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Nordic Necromancers Raise Zombie THQ From Its Grave

THQ is the Living One; it was dead, and now look, it is alive for ever and ever! And it holds the keys of Darksiders and Red Faction.

Like X-Men, big games publishers never truly die. There’ll always be a businessperson somewhere willing to invest a few hundred thousand bucks that might otherwise go to the taxman in picking up the name of a company that fell in the great gaming profit wars. Someone keeps stitching Atari’s dessicated face to some Frankenstein creature or another, the re-animator recently pumped his necrotic formula into 3D Realms and now the recently-departed THQ has been exhumed. Wielding the grave-digger’s shovel are Nordic Games, who’d previously done similar with the defunct JoWood and Dreamcatcher brands.
More relevantly, they also purchased the likes of Darksiders, Red Faction, Supreme Commander, Titan Quest, Full Spectrum Warrior, MX vs ATV, Destroy all Humans!, Summoner and Marvel Super Hero Squad in THQ’s all-is-lost firesale last year. Sequels to those games – if they happen – will thus come bearing a THQ logo after all.

Details of this second deal with whoever holds the dusty biscuit tin with ‘THQ’ tippexed onto the lid haven’t been revealed, but Nordic did reveal to Polygon that their reasoning for buying the trademark was because no bugger knew who the three-year-old Austrian outfit were.

“The challenging fact is nobody has ever heard about Nordic Games before [buying the Darksiders etc IPs]. There were so many articles with the headlines ‘Who the f*** is Nordic Games?’ we said, ‘Okay they were right.’”

We’ll see, I guess. Does the THQ name carry much cachet? More so than Nordic Games, I guess, but it’s very hard to know what that actually extrapolates too. This is a conversation I’ve had a few times, that grizzled industry types like me, with our heads full of useless knowledge that will never help us when the bombs drop and we have to help rebuild civilization, talk in terms of developers, but a great deal of games-players talk in terms of publishers, because those are the big shouty logos they’re forced to stare at for 3 seconds while their game loads. To many people, Darksiders is made by THQ, not by Vigil Games.

Speaking of, a Darksiders game under the resurrected name would seem to be on its way, though Nordic/THQ don’t want to reveal anything until they’re confident they’re doing it justice. Also on its way is a new MX vs. ATV game, THQ’s off-road racing series, though I’m not sure if that’ll wind up on PC.

Anyway. THQ is back, back, back and while it’s a different company behind that logo, there are some decent brands in there that will hopefully come to something. New Supreme Commander plskthx. And let’s hope this doesn’t wind up being like one of those glum Atari revivals.

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Alec Meer

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Co-founder of RPS. Dungeon Keeper & X-COM 4 Life.

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