THQ Surfaces: South Park Delayed, Darksiders II Dated

Kenny is apparently already dead by this point.
THQ’s tightrope dance-battle against Death while suspended over an active volcano continues. In short, THQ’s doing better than expected, but it still lost another $50 million last quarter. So then, what’s the forecast for the company that already took a chainsaw blade to Warhammer 40K: Dark Millennium‘s massively multiplayer bits? Well, there are some ups and downs to be sure. Mostly, though, we’re looking at an ugly, undifferentiated heap of questions.

First, though, the concrete facts: Obsidian’s South Park RPG won’t be bringing the show’s patented mix of poop jokes and profound wisdom to your hard drive until early 2013. Previously, it was scheduled to launch in the second half of 2012. Darksiders II, meanwhile, is setting its scythes on an August 14th date after a quality-focused delay earlier this year. Once that happens, Metro: Last Light will take over as THQ’s promotional poster child, which bodes rather well for its chances of getting released.

I wish I could say the same for Guillermo del Toro’s inSane and the next project from Left 4 Dead creators Turtle Rock Studios. Both games were briefly mentioned during a conference call, but their futures aren’t exactly clear at the moment. And seeing as THQ also unceremoniously hacked high-profile console-exclusive Devil’s Third from its lineup today, it’s pretty safe to say that, well, no one is safe.

At the very least, we won’t have to wait too terribly long for a bit of the haze to clear. THQ’s betting the farm on Darksiders II being its next goose that lays golden water wings – or maybe just a whole boat. Regardless, it’s sink or swim, but Darksiders’ chances seem pretty good based on the quality and sales of its predecessor and a release date just ahead of the holiday game avalanche. So I’ll cross the fingers that I don’t already have crossed for, like, a billion other things (see: Half-Life 2: Ep 3 ever coming out, Mirror’s Edge getting a sequel, Elder Scrolls Online somehow being good, etc) and hope for the best. This industry really makes me wish I had more fingers.



  1. povu says:

    I don’t mind the South Park delay, nothing good has ever come from rushing Obsidian games.

    I hope that in the end THQ gets out of it alive though. Hate to see companies go under.

    • Rinox says:

      I don’t want to sound like a black-hearted cynic here, but I’m afraid a ‘delay’ from the publisher’s side means ‘no more money for a while until we can afford to again’, not ‘take your time devs, we’re not in a hurry’. So it may not impact the game’s quality much at all in the end.

  2. Schmitzkater says:

    Good article. Even better when you are still sleepy and read it as “high-profile console-exclusive Devil’s Turd” though.

  3. f1x says:

    Too bad, some fine games will sink, interesting projects get cancelled, but DLC keep releasing and Call of Duty keeps breaking sales records

    oh grumpy me, sorry for this pesimistic mood, I do like what THQ releases, perhaps they’ve been a bit assholic with their DLC things and their battle against used copies but still they’ve always had nice IPs

  4. jrodman says:

    hm; are there any gems in THQs catalogue i might have missed that don’t need server components? Might b e good to throw a few bones — but i’m afraid of things going dark.

    • Teovald says:

      I am a big fan of Saints Rows the Third (big silliness fun) and Darksiders (Zelda meets demons; eternally angry protagonist and oversized weapons). These two games are not for everyone but I really liked them.
      I already preordered Darksiders 2 & I will do the same for the SR standalone that will be published in the Christmas season (they joked about a Matrix parody during April Fools but the idea really apparently took off). I don’t rush to preorder games, especially big budget games but I am willing to do the effort for small devs that have already created little gems.

      • jrodman says:

        Some bones allocated.

        I hear you but I’m just not into the 50 dollar game anymore. When I was younger, and the games were more my speed, I would pay the 30 dollar opening price (which inflation adjusted is probably more than 50 now) but now I find myself much pickier, and leaping at the initial asking price before word as percolated is just not my thing.

        Give me more Icos, and I will pay the opening price.

      • Phantoon says:

        I’d be disappointed if War wasn’t at least a bit surly- HE’S WAR!

  5. felisc says:

    “This industry really makes me wish i had more fingers.”
    Although in some cases i just need one finger to express my feelings.

  6. OrangyTang says:

    No Staring Eye tag? O_O

  7. ShotgunJustice says:

    I remmember when nintendo were announcing the third party support for the 3DS, people applauded as each company was named one by one. When the announcer said THQ, the audience actually laughed. Something they didn’t do with any of the other mentioned companies. I’ve bought a few THQ games, and they were all (in my opinion) complete rubbish.

    • f1x says:

      Well, I don’t know what they release for Nintendo and of course a publisher is made of his studios
      but amongst THQ catalogue:
      Saints Row
      Dawn of War franchise
      Space Marine
      Company of Heroes
      Supreme Commander
      Titan Quest
      Metro 2033

      Not rubbish at all

      • Sparkasaurusmex says:

        A couple of those games are arguably the best in their genre

    • paterah says:

      Agreed with f1x, how this guy can say THQ makes rubbish games is beyond me.

      • dE says:

        Depending on the platform, your mileage with THQ may vary. Greatly.
        He mentioned DS and on there, THQ has pumped out one “quality gem” after another. With the quite rare exceptions, it’s a library of astonishingly shoddy movie and cartoon adaptions. You know, I’d be laughing too.

        • f1x says:

          Yes of course, I dont even own a DS so I’m ignorant there

          But I know one the big problems that lead THQ to this financial troubles was the fact that they invested too much on the “kids/family” market but failed regarding sales for that niche

          No wonder they did tho if as you said the games were so bad, even tho I dont think many publishers really succeed in the family market which is probably dominated by Nintendo first party products

          • InternetBatman says:

            I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure THQ did pretty well by the Nintendo side of the market. De blob was a fair success on the wii. I believe Draw Something also did really well on the wii, but then they tried to bring it to the other consoles and it flopped, and hardware flops are really expensive. Combine that with a better informed marked that doesn’t want to buy licensed trash anymore, and you see the real root of their failure. Then there was Homefront.

          • Phantoon says:

            I’ve watched people play Homefront, and play the newest Call of Manshoot: Infinite Enemies Edition.

            I really don’t think Homefront was any worst than CoD.

            Sure, it was completely terrible, but its competition is too.

    • Baresark says:

      I think this comment is a bit off base as well. While not everything they have done has been a hit, and some of course was complete rubbish, but to call all of their titles that is simply not true. They did fail in the last half decade or so because they extended themselves into various areas that were unsuccessful, but that is the nature of business. They tried new things and it didn’t work out, but that does not mean their staple titles have not been top quality. Some are their titles have been some of the best games I have ever played. But, everyone is entitled to their opinion.

  8. ShotgunJustice says:

    So I’m hoping they go down, and something better rises in It’s place.

    • sneetch says:

      Nothing will rise in its place, the remains will be bought by someone else and we’ll have one fewer publisher and less competition and, probably, less choice overall.

    • InternetBatman says:

      As publishers go, THQ is one of the least harmless ones. Nothing better will rise, EA and Activision will just go after it in an IP feeding frenzy.

      • Phantoon says:

        Right. As far as big evil video game companies go, I think THQ is the only one I want to see survive.

    • Baresark says:

      THQ is one of the good ones. The reason they are ailing so badly now is because they also were the only company that has branched out and tried to do something new instead of just mass producing the same games time and time again. If they go down, companies like EA, Activision,and Ubishit will swoop in and will either destroy the properties or bury them. EA is good for this in the past, really good for this. I can’t think of one single thing THQ has done to earn such bad will from someone.

  9. The Godzilla Hunter says:

    But I liked THQ! They are one of my favorite publishers. We can hope that they survive, or else I shall be very sad.

    • Blaaaaaaag says:

      Agreed! I went so far as to give them money for dlc I wasn’t very interested in, with the faint hope that they’ll keep releasing Saint’s Row games until I’m dead. (or at least get a proper #4 out the door, with a Jonny Gat in it.)

      • Icarus says:

        Yeah, despite their stupid shenanigans with their games being blocked from Steam in the UK, they put out a lot of games I really like. Saints’ Row, Darksiders and Dawn of War/Spess Mehreen are all a blast to play.

        Edit: They do take the piss on DLC, though, which makes me sad. Space Marine is probably the most egregious example- HOW MUCH for a multiplayer skin?

    • mike2R says:

      Totally agree.

      One point in their favour: despite their long running problems, the quality of their games that I have played on release has been consistently excellent. I’m normally cautious about buying a game when I know there are money problems, because it normally means buggy mess kicked out the door.

      But I’ll have no reluctance putting down money for the next THQ game I’m remotely interested in, however bad the financial news is.

  10. Doctor_Hellsturm says:

    If this endangers (or forces them to rush to publish) COH2 and DOW3 I will cry rivers of tears! Salty tears!

  11. Roshin says:

    It all sounds a little worrying to me. I mean, the first Darksiders was a great game, but did it sell well? Well enough to bet your future on with a sequel? I’m really sad to hear that Del Toro’s game might get axed. I hope it and Metro makes it out the door in time. :(

    • f1x says:

      I dont know, but I think it sold relatively well,

      major letdowns in terms of sales were Homefront and Red Faction : Armageddon, if I’m not mistaken

      I’m really hoping Metro: Last light sees the.. you know. the light, because I have high hopes for it, plus after reading metro 2033 and metro 2034 books I’m loving the universe more and more

  12. best_jeppe says:

    Regarding Mirrors Edge 2.

    link to

    • Baresark says:

      What? Mirror’s Edge is an EA title…. Why post that?

      • best_jeppe says:

        Because Nathan wrote “So I’ll cross the fingers that I don’t already have crossed for, like, a billion other things (see: Half-Life 2: Ep 3 ever coming out, Mirror’s Edge getting a sequel,…..”

        And I just wanted to let him know that a Sequel to Mirrors Edge is on the way it seems :)

  13. Bhazor says:

    Damn it. THQ is probably the only AAA publisher I still have any faith in.

    Hope they pull it together.

    • Phantoon says:

      Right. Relic is doomed if THQ falters- Games Workshop will pull their license when EA or Activision tries to go in for a buy.

  14. Bob says:

    Hopefully when I put down the cash for Darksiders 2 there’ll be at least a million others doing the same. I too hope they recover and Metro: Last Light is made a reality.

  15. Phantoon says:

    I loved the ending of Darksiders. The Watcher (voiced by Mark Hamill, no less) asks War, the Horseman of the Apocalypse if he’s “just going to fight everyone!”

    Which is funny, because the answer is yes. He’s going to fight EVERYONE.