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THQ Auction Results Are In: Nordic Games Acquire Loads Of New IPs, Including Darksiders And Red Faction. Gearbox Pick Up Homeworld.

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The results for the auctioning of THQ’s remaining assets are finally in, allowing us to see exactly who bought what, and in something of a surprise is seems that Nordic Games, assuming the court approves all sales, will be riding off into the sunset with the vast majority of THQ’s assets.

According the press release from Nordic they’ll be walking away with a 150 new SKUs for the price of $4.9-million. Included among the assets they purchased is Darksiders, Red Faction, Supreme Commander, MX vs ATV, Full Spectrum Warrior, Destroy All Humans, Frontlines and more.

So just who are Nordic Games, then? Publishers, most importantly, not developers.  Most notably of recent times they published Farm 51’s remake of Painkiller: Hell and Damnation, although that’s hardly likely to instill confidence. They do also publish games under the Dreamcatcher and The Adventure Company labels. Other works they’re linked with that you might know are the retail version of Alan Wake on PC and SpellForce 2. Recently they also announced plans to release Deadfall: Adventures later this year, a first-person Indiana Jones affair that doesn’t look too promising at the moment. They’re first release  was ArcaniA: Fall of Setarrif, a stand-alone expansion pack.

You can find a list of Nordic Games products on their page:
http://www.nordicgames.at/index.php/product
It’s not very impressive browsing, to be honest.

Still, this massive acquisition is the biggest in the company’s history and gives them access to some beloved licenses, including my own much-loved Darksiders. This could easily be either the turning point for the company, or it could spell disaster for both them and the various IPs they’ve acquired. It’s worth noting that since Nordic are publishers they can out-source developement to other companies, allowing them to use the license. At this point  the most sensible course of action, it would seem, when it comes to franchises like Darksiders, Red Faction and even Supreme Commander would be seeing if some of the larger developers out there would like to take a shot at them. For example, could Crytek, whose ex-Vigil employees said would be bidding on Darksiders, be interested in licensing the Darksiders name and giving the third game a shot? Probably not, but you never know.

“First and foremost we are very happy about this deal which also turns over a new leaf for the entire Nordic Games Group. 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” comments Lars Wingefors, owner and CEO of Nordic Games Group AB in their official press release. “A very important point for us is not to dash into several self-financed multi-million dollar projects right away, but rather to continue our in-depth analysis of all titles and carefully selecting different financing models for developing new instalments of acquired IPs.”

At the moment the exact list of everything Nordic acquired is being kept under wraps. “As we still have some open points with regards to a couple of titles we will not publish a comprehensive list at this stage,”  Nordic Games  told Joystiq. “However, once everything is fixed and the ink is dry – around mid-May – we will go out with a comprehensive list of titles which we have acquired in the process.”

Aside from Nordic Games perhaps the biggest surprise is that Gearbox Software, most loved for their Borderlands franchise and most despised for the awful Aliens: Colonial Marines, have picked up the rights to the Homeworld franchise, expanding the company in a genre they’ve never explored before, unless they plan on turning it into a shooter, of course. Gearbox could license it out, but it’s far more likely they’ll develop it themselves.

The final bit of news is that 505 Games acquired the rights to Drawn to Life and Drawn to Life: The Next Chapter for $300k.

 

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