When THQ filed for bankruptcy in December 2012, the gaming world faced the possibility of losing one of the most well-known — but troubled — publishers in the industry. THQ was responsible for the release of such well-loved titles as the Saints Row series, Metro 2033, Darksiders and many WWE titles, and when the publisher’s studios and intellectual properties were sold off in auction in 2013, it looked as though THQ was gone for good.
However, THQ may well have another lease of life thanks to Nordic Games. The Austria-based publisher has made a habit of picking up stray IPs, such as Arcania and Painkiller. Nordic also bought a huge number of franchises in the THQ fire-sale of 2013, including the likes of Darksiders, Red Faction and Destroy All Humans!. It turns out that Nordic Games has also acquired the trademark for THQ itself.
Speaking with Polygon, the General Manager of Nordic Games, Klemens Kruezer, revealed that the company had bought the THQ trademark in a separate agreement to the ones made for the IPs. The agreement allows Nordic Games to publish titles under the THQ mantle, and Nordic Games intend to do this with future releases.
So what does Nordic Games have to gain from the use of the THQ trademark? Well, the name is certainly more recognizable than Nordic, and that kind of brand recognition could work in their favor for future releases. The publisher could also have half an eye on the nostalgia factor of THQ’s mantle. With Nordic Games still a young company, the boost of a larger trademark could open some doors for the small publisher.
This certainly seems to be what Kruezer has in mind. “The challenging fact is nobody has ever heard about Nordic Games before,” said Kruezer, speaking about the surprise in the industry and press when Nordic Games picked up ownership of the likes of Darksiders and Red Faction. Since the buyouts, Kruezer has “seen an uplift in the name of Nordic Games.” By acquiring the THQ trademark, this could be Nordic’s attempt to cement this uplift.
Nordic Games aren’t planning to overstep exactly what they can achieve, however. Speaking candidly, Kruezer discussed another Darksiders title. “We are a small team. The expectations from outside regarding the IPs of THQ are really high,” said Kruezer. “This is where we need some more patience from the fans, because we want to do it right.” Although Nordic is in no rush to give news on a future Darksiders sequel, the publisher is planning to make announcements at the Gamescom convention in August.
What do you make of the trademark purchase? Would you be more likely to buy a game with the THQ logo on it over Nordic Games? Or, given THQ’s patchy history, would it not make much of a difference? Let us know in the comments.