It didn’t take long for the sharks to circle. Following defunct publisher THQ’s attempts to jettison its remaining franchises at two separate auctions earlier this April, news arrived last week that Darksiders, Red Faction, Homeworld, MX, Destroy All Humans!, Worms, Summoner, and Supreme Commander had all found new homes at the hands of competing publishers.
Today their addresses have been revealed.
THQ has announced that Nordic Software, Gearbox Software and 505 Games have paid a collective $6.55 million dollars toward acquiring the aforementioned properties. Here’s how the “lots” have been divvied up :
- $4.9 million from Nordic Games Licensing AB, a Swedish-based video games publisher, for Darksiders, Red Faction, MX vs ATV, Other Owned Software (includes Destroy all Humans!, Summoner and more), and Other Licensed Software (includes Marvel Super Hero Squad, Supreme Commander and more);
- $1.35 million from Gearbox Software, LLC, a Plano, Tex.-based developer of interactive entertainment, for Homeworld; and
- $.3 million from 505 Games Srl, an Italian video game publisher, for Drawn to Life and Drawn to Life: The Next Chapter.
With any of the particular franchises in its possession, each publisher will be given the rights to distribute and profit from any past and future title developed under its name. For Nordic Games, that means Darksiders, Darksiders 2, and what we can now only hope will bring about a Darksiders 3; for Gearbox, the company outlaid plans earlier today to refurbish Homeworld and Homeworld 2 for access on “today’s leading digital platforms,” with intent of “developing or enabling” its future going forward.
The only question now becomes: How willing and well-prepared is each publisher to further its new-found franchise? These aren’t the Saint’s Rows and South Parks and Metros and Homefronts and WWE’s that were being scarfed up this January; with the exception of Darksiders, none of the properties in the deals have seen a release in years owing to THQ’s red giant-era cutbacks.
Take Homeworld, for example — Relic Entertainment’s interstellar RTS that was praised for its grandeur and gameplay when it released in 1999, followed by Homeworld 2 in 2003. Gearbox has demonstrated an aptitude for great world building and combat through its Borderlands franchise, but their reputation is still reeling from the supernovaeic stink bomb that was Aliens: Colonial Marines (which recently decided not even to bother with a release on the Wii U). That the company is already committing to repolished, repackaged restorations of Homeworld shows promise — or at least market-research savvy — but it’s hard to gauge any long-term viability for the series given its, and its publisher’s, current state.
That said, it’s never bad to see a game franchise granted second life — let alone one like Darksiders, which was just becoming one of the industry’s most auspicious IP’s after the stellar release of Darksiders 2 last August. THQ may be sunk for good; but either by lifeboat or floating door, its passengers are still above water.
Ranters, what potential do you see in Darksiders, Homeworld, Red Faction and more in the hands of their new publishers?
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