THQ Nordic buy up Saints Row and Metro

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THQ Nordic, publishers of the Darksiders games and recent jankfest Elex, have bought Koch Media, the companies have announced. Koch are the father-company of Deep Silver, who publish games like Saints Row, Metro, Dead Island, and Homefront: The Revolution. That means THQ Nordic now own alllll of those bad boys, among others. Due to all the combined plates this company now spins, they could now make a game where the hero of Mighty No. 9 fights jazzy paint-monster De Blob in a doomed bid for supremacy on Mars, aka, Red Faction 3. Although, they probably shouldn’t do that.

The deal was dealed for 121 million European seashells (“euros”). In terms of studios, it means THQ Nordic are now the lieges of Volition and Dambuster studios (developers of Saints Row and Homefront: The Revolution, respectively) both of whom are working on unannounced games.

Koch and its underlings “will continue to operate as independent entities”, says the new boss company. “However, THQ Nordic sees potential for revenue synergies and margin improvements, e.g. from partnerships from both groups’ IPs, assets, and development capacity .”

That’s just a reminder that they have ultimate control over what games are made in the long-term, on top of everything else. The document detailing the buyout goes on:

THQ Nordic will closely monitor and delegate resources to support Koch Media’s Games business in order to ensure quality and a healthy return on investment on its large in-house development projects. Following less successful launches in recent years with substantial write-offs in the business area (primarily Agents of Mayhem and Homefront), Koch Media has made significant organisational changes in its management, internal steering and control, technology, as well as its selection process for development of IPs.

Let me just put that through the corpspeak translucidator.

Ah, yes. I see.

It says here: “The Koch gang probably won’t make another Agents of Mayhem, because it was a bad thing and we want money, not bad things. They also probably won’t do Mighty No. 10.”

I remind you that our translucidator has been known to jump to conclusions and misapply information, to the point where its speculations and translations are functionally pointless. Remember that time we fed it the minutes of an EA shareholder meeting and it just spat out reams and reams of paper with one tiny “KILL” printed on each page in comic sans? That was odd.

This business-ing is all part of the ongoing dance of capitalism. THQ Nordic is a resuscitated hybrid of the old THQ, which used to own the rights to some of these games anyway, such as Saints Row. It’s hard to keep up, but here’s the short version:

People are still making videogames.

31 Comments

  1. mungo says:

    All I want to know is if Volition will ever make a spiritual successor to Freespace 2.

    • Brendan Caldwell says:

      The Translucidator says:

      “Yes…

      … starring De Blob.”

      • mungo says:

        If it’s going to be bright and colorful, it sounds like the perfect game to dig out that old Forsaken brand and slap it on there.

    • MajorLag says:

      Is there really anywhere left to go with the Space Fighter Pilot Simulator genre though? I feel like anything they made would just be a graphical update to FS2.

      • beleester says:

        Maybe some closure for the story instead of just blowing up everything and leaving us with more questions than answers?

        • aldo_14 says:

          I think one of the story writers did leave their ‘idea’ of the full story on HLP (the main remaining forum for Freespace) and… it was pretty generic, nothing shocking. Sometimes the open questions are more satisfying than the closure.

      • Det. Bullock says:

        If 8 bit platformers can have a revival so can Spacesims.
        But Volition said that at this point Freespace 3 is not gonna happen, but I’d be happy if they tackled the genre with a new IP.

        • Yglorba says:

          You know what we could get, now, instead of a Freespace 3?

          SAINTS. IN. SPAAAAAACE.

          It was even hinted at by one of the SR4 endings! Come on.

          (Honestly, either of the SR4 endings could lead to an interesting game. Saints Row meets Firefly or Saints In Time. Come on, they’d be awesome.)

          • Crafter says:

            I am really interested to see where the Saints series could go now !

            Didn’t the creators tell that SR4 was a good bye to the main crew though (and well they did not really need to say it explicitly, the game itself is already a love letter and meta-reflection on these characters) ?

            So a potential SR5 would take place on some kind of human colony ?
            Maybe with some kind of time travel too . ?

            It feels like they backed themselves in a corner here with crazy requirements for a follow up.

      • mungo says:

        If nobody makes them, we won’t know. I’d be fine with just flying through a different universe and shooting at enemies from time to time. Maybe trade some slaves and chocolate along the way to buy some upgrades.

    • Werthead says:

      They would need to secure the rights from Interplay. They might be interested in doing it after the massive success of Star Citizen and Elite Dangerous. After all, there is still that gap in the market for a linear, mission-based space combat game like Wing Commander/X-Wing/Freespace 1 & 2 that is still going unscratched (and Squadron 42 doesn’t look like it’s going to fill, with its tacked-on FPS sections).

      A big problem might be the perceived lack of interest: Freespace 2 sold badly, the the franchise is 20 years old this year and completely obscure to 99% of gamers and the recent attempt to do a Freespace miniatures game on Kickstarter bombed hard.

      They could always reboot the game: have a title set on Earth whilst it’s cut off from the jump network and you can do anything, a FPS or an RTS or a space combat game restricted to the Solar system. Then at the end the node is reopened (after the end of Freespace 2) and it can segue into a remaster of the first two games and then a new title.

  2. skyturnedred says:

    I’m still wondering where they’re getting all this money to acquire stuff, it’s not like they’re putting out massive hits.

    • Jalan says:

      Uwe Boll quit making films and opted to devote all his fabled “Nazi gold” funds into THQ Nordic. Some have long suspected that it’s just a means of biding time to re-announce his return to film with a Darksiders pic starring Kate McKinnon as Fury.

  3. Kollega says:

    This raises two important questions to me. First, I thought that THQ Nordic was on a relatively even keel with Koch Media/Deep Silver, and now they suddenly buy them. Have I missed something, or is that because Agents of Mayhem bombed so hard?

    Second, I wonder what does this mean for Volition and their franchises. Red Faction and GeoMod technology went to Nordic after THQ went bust, and Volition themselves with Saints Row went to work for Deep Silver. I’m honestly wondering what it means that Volition can once again do something with GeoMod and work on Red Faction games.

  4. kud13 says:

    Just yesterday I was thinking how the European mid-size publisher market is getting quite healthy, with Kalypso, Focus Home, Paradox, THQ Nordic and Deep Silver all putting out decent amount of games. The

    And of course, here come the mergers.

    Then again, Nordic are generally good to the PC gamers (putting most of their games on GOG and all that), so maybe this’ll be a good thing?

    • Kollega says:

      Yeah, that’s also my thought. If it gets out of hand, the mid-sized publisher market will suck as much as the top-tier publisher market already does.

    • Darth Gangrel says:

      I think it’s good, because THQ Nordic are Swedish (or Austrian actually, but wikipedia says “it is a subsidiary of Swedish company THQ Nordic AB” and I also like German speaking countries, fyi). I like both the games they make and the ones that Deep Silver make.

  5. chaos4u says:

    what ever they are doing they seem to be really motivated . just taking bug bears wreckfest for example which has lulled in early access limbo for a several months . all of sudden nordic comes in and bam wreckfest is getting content and regular updates out of no seemingly no where.

    whatever they are doing so far it has had been a positive influence in my intrest regarding wreckfest.

    hopefully more good things will follow.

  6. Rince says:

    Soooo… Saints Row 5 when?

  7. ChiefOfBeef says:

    Now they just need to rescue Dawn of War from Sega’s choking clutches and find the old Relic personnel to do a proper follow-up to DoW 2.

    • CaidKean says:

      Fork that, I want them to let Volition do an open-world Space Marine sequel running on that fancy Volition destruction engine updated for current hardware! The potential in this merger has my heart throbbing. So many good IPs collected under one roof, as well as contracts with some very talented devs like 4A Games, Volition and more.

    • Werthead says:

      A lot of the original Relic crew left around the time of Company of Heroes, so I believe a fair bit of the team who made Dawn of War 1 are currently at Blackbird working on their as-yet-untitled-new-game (which may be released by Gearbox, based on their Deserts of Kharak team-up, assuming it isn’t another Homeworld game in the first place).

      The DoW 2 crew seem to have scattered to the winds. Some are still at Relic, but Johnny Ebbert (the main designer) is at Blizzard.

  8. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    I still want Saint’s Row but with geomod. Let my endless carousing have permanent damage consequences. After a hundred hours of game, the city is a blasted hellscape. Woo.

    • Kollega says:

      Seconded. Plus, there actually exists an ending in Gat Out of Hell that could enable precisely that.

      Please, Volition, make something of that idea with the Saints conquering a planet from a warrior species. Give the people the successor to Mercenaries that they deserve.

  9. KidWithKnife says:

    Good news, THQ Nordic has been doing some good stuff. I’m glad to see some franchises I really like (Saints Row in particular) in their hands.

    Also, shame on you for pooping on Agents of Mayhem. You are objectively wrong and my people will be coming by your flat later to administer the appropriate beatings.

    • Vinraith says:

      Yeah, I’m really enjoying Agents of Mayhem (picked it up in the recent sale). I went back and read through the WIT and honestly have no idea what they’re talking about – it’s like they were playing a different game. Maybe it’s been improved by patches?

      That said I wouldn’t turn down a well-done Saints Row 5.

      • KidWithKnife says:

        Well, the Agents of Mayhem WIT was one of John’s, and I don’t think I’ve agreed with John on much since back when Bioware was still really good. Different perspectives, I guess.

  10. TrynePlague says:

    Okay THQ Nordic, can you now please go wake up the guys at YS Net please?

  11. Dave L. says:

    In my head I hope this went down as Nordic wanting make a new Red Faction, then deciding that they couldn’t do it without Volition. So the reclusive insane billionaire who owns Nordic was like “Why buy just Volition when we could buy ALL OF DEEP SILVER?”

    • Darth Gangrel says:

      If your pockets are deep enough with gold, why not get Deep Silver?

    • KidWithKnife says:

      God, PLEASE let this be exactly what happened!