Prior to THQ’s initial bankruptcy auction last month Double Fine Productions was confirmed as one of the bidders interested in the failed publisher’s assets. While never publicly stated, Double Fine’s goal in the process was relatively obvious: secure all of THQ’s remaining rights to the Costume Quest and Stacking intellectual properties. The studio has since acknowledged that was their intention, and has revealed that they are hopeful they can complete the process during the upcoming final auction.
Double Fine does own both the Costume Quest and Stacking IP rights, and has self-published the wonderful games on the PC. However, THQ retained the rights to publish the titles on the PS3 and Xbox 360, and that is what Double Fine is after. The only obstacle is that those games are currently being auctioned inside a lot that contains over thirty other titles.
Speaking to Polygon, Double Fine business development vice president Justin Bailey commented on the situation, stating he is “optimistic” they can regain the distribution rights.
“Double Fine owns the IP rights to Costume Quest and Stacking. THQ retained limited distribution rights that we bid on during the previous process to reclaim them prior to their expiration. We are optimistic about regaining these distribution rights, as this process has already demonstrated that when there are parties interested in specific assets, those assets are worth more when sold separately… We continue to participate in the process, but we have not heard from them [THQ] directly.”
THQ’s second auction wraps up on April 15th, and the sales are expected to be finalized sometime in May. The auction lots are currently still intact, so Double Fine’s first step will likely be to ask the courts to break up the lots for individual bidding.
Here’s hoping that Double Fine is successful in reclaiming both Costume Quest and Stacking. Both are fantastic games that deserve to be fully owned by the studio that created them.