THQ Nordic GmbH

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THQ Nordic GmbH
Nordic Games GmbH (2011–2016)
IndustryVideo game industry
Founded2011; 8 years ago (2011)
Area served
Key people
Reinhard Pollice (business and product development director)
ProductsSee List of THQ Nordic games
ParentTHQ Nordic AB

THQ Nordic GmbH (formerly Nordic Games GmbH) is an Austrian video game publisher based in Vienna. Formed in 2011, it is the primary publishing subsidiary of THQ Nordic AB. Originally named Nordic Games, as was the parent company, both companies were renamed THQ Nordic in August 2016 after the parent company had acquired the "THQ" trademark in 2014. THQ Nordic's core portfolio comprises assets that were acquired from other developers and publishers, such as from JoWooD Entertainment and its subsidiaries DreamCatcher Interactive and The Adventure Company in 2011, from THQ in 2013, and from NovaLogic in 2016. THQ Nordic has acquired and established nine subsidiary studios, including Black Forest Games, Bugbear Entertainment and HandyGames.


As Nordic Games GmbH (2011–2016)[edit]

Former Nordic Games logo (2011–2016)

Nordic Games GmbH was founded in 2011 as a subsidiary office of Swedish video game publisher Nordic Games Publishing AB.[1] In June 2011, it was announced that Nordic Games had acquired assets from JoWooD Entertainment, including its products, brands, and affiliate companies DreamCatcher Interactive and The Adventure Company. JoWooD, DreamCatcher and The Adventure Company were set to be used as publishing labels of Nordic Games.[2][3] Several former JoWooD employees were hired by Nordic Games to work on backlog sales of former JoWooD properties, and the publishing team from Nordic Games Publishing was soon integrated into the new Nordic Games to facilitate operations.[4]

Darksiders is a top product. THQ spent $50m making Darksiders 2 (...) We can produce a product of the same quality but for a lower cost. $50m is ridiculous, I can't afford that. Many of our IPs will only generate $50k a year, but it's still money. Sure, it's amounts that EA and the big guys wouldn't care about, but now we have hundreds of IPs, and in a few years we'll have a few hundred more. It will add up to something much bigger.

Lars Wingefors[5]

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.[6] In June 2013, Nordic Games acquired the Desperados franchise, comprising Desperados: Wanted Dead or Alive and Desperados 2: Cooper's Revenge, as well as the game Silver, from Atari.[7]

In December 2013, Nordic Games launched Grimlore Games, a video game developer composed of former Coreplay employees, based in Munich, Germany.[8][9] In May 2014, Nordic Games acquired the intellectual property for The Moment of Silence, The Mystery of the Druids and Curse of the Ghost Ship, as well as the publishing rights to Overclocked: A History of Violence and 15 Days, from bankrupt German publisher DTP Entertainment.[10]

In July 2015, Nordic Games and Piranha Bytes announced ELEX, an original action role-playing game.[11] The following month, Nordic Games acquired a number of franchises from bankrupt German publisher bitComposer Entertainment, including the Jagged Alliance franchise.[12] In February 2016, Nordic Games acquired all intellectual property from Hungarian publisher Digital Reality, including Sine Mora.[13]

As THQ Nordic GmbH (2016–present)[edit]

In August 2016, Nordic Games, alongside its parent company, changed its name to THQ Nordic (to THQ Nordic GmbH and THQ Nordic AB, respectively), using the "THQ" trademark the parent company had acquired in June 2014.[14] According to Wingefors and THQ Nordic's Reinhard Pollice, the name change was undergone to capitalise on the good reputation of THQ's past, although they avoided naming the companies just "THQ" to avoid connections to THQ's more recent, troubled history being made.[14] In October 2016, THQ Nordic announced that it had acquired all intellectual property and assets from NovaLogic, including Delta Force.[15] In December 2016, THQ Nordic announced that it had acquired Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy from Mobile Gaming Studios, as well as Legends of War and War Leaders: Clash of Nations from Enigma Software Productions.[16] Sometime in late 2016, THQ Nordic launched Mirage Game Studios in Karlstad, Sweden.[17]

In February 2017, THQ Nordic announced that it, alongside Digital Continue, was developing a remaster of Lock's Quest with a tentative release in April 2017 for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.[18] In March 2017, THQ Nordic announced a remastered version of Baja: Edge of Control, titled Baja: Edge of Control HD, a port of De Blob for Microsoft Windows, developed by BlitWorks, and Sine Mora EX, an extended version of Sine Mora, for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.[19][20] Later that month, THQ Nordic also acquired the in-development Rad Rodgers, overtaking publishing on behalf of developer Slipgate Studios.[21] In May 2017, THQ Nordic announced a new game, Darksiders III, developed by Gunfire Games, which was composed of former employees from original Darksiders developer Vigil Games.[22] In August 2017, THQ Nordic acquired German developer Black Forest Games and Swedish developer Pieces Interactive for 1.35 million and 2.8 million kr, respectively.[23][24] The was followed by the acquisition of Experiment 101, the Swedish developer behind the in-development Biomutant, for 75.3 million kr in November 2017.[25]

In March 2018, after Activision's licence for games on Nickelodeon properties had expired, THQ Nordic announced a partnership with Nickelodeon that would allow them to re-release sixteen Nickelodeon games previously published by THQ.[26] In July 2018, THQ Nordic acquired German mobile game developer-publisher HandyGames for €1 million in cash and a performance-based earn-out of up to €1.5 million.[27][28] In August 2018, THQ Nordic announced that it had acquired the rights to Second Sight and the TimeSplitters franchise from Crytek.[29] In September, THQ Nordic acquired the intellectual property to Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, including the cancelled project Copernicus, from 38 Studios, as well as Act of War and the Alone in the Dark franchise from Atari.[30][31]

In November 2018, THQ Nordic acquired a 90% stake in Finnish developer Bugbear Entertainment, including all of its intellectual property, for an undisclosed sum, leaving open the option to purchase the remaining 10% at a later point in time.[32] That same month, THQ Nordic acquired the Expeditions franchise, including Expeditions: Conquistador and Expeditions: Viking, and announced that it was working with series creator Logic Artists to develop a third game in the series.[33] In December 2018, THQ Nordic acquired the Carmageddon franchise from Stainless Games, which itself had bought the franchise in 2011.[34] In January 2019, THQ Nordic acquired the rights to the Outcast franchise from Belgian developer Appeal.[35]

8chan AMA incident[edit]

On 26 February 2019, THQ Nordic's public relations and marketing director, Philipp Brock, and business and product development director Reinhard Pollice, hosted an "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) questions-and-answers session on 8chan, a controversial imageboard website commonly associated with child pornography, racism and hate speech, including the Gamergate controversy.[36] The AMA was announced by Brock through THQ Nordic's Twitter account, and after receiving initial criticism for using the controversial website as host for the AMA, explained that a person named Mark would "take care of the nasty stuff".[37] On 8chan, both Brock and Pollice interacted with users asking about controversial topics, such as "lolis" and "social justice warriors", garnering further criticism.[38] In the fallout of the event, Brock published a formal apology through THQ Nordic's Twitter account, stating that he did not perform the due diligence to research the site's history and that he does not "condone child pornography, white supremacy, or racism", while sister company Coffee Stain distanced itself from his actions.[39] Lars Wingefors, the co-founder and chief executive officer of THQ Nordic AB, formally apologised for the event in early March.[40]



Name HQ location Founded Acquired Ref.
Black Forest Games Offenburg, Germany 2012 August 2017 [23]
Bugbear Entertainment Helsinki, Finland 2000 November 2018 [32]
Experiment 101 Stockholm, Sweden 2015 November 2017 [25]
Foxglove Studios Stockholm, Sweden ? ? [41]
Grimlore Games Munich, Germany December 2013 N/A [8][9]
HandyGames Giebelstadt, Germany 2000 July 2018 [27]
Mirage Game Studios Karlstad, Sweden 2016 N/A [17]
Pieces Interactive Skövde, Sweden 2007 August 2017 [24]
Rainbow Studios Phoenix, Arizona, U.S. ? ? [41]


  1. ^ Cifaldi, Frank (16 August 2011). "Nordic Games Saves JoWood From Insolvency With Acquisition". Gamasutra.
  2. ^ Martin, Matt (16 August 2011). "Nordic Games acquires JoWood and The Adventure Company".
  3. ^ Leo, Jon (17 August 2011). "Nordic Games Holding acquires JoWood and The Adventure Company". GameSpot.
  4. ^ "Group History". Nordic Games Group. Archived from the original on 31 July 2016.
  5. ^ Calvin, Alex (24 September 2014). "Nordic Games on publishing big IP for less". MCV.
  6. ^ McWhertor, Michael (22 April 2013). "Nordic Games acquires THQ's Darksiders, Red Faction and more in $4.9M bid". Polygon.
  7. ^ Sarkar, Samit (24 June 2013). "Nordic Games acquires rights to Atari's Desperados and Silver". Polygon.
  8. ^ a b Handrahan, Matthew (24 November 2014). "Nordic Games opens new Munich studio".
  9. ^ a b "COMPANY". Grimlore Games.
  10. ^ Suszek, Mike (12 May 2014). "Nordic acquires adventure games from Awesomenauts publisher". Engadget.
  11. ^ Sarkar, Samit (2 July 2015). "ELEX is the next game from the studio behind Risen". Polygon.
  12. ^ Parfitt, Ben (5 August 2015). "Nordic swoops for BitComposer licenses, including Jagged Alliance". MCV.
  13. ^ Calvin, Alex (3 February 2016). "Nordic Games buys Digital Reality IP including Sine Mora". MCV.
  14. ^ a b Frank, Allegra (16 August 2016). "THQ Nordic is ready to prove itself after a big name change". Polygon.
  15. ^ Donnelly, Joe (31 October 2016). "THQ Nordic buys Delta Force and the rest of NovaLogic's back catalogue". PC Gamer.
  16. ^ Minotti, Mike (5 December 2016). "THQ Nordic acquires more franchises to prepare for the Nintendo Switch". VentureBeat.
  17. ^ a b "Home". Mirage Game Studios.
  18. ^ "Cool Nintendo DS game Lock's Quest coming to PC, PS4 and Xbox One". Eurogamer. 17 February 2017.
  19. ^ Miller, Daniel R. (5 March 2017). "Off-road racer Baja: Edge of Control getting an HD remaster". GameZone.
  20. ^ Orry, James (3 March 2017). "de Blob is back with first ever PC release".
  21. ^ Batchelor, James (31 March 2017). "THQ Nordic acquires Slipgate's Rad Rodgers IP".
  22. ^ Pearce, Alanah (2 May 2017). "Darksiders 3 Announced – IGN First". IGN.
  23. ^ a b "THQ Nordic kauft Black Forest Games" [THQ Nordic buys Black Forest Games]. (in German). 21 August 2017.
  24. ^ a b Lemne, Bengt (28 August 2017). "THQ Nordic picks up Pieces Interactive". Gamereactor.
  25. ^ a b Kerr, Chris (17 November 2017). "THQ Nordic acquires Biomutant developer Experiment 101". Gamasutra.
  26. ^ Frank, Allegra (21 March 2018). "Classic Nickelodeon games are returning, thanks to THQ Nordic". Polygon.
  27. ^ a b McAloon, Alissa (9 July 2018). "THQ Nordic acquires German developer and publisher HandyGames". Gamasutra.
  28. ^ "THQ Nordic acquires the German game developer and publisher HandyGames" (PDF). Cision. 9 July 2018.
  29. ^ Khan, Imran (15 August 2018). "THQ Nordic Acquires The Timesplitters And Second Sight Properties". Game Informer.
  30. ^ Good, Owen S. (6 September 2018). "THQ Nordic picks up Kingdoms of Amalur IP from 38 Studios' wreckage". Polygon.
  31. ^ Prescott, Shaun (19 September 2018). "Alone in the Dark is now a THQ Nordic series". PC Gamer.
  32. ^ a b Batchelor, James (14 November 2018). "THQ Nordic acquires Bugbear Entertainment and Coffee Stain studios".
  33. ^ Minotti, Mike (15 November 2018). "THQ Nordic acquires Expeditions series and starts on third game". VentureBeat.
  34. ^ O'Connor, Alice (3 December 2018). "Smash! Bash! Cash! THQ Nordic buy Carmageddon". Rock, Paper, Shotgun.
  35. ^ O'Connor, Alice (10 January 2019). "Cutter paid: THQ Nordic buy Outcast rights". Rock, Paper, Shotgun.
  36. ^ Klepek, Patrick; Walker, Austin (26 February 2019). "THQ Nordic Held Q&A on a Website Banned for Suspected Child Pornography". Waypoint.
  37. ^ Phillips, Tom (27 February 2019). ""I do not condone child pornography, white supremacy, or racism"". Eurogamer.
  38. ^ Grayson, Nathan. "Video Game Publisher Apologizes After Hosting AMA On 8Chan". Kotaku.
  39. ^ Valentine, Rebekah (26 February 2019). "THQ Nordic holds AMA on imageboard known for child porn".
  40. ^ McWhertor, Michael (4 March 2019). "THQ Nordic CEO apologizes for company's 8chan event". Polygon.
  41. ^ a b "About Us". THQ Nordic.

External links[edit]