The lights are on
[Update] Thanks to the official court filing, we now have additional information about how the bidding process was concluded. Nordic Games Publishing did not bid piecemeal on the IPs they eventually acquired. Rather, their accepted bid of $4.9 million was for "substantially all the IP." Given the interest in the two assorted lots as well as Darksiders, Red Faction, and MX vs ATV, it's conceivable that the debtors accepted a lesser amount for the more attractive franchises than ideal in order to ensure sale of less attractive assets.
The $301,000 for the two Drawn to Life titles, which was subject to separate bidding despite its inclusion in the owned software lot, seems to have been uncontested, as no backup bidder is specified. Finally, Gearbox's acquisition of Homeworld came down to a three-way telephone auction. The other participants were Aspyr Media (responsible for a number of Mac ports of PC games, including Bioshock Infinite, Call of Duty Black Ops II, and Civilization V) and Paradox Interactive. All three had submitted similar preliminary bids leading to the run off. Aspyr will serve as backup bidder at $1.3 million, just $50,000 less than Gearbox's winning offer.
Total cure costs for the licensed software (lot 6) were $96,787 payable largely by Nordic Games Publishing to anyone still contractually owed funds by THQ related to those titles.
As we mentioned on Friday, the auction for the remaining six lots of THQ intellectual properties has concluded. The franchises that were not purchased in the initial auction, including Red Faction, Darksiders, and Homeworld, are all headed to new studios.
The sales have earned THQ $6.55 million, with Darksiders, Red Faction, and MX vs ATV, and most of the the assorted owned and licensed software lots going to Nordic Games Licensing AB, a Swedish publisher. Gearbox, as we reported earlier, has won Homeworld. They have paid $1.35 million for it. 505 Games acquired the Drawn to Life games for $300,000. Sales motions are due to be finalized at May 13, 2013.
Nordic Games has published a diverse array of titles including We Sing, Painkiller: Hell and Damnation, Rochard, and The Book of Unwritten Tales. The titles they acquired in the two assorted lots are as follows:
With regard to Homeworld, Randy Pitchford tweeted today that the top three bidders settled the remainder of the auction live. Until the court documents are made available for the public, we will not have access to information, including runner-up bids and cure amounts for the licensed software lot.
Nordic Games Publishing has issued the following statement regarding its acquisitions:
“First and foremost we are very happy about this deal which also turns over a new leaf for the entire Nordic Games Group. In the long term, we either want to cooperate with the original creators or best possible developers in order to work on sequels or additional content for these titles” comments Lars Wingefors, owner and CEO of Nordic Games Group AB. “A very important point for us is not to dash into several self-financed multi-million dollar projects right away, but rather to continue our in-depth analysis of all titles and carefully selecting different financing models for developing new instalments of acquired IPs.
“In August 2013, Nordic Games Vienna will have been in business for two very exciting and successful years, and this transaction takes us to new heights and challenges for the years to come” says Klemens Kreuzer, Managing Director at Nordic Games GmbH. “We gradually geared up our company over the years in terms of our overall online and boxed business, our range of platforms, and our headcount. This substantial increase of our games portfolio is the next step to maintain and strengthen our position across a wide range of digital platforms, licencing partners in emerging markets, and in our European and North American core markets” adds Reinhard Pollice, Business and Product Development Director at Nordic Games GmbH.