"There was a shimmer on a slither of hope, that at one point, there'd be a Darksiders III," tweeted series lead designer Haydn Dalton last night. "Four-player co-op: it rode off into the sunset today."
Darksiders 3, as Vigil Games would have made it, has melted away with its parent studio. But its IP will be auctioned off alongside many others from THQ’s catalogue (likely including Homeworld) in the coming weeks. And it may already have found the perfect buyer.
JP Kellams, writer/planner/localiser at Platinum Games - they of hair-clad slice 'em up Bayonetta - promptly replied to Dalton’s tweet to ask whether any of Vigil’s staff would be interested in joining his studio. And no more than half an hour earlier, Platinum head Atsushi Inaba had tweeted his own interest, translated by Kotaku:
"In THQ studio and IP selling off auction, Darksiders is unsold? [We] wanna buy it...on the cheap..."
On the cheap! Extra points for frankness.
On the other side of the world, meanwhile, Vigil lead combat designer Ben Cureton sat in a conspicuously empty office and typed out a NeoGAF post on the company’s last days:
“We've all been on edge for the past couple months... and more so, the last couple weeks,” he said. “I mean, I'm sure you can imagine what it's like to wonder if you will have a job tomorrow. Most of us here joked about it just to keep the mood light, but we all knew what could happen. Now I look around and I realize... it did happen.”
While THQ’s other big names - namely Relic and Volition - went to good homes, Vigil was left untouched. Much to the chagrin of its staff.
“Maybe you can imagine what it feels like when you read the list of who bought what only to discover your name is not on the list,” said Cureton. “Why? Did we do something wrong? Were we not good enough? Were we not worth 'anything?' Imagine that.”
Vigil were working a project codenamed Crawler, which Cureton believed was going to “blow people away.”
“In fact, it DID blow people away. We did, in TWO months, what many companies haven't done in a year. The pride of knowing that no one was doing anything like us was so satisfying, it kept us coming to work and giving 100% every single day, even through the dark times,” he wrote.
“I have no Horror stories from working here... only Honor stories. Through both praise and critiques alike, our goal was always to make a product as if we, ourselves, were the end-user. We may have gotten pushed and pulled in certain directions by forces out of our control, we were always in it to make games for game players. And that's what we did.
“I can only hope that those spared from the other companies remain employed long into the future. There is not much worse than false hope, and these people deserve to continue making great games. You may not know their names, but they exist, and they bleed, sweat, and cry for your entertainment. I mean that honestly, with no negativity. They do it... no, WE do it... because we want you to have a good time.”
Darksiders 3: a Platinum Games title. Can you picture it?