Judge denies THQ's plan for a quick sale as Warner Bros., others show interest

Earlier this week, the various organizations to which THQ owes giant piles of money filed an objection, claiming that the developer/publisher's bankruptcy plan for a quick sale to Clearlake Capital Group was designed to minimize harm to its staff and leadership, rather than maximize its ability to pay back its debt obligations.

As is the way with these sorts of things, a hearing was held yesterday to get the situation sorted, during which U.S. bankruptcy judge Mary F. Walrath concluded that THQ's plan does not allow enough time for interested parties other than Clearlake Capital Group to get properly involved in the process. Therefore, the plan is rejected.

"I am not convinced that we are under the gun to have a sale process by the 15th," Walrath said during the hearing, according to Business Week. Another hearing has been scheduled for Monday, January 7. "In the meantime I think the parties need to talk."

Meanwhile, five companies are in the process of due diligence, Centerview Partners banker Sam Greene testified during the hearing. Warner Bros. lawyer Howard J. Weg was also in attendance, saying that WB would be interested in further exploring THQ's available assets, should the sales period be extended.

Buying up franchises from bankrupt developers is nothing new for Warner Bros., and considering how well Mortal Kombat turned out, it may not be a terrible development, should it come to pass. Imagine, for instance, a Saints Row game developed by RockSteady, or a Darksiders fighting game developed by NetherRealm Studios. Worse things have happened.