purchase Ubisoft made was for the rights to South Park: The Stick of Truth, arguably one of the most anticipated games of this year. Ubisoft actually paid more for the game than they did the studio, with the IP running up a cool $3.3 million tab and the studio costing a mere $2.5 million.
There have been no official announcements made about the game’s fate at this time, and we’re not sure if it’s going to even make it out in 2013. Yannis Mallat has said that the game is undergoing analysis from a few internal teams at Ubisoft to see how far Obsidian’s work progressed and where they can add value. He did make sure to say that the game will be finished in 2013, though Ubisoft does have a habit of slipping.
Truthfully, we’re okay with the game taking a bit longer than what we would’ve originally thought as ideal, especially considering the turmoil at the former THQ. We only hope that the game doesn’t lose the charm that made it such a big hit last year, but with the talent of Ubisoft and the series’ creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker, we’re pretty hopeful that won’t happen.