The big winner of the THQ auction is Nordic Games, but don’t count Crytek out yet

Darksiders 2

On Tuesday, we reported that the last of THQ’s video game series and licenses had been sold at auction across the first two weeks of April, raising somewhere between $6 and $7 million in the process. Turns out that the bulk of that sum was spent by just a single company that was anxious to bolster its library of gaming properties. Nordic Games, a young game publisher based in Vienna, bought almost all of the THQ properties for sale – from recent games like the Darksiders and Red Faction series, to long-quiet franchises like Full Spectrum Warrior – for a grand total of $4.9 million.

Of the six lots of properties up for auction, Nordic seemingly bought four. These included the three lots for the Darksiders series, the Red Faction series, and the MX Vs. ATV racing game series, as well as the fourth lot which was a grab bag of original properties developed by THQ over the past fifteen years. It was in that lot that Nordic took hold of properties like Destroy All Humans!, Full Spectrum Warrior, Stuntman, Juiced, and (while not listed in Nordic’s official release on the auction) de Blob.

“First and foremost we are very happy about this deal which also turns over a new leaf for the entire Nordic Games Group,” said CEO Lars Wingefors, “In the long term, we either want to cooperate with the original creators or best possible developers in order to work on sequels or additional content for these titles.” 

In some cases, that will be impossible. Blue Tongue Entertainment, the studio behind de Blob on Nintendo Wii and its cross-platform sequel, was one of the early casualties of THQ’s financial collapse, closing in 2011.

Other studios, however, could certainly take up the call. Crytek USA, the new home for some members of defunct THQ studio Vigil Games, said earlier this month that it planned to bid on the rights to its Darksiders series. While it didn’t directly gain control of the property, Nordic did confirm on Tuesday that it’s speaking with Crytek about continuing the series.

“Without saying we have been in contact with Crytek USA,” Wingefors told Eurogamer’s Wesley Yin-Poole, “I’d love to do something with them if we can find the right set-up. If they can prove they can make a worthwhile sequel, why shouldn’t we talk?”

That’s hardly a guarantee that Crytek USA will make Darksiders 3, though. “They are the best-suited people in the world to make a sequel, that I’m aware of. But if someone else has a better set-up, they should step forward.”

Nordic Games is still establishing itself in the world of game publishing. It’s put out small projects like the physical PC edition of Alan Wake and games like Sam & Max Season One under the label The Adventure Company. Now it’s the owner of a full library of recognizable – if not wholly successful – properties. Time will tell if they can thrive where THQ did not.


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