Update: Confirmation/statement from Nordic Games below. The short version? “We can and will not settle for second-best solutions in the case of Darksiders.”
Original: Things were not looking so great for, er, Death for a little bit there. THQ had a run-in with its own sort of reaper, and the Darksiders license sat in limbo seemingly unwanted for ages. That is, until Nordic Games scooped it up along with roughly one trillion other pieces of THQ’s flaming wreckage. But it’s not like the Painkiller: Hell & Damnation publisher can just churn out sequels to everything from Red Faction to Supreme Commander. You’d figure, then, that Darksiders is probably stuck on the sidelines – not pushing up daisies, but not pushing blocks or scything occult beasties either. Former series creative director Joe Madureira, however, claims we might not have to wait long to see something new after all.
He gave a quick update in a post on Facebook:
“Darksiders is not dead! The new owner, Nordic, seems very committed to continuing the series. As far as my involvement, I can’t say at this point. Hopefully we will all have exciting news about the franchise soon!”
So that means people are talking about it, and the talks are likely going well – if nothing else. Nordic seems pretty dedicated to getting series in the right hands too, seeing as it already sold Stacking and Costume Quest back to Double Fine.
Assuming things work out, however, the big question is where exactly Darksiders will end up. Original developer Vigil Games is no more, though most of its staff migrated to Crytek USA. The newly formed Austin studio has expressed interest in re-joining the Dark Side, and Nordic has, in turn, said it fancies a chat with Crytek USA as well.
Button-mashing-blistered fingers crossed that the two sides have hammered out a deal. Darksiders II was an excellent – if unrepentant about its influences – hack ‘n’ slash ‘n’ Zelda ‘em up, and it’d be great to see such a strong series continue in the brain lab that first spawned it.
I’ve reached out to Nordic for comment. I’ll let you know if I hear anything more.
Update: A Nordic rep offered RPS the following:
“With regards to Darksiders 3: of course we’ve always been busy in the background, talking to a lot of former team members about a continuation of the series, but we are not ready to announce anything officially. Joe Madureira is spot on in saying that DS is not dead and we are committed, though.”
“Before we can say something about the ‘how’ and ‘when’ of publishing/financing the sequel is concerned, we are still busy in properly figuring out the ‘who’ part of this large-scale project. All I can say is that we can and will not settle for second-best solutions in the case of Darksiders.”
So no developer is decided yet, but Nordic is actively talking to various possible inheritors of the stylized skull throne. Good on them for being extra picky.