Want to hear something reassuring? No major games publisher can ever truly die - just be gutted, sold off, and puppeteered by a new owner. Hrrm, that doesn’t sound so good now I’ve written it down.
Expect to see the THQ splash screen pop up in a near-future videogame or three. Nordic Games picked up the lion’s share of THQ’s back catalogue rights - and now the small Austrian outfit plans to tackle its awareness problem using the old publisher’s name.
When THQ went bankrupt and sold Relic to SEGA it was in a state of turmoil. The developer was deep into making Company of Heroes 2 and they had to ship this game in a matter of months. They were lacking a general manager to oversee the studio and this was causing problems across the studio.
SEGA asked one of their other studios, Creative Assembly, to help. Tim Heaton stepped up and began running both Creative Assembly in the UK and Relic over in Canada.
Copyright law is guided by precedent, and recent signs point to future trouble for publishers with real-world tattoos in their games. Legal tongues were sent wagging after the body artist behind Mike Tyson’s face thing settled a Hangover lawsuit with Warner Bros. two years ago. And now the scribbler of professional mixed martial artist Carlos Condit’s ribcage lion tattoo, seen in UFC Undisputed, has approached a US bankruptcy judge to value the worth of an infringement claim against THQ.
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If you recall, Enter the Dominatrix was an announced Saints Row 3 expansion pack that never came out. It never came out, because THQ dictated it become a full sequel shortly before the publisher burst into flame.
But if there’s one thing series creators Volition know, it’s that you never let go of a rude name. The recommissioned Enter the Dominatrix will be a mockumentary featuring the Saints Row cast, due 45 days after Saints Row 4’s August release.
While flogging dead horses is a uniformly frowned-upon pastime, the rules are less clear when it comes to suing dead publishers. Sega have taken advantage of this peculiar social loophole to slap the bankrupt THQ with a £630,000 lawsuit over the money earned during Company of Heroes 2’s Steam pre-order campaign.
Saints Row 4 is a funny game. There’s a bit, right near the start, where you’re playing as the president of the United States of America. Walking towards the press room, you’re told you’ve got just enough political clout to either cure cancer or end world hunger. It’s a send up of moral choices in games! “Cancer’s had a good run," my character announced after I opted to eradicate the disease forever, “it’s time we put it to bed".
That’s a funny joke! Good job, game. Not even being sarcastic. Thumbs up.
During THQ’s final hours, a little-known company called Nordic Games snapped up the rights to Darksiders, along with Red Faction and MX vs ATV, for $4.9million. Recently the company spoke to Joystiq about the situation, and how they really want to create a fantastic third Darksiders game, ideally with the original team.
Publisher Interplay have activated their tractor beams and pulled in the abandoned space vessel once known as Freespace for a mere $7,500. The classic PC series is known to be the last of the ‘Space Combat Game’ design, before almost all traces of the model were wiped out during the invasion of the World War II Shooters.
Metro: Last Light’s Ranger mode is designed for desktop survivalists. It limits the amount of ammo you find, how long air filters and battery power last, the rate of mask fogging, and how many weapons you can carry. In short, it’ll make the most claustrophobic shooter in the bunker just that tug-on-the-gas-mask-strap more nauseous. The game’s publisher, Deep Silver, want it to be in every copy of the game. So why isn’t it?
It’s Nordic Games. I was planning to build suspense, blurt the name, and hop into a waiting car to a chorus of “EH?"s. Sadly, it’s not yet lunchtime and I’d have to return to reporting the news after a couple of limp laps around the block. So then: Nordic Games are the new custodians of Darksiders, Red Faction, Titan Quest and Supreme Commander. I suppose you’d like to know who this lot are, and why they’ve bought up a sizeable portion of THQ’s back catalogue?
Gearbox have revealed themselves to be the new owner of the Homeworld IP, having successfully bought it in the recent THQ auction.
Initial plans for the IP are to re-release the two original games in an updated form. They don’t expand on this other than to say that these new versions will make “them accessible on today's leading digital platforms."
Following the recent announcement that teamPixel lost their bid to acquire the Homeworld IP from static limbo, both Paradox and Stardock have also revealed they were outbid as well. The mysterious winning bid won’t be revealed for a few weeks, hopefully going to someone who has great plans for the series.
While the lion's share of THQ was sold back in January, with most of its major studios being picked up by other publishers, there were some properties that were left on the auction house floor. Chief among the game licenses that weren't bought, at least in our eyes, was Relic's fantabulous space-based RTS Homeworld. While Relic itself was bought by Sega the license to the game was not bundled with the company.
Well, all those leftover licenses are going up for auction to be picked over by those with the money to back up their bids. Check out the full list of properties below.
After a long day of publisher money crossing sweaty palms - and a glimpse of the sorry end that could have been in the disassembly of Darksiders devs Vigil - we were relieved to hear that lovely, talented Relic would be frozen in carbonite and shipped off whole to new hutt masters Sega. Now Company of Heroes 2 director Quinn Duffy has been thawed out and, while he’s suffering from a hibernation sickness-induced temporary blindness, he can begin to tell us at least some of what the hell is going on.
The best line in Homeworld is the last line in Homeworld. At the end of the Mothership’s great odyssey, from the dusty desert world of Kharack to their homeworld, Hiigara. Through near genocide, the ship’s brain, a women implanted into the computer core named Karen S’Jet, is finally extracted.
THQ was torn apart like Osiris yesterday, its studios and best-known games scattered all over the world in the hands of new owners. Koch Media got Volition, Crytek got Homefront, Ubisoft got South Park and, as predicted, Sega got Relic. But as far as we can work out, Relic left perhaps their most venerable series behind.
That’s why a small interactive media company are setting out to buy the rights to Homeworld themselves.