It would never have worked out as THQ isn't interested in letting studios keep IP rights, they want total ownership. Will announce top "calibre" talent.
"I probably shouldn’t talk about that publicly, but Jason and Vince and I had a lot of very serious conversations during that time when they were 'shopping around'," Bilson spilled to in an interview.
"...the guys that we’re going to announce, are of that calibre coming our way. So as far as competing with the other guys, that’s not an issue at all, because what we have is an absolutely better place to work... because those guys, the creatives, aren’t driven by the marketers," he went on, referring to publishers snapping up big indie developers.
"The marketers are driven by the creatives in our shop. I have a feeling we’re one of the only shops in the entertainment business that’s run that way these days. And what that means to a developer is invaluable."
Is THQ worried about EA and Activision signing up all this super talent? Respawn Entertainment (Vince and Zampella) with EA, Bungie with Activision?
"I’m about to leave this meeting to go greet one of these pieces of talent I’m suggesting and over the next six months you’re going to understand exactly what I was saying, but to your question of, “can we compete for this talent with EA or Activision?” … I actually believe that, if we want to, we will have them in a deal based on certain things."
No Bilson doesn't sound scared - in fact they are confident enough to make the demand that THQ get ownership of IP the developers work on. That's something that EA and Acti have decided to be compromising over to sign more studios.
"The only thing we have to have and insist on is ownership of the intellectual property. That’s sort of the deal breaker for me. So, we have to own the IP, but I believe in the Hollywood model, which is that, the bigger the artist, the more important, the more successful they are, the bigger share they get," explained the THQ boss.
"Just like in Hollywood. But you know, most of the biggest talents in Hollywood don’t own their IPs. It doesn’t work that way. My job coming to this company was to build an IP library, which builds value in THQ."
"So that means having a developer own the IP becomes a deal-breaker," he added. This was likely the nail in the coffin for Respawn Entertainment signing with THQ as West and Zampella want to keep their IP, particularly after the 'Activision incident'.