Gaming is an industry full of remarkable journeys, not just for our favourite protagonists as we all know that Dizzy, Samus Aran, Master Chief, Kratos and Jill Valentine, to name a few, have all been put through the wringer on numerous occasions. It’s an industry that is also full of strange and wonderful journeys for the creators of our favourite franchises which brings us to THQ Nordic, who are set to celebrate their tenth anniversary on September 17th.
THQ Nordic began life as Nordic Games which was formed in 2011 and based out of Vienna. It was a publishing subsidiary of Embracer Group who in April 2013 acquired the rights to the bankrupt THQ and its properties for $4.3 million. This provided them with the rights to over 150 titles many of which had been dormant for some time. Over the next couple of years, the group would continue to make acquisitions and create new studios such as Grimlore Games, then in August 2016 the groups rebranded themselves as THQ Nordic and continue their journey to prominence by breathing new life into retired franchises as well as creating a host of new and exciting IP’s of their own.
After a decade of shrewd business decisions, THQ Nordic now own over 190 IP’s including Darksiders, Painkiller, MX vs ATV, Desperados, Destroy all Humans, Biomutant, Kingdoms of Amalur, Alone in the Dark to name a handful. Not a bad portfolio at all we’re sure you’ll agree. It’s safe to say that THQ Nordic are something of a powerhouse and continue to please their fans by creating games that embrace the fundamental element of gaming, something that some developers and publishers have forgotten over the years, fun!
THQ Nordic have proved that games can be made to modern standards without sacrificing the enjoyment they should offer the player. As silly as it seems to say it, their games feel “Gamey” and manage to provide a sense of old school nostalgia with modern-day delights, take Wreckfest for example, originally released in 2018, this down and dirty arcade racer felt like a love letter to racers of old like Destruction Derby or early Need for Speeds by getting straight into the action with a host of race types, vehicles and customisation options. It felt equal parts nostalgic and new and therein lies the magic of what THQ bring to the table, making a variety of great games that are fun to play.
So, with the tenth anniversary on the horizon, THQ Nordic has announced a special showcase where they will announce six new games! With that in mind, the bearded folk at TBG have written a wishlist of what we would like to see announced or at least mentioned on September 17th.
The Darksiders franchise has not had it easy over the years but continues to be a strong property with a passionate fanbase. The long-awaited Darksiders 4 has been rumoured for some time and is set to feature the fourth horseman of the apocalypse, Strife. Recently it was announced that Darksiders 3 will be coming to Nintendo Switch, not only does this mean that Nintendo fans can now enjoy all available entries in the saga, but it is also a promising prelude that a new entry into this action-adventure may be on the horizon. If so it will be interesting to see what shape this entry takes, Strife is a gunslinger so will the series make a turn for the FPS formula with some Metroid Prime style exploration? Only Vulgrim knows the answer.
Darksiders Genesis 2
That’s right we are sticking with Darksiders (mainly because the writer of this article is a huge fan and it features the voice of Bennet from Commando) Darksiders Genesis was released in 2020 and served as a spin-off prequel to the core series. Changing gameplay from third-person action to isometric dungeon crawler which was more akin to Diablo, this entry proved successful in giving more back story to the lore heavy world of Darksiders and provided the first experience of the horseman teaming up. Genesis featured Strife and War as protagonists and fans would love to see a new entry featuring the sarcastic tones of Death adventuring with his slightly unstable sister Fury, possibly with a cameo from Phil Collins.
Remnant: From the Ashes 2
Another successful hit came in the form of Remnant which was originally released in 2019 and received favourable reviews. This title took the framework of the souls like formula and merged it with a third-person RPG shooter to create a challenging yet rewarding title that can be played solo or with a party of three adventurers. Since its release, Remnant has received two expansions as well as a next-gen upgrade. This seems like a franchise THQ Nordic won’t want to leave unattended any time soon.
This one may be a bit of a long shot as Biomutant was only released in May 2021 but the title was widely anticipated and despite having mixed reviews on launch, the development team took steps to act upon the feedback and have provided regular updates to hone Biomutant into something quite special. As of August 2021, Biomutant has sold over one million copies. Though it’s probably a bit early to have a sequel announced, perhaps we will get some DLC content or news on where the series might go next, a tidy next-gen upgrade wouldn’t go amiss.
It’s not a huge secret that THQ Nordic is planning on remaking the action RPG, Gothic. Other than their intentions little else is known at this stage but an announcement or update of some kind would be well received. Originally released in 2001 Gothic could be described by today’s standards as somewhere between Skyrim and The Witcher with its emphasis on slaying monsters in a dark fantasy setting while fighting a war against the Orcs. Single-player RPG’s continue to be hugely popular and it’s time for a new generation to experience this series.
Now, this is a strange long shot, but we know that AEW is creating a video game with developers Yukes. The emphasis is set to be on fun and excitement, two things that pro wrestling should always strive for, did you hear that Vincent McMahon? Now WWE games have not been good since Yukes stopped developing them and coincidentally the original THQ had publishing duties. If by some miracle this union could reform, then AEW’s upcoming game would be in great hands and let’s face it, it’s not like Tony Khan can’t afford it! Though it would be criminal not to include a Singstar component so we can all sing along to Judas during Jericho’s entrance!
Another title we know is on the way thanks to a brief announce trailer, this follows up to the 2017 Sci-Fi RPG should hopefully learn from the shortcomings of the original and realise its full potential. Set in an apocalyptic world where danger lurks around every corner and blending firearms, melee and magic combat to form a unique sci-fi fantasy vibe that set it apart from the competition. The original was rough around the edges, much like Biomutant, Elex was highly ambitious for a small development team, yet gained a fan base due to its world design, quest design and character development.
Most of these are existing franchises but let’s not rule out the possibility of some fresh new IP’s being announced. There is always room for new worlds and franchises to be explored so let’s hope with the vast range of studios and experience that THQ Nordic have at their fingertips there is something brand new on the horizon.
What do you think of our Wishlist? Is there something you are hoping for in the September 17th announcements? Let us know in the comments below or on social media.