THQ Nordic has made a deal to acquire Koch Media. THQ Nordic was known as Nordic Games up until 2011, at which point they took on the moniker of the former middle-tier publisher. THQ Nordic is best known for such titles as the Darksiders Series and MX vs ATV Series, as well as the PC-centric series Spellforce and AquaNox.
Koch Media is headquartered in Bavaria, but has subsidiaries in several European countries and the United States. Koch Media is best known for Deep Silver Games, featuring titles such as the Saints Row Series, Dead Island Series, and Metro Series. Deep Silver has released over 200 games since 2002, and other Deep Silver series include Risen Series, Homefront Series, and Agents of Mayhem.
In addition to the prominent games under the Koch umbrella, word of two unannounced AAA releases also came with the buyout. With the acquisition will come several tough decisions, including how to deal with and combine stocks, what to do with redundant positions in both companies, and how to rectify product overlap. Because of intellectual and exclusive rights to game titles, this doesn’t happen as much in the game industry, but there could potentially be a decision to cancel a title release based on close similarity. Sometimes employees are laid off, sometimes they are let go, sometimes they are retained. One of the two original creators of Koch Media, Dr. Klemens Kundratitz, will be retained by THQ Nordic and will remain CEO.
By having a larger development capacity and pipeline, more IPs, a larger publishing capacity through THQ Nordic and Deep Silver, the combined group has a greater capacity and more viable flexibility, thus creating a more stable operation.As of right now, we don’t know how this decision will affect their release schedule. Arguably, AAA titles that generate considerable sales will not be affected, but we don’t know anything about other titles yet. What we do know is this acquisition was significant in terms of stocks, and, especially, in the acquisition amount, namely a total of €121 million, 82 million of which will be paid in cash.
THQ Nordic will closely monitor and delegate resources to support Koch Media’s Games business in order to ensure quality and a healthy return on investment on its large in-house development projects. Following less successful launches in recent years with substantial write-offs in the business area (primarily Agents of Mayhem and Homefront), Koch Media has made significant organizational changes in its management, internal steering, and control, technology, as well as its selection process for development of IPs. With the competence THQ Nordic possesses on management level, Koch Media will be better positioned to deliver the full potential of its development projects in the future.