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THQ auction rumours: Relic to Sega, Volition/Saints Row to Koch, South Park to Ubisoft

Update: sale hearing pushed to 8pm UK time.

Update: It sounds like proceedings may be delayed. The auction is still going and the hearing could start this evening at 8pm UK time rather than at 5pm. That information comes from an investor (@DDInvesting) who seems reliable.

Rumours are swirling that EA may have picked up the WWE licence last week. It's also unclear what will happen to new and relatively secret THQ projects 1666 (Patrice Desilets, THQ Montreal), Atlas (Relic), Evolve (Turtle Rock) and Crawler (Vigil).

Original story: Sega is apparently the high bidder for developer Relic Entertainment and its games in the THQ asset auction.

The high bidder for Saints Row developer Volition is apparently Koch Media, parent company of Deep Silver (Dead Island). And the high bidder for Obsidian's South Park RPG is said to be David Dickinson, er, I mean Ubisoft.

This is not official yet. The auction is off-limits to most people. The scraps of evidence come from those apparently close enough to know what's going on.

There will be a sales hearing today at 5pm UK time where, presumably, the results of the auction will be announced.

David Dickinson was born at auction.

Relic Entertainment is known for its superb RTS series Company of Heroes and Dawn of War. Dawn of War is based on the Warhammer 40K licence. Sega's superb RTS studio Creative Assembly announced a multi-year Warhammer (fantasy) deal in December.

Were Sega to emerge as Relic's new owner, the Sonic maker would become the home of Warhammer.

News of Sega's bid comes from the hive mind of NeoGAF. I see no reason the information should be made up, but there is no conclusive proof either.

One scrap of supporting evidence was a Relic employee naming Sega among the publishers in the running. The others were EA, Ubisoft and Warner Bros..

Another is a man called Tim Lewinson, a senior producer at mobile outfit Finger Food Studios, based in Canada, tweeting: "Hearing that the high bid for @Relicgames at the @THQ IP auction is *drumroll* @Sega."

Contrary to popular belief, Sega has quite a lot of cash to splash: just over $2 billion if Yahoo! Finance is correct.

Meanwhile, Relic boss Alex Peters was spotted packing his bags for Activision.

The evidence for Koch as high bidder for Volition again comes from someone on NeoGAF who is apparently close to the matter. Tim Lewinson also seemed to know something, and tweeted: "Also hearing that the high bid for @VolitionInc (and Saint's Row, assuming) is *drumroll* @KochMediaUK."

The rumour that Ubisoft had emerged as high bidder for Obsidian's South Park RPG came from a couple of places. First was an investor close to the auction who tweeted: "THQ: Sources indicate Ubisoft has emerged as a contending bidder for certain THQ assets."

Wired's GameLife editor Chris Kohler later tweeted: "Rumor [sic]: South Park goes to Ubisoft."

No word of Metro: Last Light, no word of Darksiders or studio Vigil, no word of WWE.

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