When THQ filed for bankruptcy late last year, the United States Bankruptcy Court of Delaware ordered the company to place their assets up for auction. The first auction resulted in new homes for the Saint's Row and Metro franchises (now with Koch Media), the Homefront games (now with CryTek), strategy game developer Relic (now part of SEGA) and South Park: The Stick of Truth (now under the guidance of Ubisoft). Almost everyone in the community saw that list of items and immediately wondered, "Where's Poochie? "Where's Darksiders?"
Despite rumors that the new Crytek studio comprised of former Vigil staff, Crytek USA, would secure the Darksiders IP (in fact, we even had suggested news articles with the headline "Crytek buys Darksiders franchise"), that turned out to not be the case. PC publisher Nordic Games made the surprise move of acquiring not just Darksiders and Red Faction, but also the following, with a total bid of $4.9 million:
(Please note that unless otherwise noted, this list includes the entire franchise)
All Star Cheer Squad
Baja: Edge of Control
Battle of the Bands
Big Beach Sports 2
Big Family Games
Destroy All Humans!
Dood's Big Adventure
Elements of Destruction
Frontlines: Fuel of War
Full Spectrum Warrior
Lock's Quest: Construction Combat
MX vs. ATV
World of Zoo
In addition to the above IPs, Nordic Games also acquired the following list of licensed titles:
Deepak Chopra's Leela
Fancy Nancy: Tea Party Time!
Journey to the Center of the Earth
Let's Ride Best of Breed
Marvel Super Hero Squad: Comic Combat
Marvel Super Hero Squad: The Infinity Gauntlet
Marvel Super Hero Squad: The Infinity Gauntlet 2
Nancy Drew: The Hidden Staircase
Paws & Claws Marine Rescue
Paws & Claws Pampered Pets Resort 3D
Scripps Spelling Bee
Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of Osborne House
Supreme Commander Forged Alliance
The Biggest Loser
Truth or Lies
Vampire Legends: Power of Three
Wheel of Fortune
Wheel of Fortune 2
Worms Battle Islands
Worms Open Warfare
Worms: A Space Oddity
Worms: Open Warfare 2
You Don't Know Jack
Homeworld was acquired by Gearbox for $1.35 million, which they had announced previously prior to the closing of the auction along with their intentions of re-releasing every game in the franchise through digitial platforms.
505 Games sneaked in and claimed the Drawn to Life franchise, which was originally part of the lot won by Nordic Games, through a bid of $300,000.
With that, the sad saga of THQ comes to a close. Every franchise is now accounted for and perhaps the two biggest winners are Koch Media and Nordic Games, two companies that no analyst expected to make big moves during the auctions. Now that the gory details of the second auction are over with, how about we have a brief discussion regarding Nordic Games? Chances are, you have never heard of them until today.
Nordic Games is the publishing division of Nordic Games Group and, until yesterday, they were exclusively involved in the publishing of PC titles. In 2011, Nordic Games was founded after the Nordic Games Group acquired the Dreamcatcher IPs, which made Nordic Games the publisher behind Painkiller Hell & Damnation. In acquiring Dreamcatcher, Nordic Games became the owner of the PC franchises Stronghold, Arcania, The Guild, Spellforce and Gothic. It sounds odd, but the new stewards of Darksiders have a strong background in old-school PC strategy titles. Nordic Games currently do not have a team set up to develop a new Darksiders, but Reinhard Pollice, the Business and Product Development Director for Nordic Games, had the following to say on the company's forum:
The tale of the four horsemen has not been told to an end. So far we only know the story of War and Death but what about the other two? How will it go on?A response came, from Ryan Stenfalli, one of the co-founders of Vigil:
What did you enjoy most about Darksiders and Darksiders II? What did you absolutely dislike? What kind of Darksiders game do you wish should be created next?
Please let us know!
As one of the co-founders of Vigil and the lead level designer/principal designer on both games, all I can say is... make it adventurous. Good luck, Nordic Games.
And do what we would've done: let people know what happens when those other three comets land on Earth! Four player co-op or bust!
Good luck to you guys. You've adopted our baby.
Ryan Stefanelli (now @Crytek)
The auctions will officially be approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court on May 17th and, while it is very unlikely, results can change up to that date.
Thanks to the members of the community that sent this story in!