As THQ prepares to auction off its IP today, South Park Digital Studios is attempting to block the sale of upcoming Obsidian-developed RPG South Park: The Stick of Truth, which is currently scheduled for release on March 5.
But RPG South Park: The Stick of Truth should not be included in the auction, says licensor South Park Digital Studios. According to its filing at the United States Bankruptcy Court in Delaware, debtors THQ cannot reassign the license agreement to another company without the prior consent of the license owner.
South Park Studios says it will consider offering its approval of a sale only after it has been provided with a copy of the bids, the identity of the prospective purchaser, and a proposal for curing all outstanding defaults and providing adequate assurance of future performance.
The basics of the original eight-page legal document, and THQ's seven-page rebuttal, is that South Park Digital Studios believes that THQ doesn't have the right to auction off publishing rights for The Stick of Truth, and that it should be allowed to buy back the rights to the game and shop them about for a publisher independently of THQ. Basically South Park Studios claims that, under section 365(c)(1) of the Bankruptcy Code, THQ can't sell the rights to The Stick of Truth to another publisher. However, THQ disagrees, and repeats a specific clause in its original contract that has been redacted from the public versions of the documentation.
We will keep you up to date on the whole situation as it continues.