Updated: Volition chief sees 'very positive' future

Updated 6:04 p.m. Wednesday.

CHAMPAIGN — Koch Media was the winning bidder for Volition Inc., the Champaign-based video game studio, according to court documents filed Wednesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.

The German-based company, which owns the Deep Silver video studio in Larkspur, Calif., bid $22,312,925 for the assets of Volition, best known for creating the "Saints Row" line of video games.

Koch Media easily outbid Ubisoft, which entered a $5.4 million bid for Volition.

Volition's general manager, Dan Cermak, who was in Delaware for the auction, said it appears the studio will remain in Champaign and the future looks "very positive" for Volition under Koch Media.

"I haven't had a chance to sit down with (Koch officials) except for a few moments, and they were very positive," Cermak said in an email shortly after the bid results were released.

"They love Saints Row and are very happy to own its creator," he said, adding that "Volition is not moving."

Volition employs about 200, most of them at offices in the One Main Plaza building in downtown Champaign.

Koch Media, which is headquartered near Munich, Germany, distributes software, games and films.

Founded in 1994 by Franz Koch and Klemens Kundratitz, it moved into video games in 1996. It founded its Deep Silver label in 2002 and opened a North American office for Deep Silver six years later.

Deep Silver's games include the "Dead Island," "Risen" and "Sacred" franchises.

In Wednesday's auction, Koch Media also was the winning bidder for THQ assets associated with the "Metro 2033" and "Metro: Last Light" games. Its bid of nearly $5.9 million topped a nearly $5.2 million bid from Ubisoft.

Clearlake Capital Partners had bid about $60 million for THQ's assets, including Volition, but the bankruptcy court allowed bids for parts of THQ.

If the sum of the bids for the parts exceeded the bid for the whole, THQ stood to be divided among the winning bidders, provided that Clearlake didn't boost its bid.

Other winning bidders included:

— Sega Corp., which bid $26.6 million for the Relic Entertainment studio, maker of the "Company of Heroes" line of games. Sega narrowly outbid Zenimax Media, which bid $26.3 million.

— Take-Two Interactive Software, which bid about $10.9 million for the assets associated with development of "Metamorphosis," also known as "Evolve." The back-up bid was $250,000 from Turtle Rock Studios.

— Ubisoft, which bid nearly $3.3 million for assets associated with the "South Park: The Stick of Truth" game. There was no backup bidder for that game.

— Ubisoft, which bid $2.5 million for the Montreal studio assets associated with the "1666" and "Underdog" game lines. There was no backup bid for Montreal.

— Crytek, which bid $544,218 for the assets associated with the "Homefront" and "Homefront 2" games.

The total of the winning bids was almost $72 million. However, no bids were made for THQ's Vigil Games studio, known for its "Darksiders" game.

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