Capcom drops software distributor Red Ant for THQ

Distributor now Capcom's sole representative in Australia

Games publisher, Capcom, has signed on with a new distributor, THQ, following the collapse of Red Ant.

THQ will be Capcom's sole representative in Australia with the partnership effective immediately.

THQ Australia general manager, Rodney Block, said the partnership was a significant deal for the distribution arm of the vendor, called Icestorm Entertainment.

“We have distributed Capcom in the past, from around 2002-2007, before we lost that business to Activision and then Red Ant,” Block said.

“Icestorm also distributes a few smaller vendors, such as Koei, and the occasional title on a case-by-case basis, but nothing with the kind of brand power that Capcom has.”

With the departure of Capcom, Midway and Bethesda remain Red Ant’s most significant vendors.

“I don’t know what the plans are for those other vendors,” Block said. “But they will have a product line up that will include releases due soon, so they’ll either be hoping for Red Ant to be purchased soon, or looking at contingencies.”

Red Ant went into receivership earlier this year after the weakening Australian dollar left it in a dire position. It appointed Deloitte Touche as the receiver on January 16.

Co-receiver, David Lombe, said submissions of interest for the business had now closed.

Lombe said there had been a great deal of interest and Deloitte was currently reviewing the submissions, but could not reveal further information.

Managing director of Manaccom, Ian Mackay, said the rival software distributor was not one of the companies that had expressed interest in the Red Ant business.

“We have spoken to a couple of gaming vendors, however, and we’d like to talk to more,” he said.

THQ has 35 people located in Melbourne, of which six are dedicated to the Icestorm part of the business. The publisher also features two development studios, in Melbourne and Brisbane, which have 80-100 staff a piece.

“Now that a game can cost up to $100 million to develop, there’s challenges for publishers to get things right,” Block said. “There’s some restructuring in the industry, but we’ve got proven franchises on the table, as well as our own IPs, so we’re well set globally this year.”

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