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Nordic Games still working out plans for Darksiders, other THQ assets


Four months after parting with $4.9 million to pick up a number of big ex-THQ properties, Austrian-based Nordic Games is still working to finalize its transaction with the now-bankrupt company. If you were looking for announcements at Gamescom - as Nordic Games hoped to have - on the futures of Darksiders, MX vs. ATV, Titan Quest, and Red Faction, you may have a fair while to wait - although not necessarily in all cases .

"It takes longer than expected getting everything together because THQ, there are not a lot of people there," explained Reinhard Pollice, the man in charge of business and product development at Nordic. "There are just like five people and they're mostly financial and administration guys. So the stuff that we need is really hard to get. I've been visiting them a lot of times, trying to make sure we get everything that we actually want, or that we should get."

While Pollice said he's a fan of the franchises Nordic acquired, he feels THQ at some point became too big a company to make use of the talents it had; he noted the now defunct company made a lot of bad decisions with Red Faction after Guerrilla, for example. That may explain why he places the shooter franchise lower in Nordic's priority than Darksiders, MX vs. ATV, and Titan Quest, which he sees as first, second and third. That's not to say a new Red Faction isn't coming; Pollice said Nordic is in talks with former Volition members who left the studio over the last four to five years, and that Nordic is still evaluating what to do with the franchise.

Meanwhile, Darksiders remains years, rather than months, away. Pollice said Nordic's been in good discussions with some members of the original Vigil Games Team, but a "certain core" are now at Crytek US and most likely won't be available.

The timing of THQ's auction wasn't perfect for Nordic. "It would be better to have it six months earlier, because then you could probably plan a few things a bit differently, and we would be at a more advanced stage than we are right now. Our strategy for next-gen is that we don't want to rush into anything."

Pollice couldn't discuss next-gen development for any of its acquisitions, but did say that Nordic is talking to Sony and Microsoft, has dev kits, and is prepared for that eventuality. Having said that, Pollice also noted concern that the market has to first accept next-gen consoles, and in the meantime they're in a commercial limbo.

In terms of the nearer future, Pollice said offroad fracer franchise MX vs. ATV and action-RPG Titan Quest are closer to resurfacing. In fact, according to Pollice, the level of fan fervor for MX vs. ATV has exceeded that for Darksiders.

"There is just a big community waiting for the next stuff for that. We're currently working with former Rainbow Studios people to evaluate what's possible, how to drive it further. We think this can be something where we can start something more recently in time."

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