|Nordic Games GmbH (2011–2016)|
|Industry||Video game industry|
|Founded||23 June 2011|
Number of employees
|Parent||THQ Nordic AB|
THQ Nordic GmbH (formerly Nordic Games GmbH) is an Austrian video game publisher based in Vienna. It is a subsidiary of Swedish company THQ Nordic AB. The company was founded in 2011 by Swedish entrepreneur Lars Eric Olof Wingefors. Its core portfolio comprises products and brands which were acquired from other large publishers, such as JoWooD Entertainment and its former subsidiaries DreamCatcher Interactive and The Adventure Company in 2011, from THQ in 2013, and from NovaLogic in 2016.
As part of its acquisition of THQ, Nordic Games also took over video game developer THQ Digital Phoenix in 2013, and in 2015, renamed it back to its original name, Rainbow Studios. In December 2013, they opened an original game studio, Grimlore Games, in Munich. In August 2016, Nordic Games changed its name to THQ Nordic, using the THQ trademark they had acquired previously, to regain its association with their franchises acquired from THQ. In February 2018, the company acquired Koch Media, including Deep Silver, thus bringing several former THQ franchises, such as Saints Row, back under that label.
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In 1990, Swedish entrepreneur Lars Eric Olof Wingefors founded LW Comics AB, a company to sell and trade second-hand comic books. In 1993, the company's focus shifted towards video games, becoming a mail-order retailer for secondhand software and cartridges, and finally Nordic Games AB. Its headquarters are located in Karlstad, Sweden. Over the years, the company added new goods to its portfolio, and established several stores over Scandinavia. In 2000, British retailer Gameplay.com acquired Nordic Games for GB£5.96 million in shares. After the dot-com bubble, Wingefors re-acquired the Nordic retail division from financially troubled Gameplay for 1 kr. In 2004, the company started with a new outlet store concept and entered into the video game industry. In 2008, Nordic Games entered game development by creating its own publishing branch, Nordic Games Publishing AB, in order to create products for its outlet stores.
Nordic Games GmbH (2011–2016)
In 2011, Lars Wingefors founded Nordic Games GmbH as a Europe-wide video game publisher. On 16 August 2011, it was announced that the new company had acquired assets from JoWooD Entertainment: its products, brands, and subsidiary DreamCatcher Interactive, including its The Adventure Company division. Effectively, JoWooD, DreamCatcher and The Adventure company would further be used as labels of Nordic Games.
In April 2013, Nordic Games acquired all properties still in the possession of American video game publisher THQ, which had filed for bankruptcy that year, for US$4.9 million. Included in the deal were over 150 individual games, including the Darksiders, Red Faction, and MX vs. ATV franchises. On 12 June 2014, Nordic Games announced that they had also acquired the THQ trademark, allowing the company to use the THQ brand as an imprint on future games.
In June 2013, Nordic Games acquired the Desperados franchise, consisting of Desperados: Wanted Dead or Alive, Desperados 2: Cooper's Revenge, and Helldorado, as well as the game Silver, from Atari, SA. In May 2014, they acquired the games The Moment of Silence, The Mystery of the Druids and Curse of the Ghost Ship, as well as the commercial rights for the trademarks Overclocked: A History of Violence and 15 Days, from bankrupt German publisher DTP Entertainment.
In December 2013, Grimlore Games GmbH, located in Munich, Germany, was founded as in-house studio of Nordic Games. Headed by former staff of now-closed studio Coreplay, Grimlore Games released SpellForce 3 in December 2017.
In July 2015, Nordic Games and Piranha Bytes announced science fiction action role-playing game ELEX. The following month, Nordic Games acquired a number of franchises from bankrupt German publisher bitComposer Entertainment, including the Jagged Alliance franchise. In February 2016, they acquired all intellectual property from Hungarian publisher Digital Reality, including Sine Mora.
THQ Nordic (2016–present)
On 12 August 2016, Nordic Games announced that it had changed its name to THQ Nordic. Wingefors explained that the THQ brand was still widely associated with some of the franchises that his company had acquired, and that the move was intended to give the company better name recognition, reflecting a goal to "shape our business in a meaningful way going forward" using its acquired properties. He went on to state that "on a personal note, having worked in the industry since 1993, I have a lot of respect for what THQ accomplished in the video game marketplace. Their licensed and eventually hardcore games portfolio provided a lot of fun to millions of players, including me." He also stated that THQ Nordic had 23 games in development, with many based on former THQ properties.
On 31 October 2016, THQ Nordic announced that they had acquired all intellectual property and assets from now-defunct NovaLogic, including Delta Force. On 5 December 2016, THQ Nordic announced that they had acquired Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy from Mobile Gaming Studios, and Legends of War and War Leaders: Clash of Nations from Enigma Software Productions.
On 6 January 2017, the German game ratings board Unterhaltungssoftware Selbstkontrolle (USK) rated Lock's Quest for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC which indicated that the publisher was developing a port for the game. and on 16 February 2017, THQ Nordic officially announced that they were developing a remaster for Lock's Quest scheduled for April 2017 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC with remastering development by Digital Continue.
On 1 March 2017, THQ Nordic announced that Baja: Edge of Control will be remastered as Baja: Edge of Control HD for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One with 4K compatibility and improved rendering techniques for shadows, lighting and dust effects, and on 3 March 2017, THQ Nordic unveiled De Blob for Microsoft Windows, ported by BlitWorks, and Sine Mora EX, an extended version of Sine Mora for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Both games were surprise announcements to debut in PAX East 2017. On 31 March 2017, THQ Nordic announced that they acquired the Rad Rogers intellectual property from Slipgate Studios. Through the acquisition, THQ Nordic will complete development of the game and publish it for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Rad Rogers was a kickstarted video game inspired by retro platformers such as Commander Keen, Conker's Bad Fur Day, Ruff 'n' Tumble and Jazz Jackrabbit. Frederik Schreiber from Slipgate Studios commented by saying that they were “Happy to let THQ Nordic take over this, as we have the feeling they do not just buy games, but do take good care of them too.”.
On 2 May 2017, a product listing for Darksiders III appeared on Amazon.com. The company officially announced the game the same day, with development handled by Gunfire Games. The development team consists largely of former Vigil Games employees whose previous work includes development of the first two Darksiders games. The game will be released one year and a half later on 27 November 2018.
On 5 July 2017, Reinhard Pollice elaborated upon THQ Nordic strategy for acquired intellectual properties. He stated that the "Big challenge here is we have so many IPs and we need to pay respect to all of the good and known ones. You might think that's only three or four [properties], but in reality it's more like 15 to 20. That's a lot to take care of, and our approach to this is not just doing something with them but doing the right thing. That takes time - that's why we're sometimes slow and not announcing, say, the next Destroy All Humans right away. We need to think about the place that IP has in today's gaming world, what the right next step is and what the fans want. Once we feel comfortable with all that, then we go ahead and do it.". In August 2017, THQ Nordic acquired Black Forest Games for up to €1.35 million and Pieces Interactive for 2.8 million kr. In November 2017, the company acquired developer Experiment 101, the developer of soon-to-be-released Biomutant for 75.3 million kr.
On 14 February 2018, THQ Nordic announced that it had acquired Koch Media for €121 million in cash and stock. This includes Deep Silver, which had acquired rights to THQ's Metro 2033 and Saints Row franchises, as well as Crytek UK and Homefront. Post-acquisition, Koch Media continues to operate as a separate subsidiary of THQ Nordic and there are no plans to do any cost-cutting measures or changes to operational brands.
On 21 March 2018, after Activision's Nickelodeon license expired, THQ Nordic announced a new partnership with the channel through which they would re-release various THQ-published Nickelodeon titles.
On 9 July 2018, the company acquired German mobile game developer and publisher HandyGames and all of its intellectual property for €1 million in cash, in addition to a potential performanced based earnout of up €1.5 million.
Games published or distributed
- Grimlore Games in Munich, Germany; founded in 2013.
- Rainbow Studios in Phoenix, Arizona; founded in 1996, acquired from THQ in 2013.
- Mirage Game Studios in Karlstad, Sweden; founded in 2016.
- Foxglove Studios in Stockholm, Sweden; founded in 2016.
- Black Forest Games in Offenburg, Germany; founded in 2012, acquired in 2017.
- Pieces Interactive in Skövde, Sweden; founded in 2007, acquired in 2017.
- Experiment 101 in Stockholm, Sweden; founded in 2015, acquired in 2017.
- Illusions Entertainment in New York, New York; founded in 2017.
- Koch Media in Planegg, Germany; founded in 1994, acquired in 2018.
- HandyGames in Giebelstadt, Germany; founded in 2000, acquired in 2018.
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- Batchelor, James (17 November 2017). "Biomutant developer Experiment 101 acquired by THQ Nordic". GamesIndustry.biz.
- Kerr, Chris (17 November 2017). "THQ Nordic acquires Biomutant developer Experiment 101". Gamasutra. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
- McWhertor, Michael (2018-02-14). "THQ Nordic acquires Deep Silver, meaning Saints Row is back at THQ". Polygon. Retrieved 2018-02-14.
- Romano, Sal (21 March 2018). "THQ Nordic and Nickelodeon to revive several select game titles from the past". Gematsu. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
- THQ Nordic IR (9 July 2018). "THQ Nordic acquires the German game developer and publisher HandyGames". THQ Nordic Investors. Retrieved 9 July 2018.
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