THQ has taken a bow and sold off its properties to various other publishers. Jason Rubin, brought in as president when the company’s fortunes looked grim, had a front row seat and has now shared some reflections on the experience.
Rubin says he couldn’t choose a standout title from among the ones that were picked up, but he does caution not to judge them by their price. “The price that the teams and products ‘went for’ at auction seem to me to have no bearing on the underlying value,” he told Game Informer. “If someone tries to judge the quality of the products by the price paid for them they are doing themselves no favor.”
He specifically cited Vigil’s game, codenamed “Crawler,” as a title that stood out. “When the teams got together recently to show each other their titles, Crawler dropped the most jaws,” he said. “It is a fantastic idea, and truly unique. The fact that nobody bid for the team and title is a travesty. It makes no sense to me. If I weren’t barred from bidding as an insider, I would have been there with my checkbook. I’m sure that’s little consolation to the team, but that’s a fact.”
Vigil was subsequently closed down, which Rubin feels responsible for. “I am not claiming that everything I did was successful or that my time at THQ was without failings. I failed to find Vigil a home. Having just finished a product, Vigil was farthest from release of their next game, and we were not able to garner any interest from buyers, despite a herculean effort. Additionally, they were working on a new IP, which meant even more risk for a buyer.”
The studio might not have a sad ending, as Platinum Games has expressed interest in both the Darksiders franchise and hiring on Vigil staff. But it’s far from set in stone.