THQ Nordic

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THQ Nordic GmbH
Nordic Games GmbH (2011–2016)
Industry Video game industry
Founded 23 June 2011; 7 years ago (2011-06-23)
Founder Lars Wingefors[1]
Headquarters Vienna, Austria
Area served
Key people
Number of employees
Increase 1,600 (2018)
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.


Beginnings (1990–2011)[edit]

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 acquired Nordic Games for GB£5.96 million in shares.[citation needed] After the dot-com bubble, Wingefors re-acquired the Nordic retail division from financially troubled Gameplay for 1 kr.[2] In 2004, the company started with a new outlet store concept and entered into the video game industry.[3] 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)[edit]

Original Nordic Games logo

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.[4]

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 Wingerfors[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] 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.[7]

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.[8] 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.[9]

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.[10] The following month, Nordic Games acquired a number of franchises from bankrupt German publisher bitComposer Entertainment, including the Jagged Alliance franchise.[11] In February 2016, they acquired all intellectual property from Hungarian publisher Digital Reality, including Sine Mora.[12]

THQ Nordic (2016–present)[edit]

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.[13]

On 31 October 2016, THQ Nordic announced that they had acquired all intellectual property and assets from now-defunct NovaLogic, including Delta Force.[14] 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.[15]

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.[16] 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.[17]

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,[18] 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.[19] 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.”.[20]

On 2 May 2017, a product listing for Darksiders III appeared on[21] 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.[22] The game will be released one year and a half later on 27 November 2018.[23]

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.".[24] In August 2017, THQ Nordic acquired Black Forest Games for up to €1.35 million and Pieces Interactive for 2.8 million kr.[25][26][27][28] In November 2017, the company acquired developer Experiment 101, the developer of soon-to-be-released Biomutant for 75.3 million kr.[29][30]

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.[31]

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.[32]

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.[33]

On 15 August 2018, THQ Nordic announced that they acquired the TimeSplitters and Second Sight IPs from Crytek UK and that "future products" were in the works. [34]

Games published or distributed[edit]

Properties acquired[edit]

Acquired in Title Acquired from
2011 AquaNox JoWooD Entertainment[4]
Alien Nations
Beam Breakers
Cold Zero
Europa 1400: The Guild
Freak Out: Extreme Freeride
K-Hawk: Survival Instinct
Legend of Kay
Neighbours from Hell
Panzer Elite
Rally Trophy
Railroad Pioneer
Söldner: Secret Wars
Space Force: Rogue Universe
The Nations
Yoga Wii
Zax: The Alien Hunter
Animates DreamCatcher Interactive[4]
Dunes of War
Dungeon Lords
Emergency Fire Response
Enigma: Rising Tide
First Battalion
Genesis Rising: The Universal Crusade
Pax Romana
Project Earth: Starmageddon
Riddle of the Sphinx: An Egyptian Adventure
Rock Manager
Stealth Combat
The Forgotten: It Begins
The Golden Horde
Traitors Gate
A Vampyre Story The Adventure Company
Atlantis Evolution
Aura: Fate of the Ages
Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon
Crime Stories
Crystal Key
Dark Fall
Dead Reefs
Dracula: Origin
Echo: Secrets of the Lost Cavern
Evidence: The Last Ritual
Forever Worlds: Enter the Unknown
Hans Christian Andersen: The Ugly Prince Duckling
Missing: Since January
MISSING: The 13th Victim
Murder in the Abbey
Mysterious Journey II
Next Life
NiBiRu: Age of Secrets
Post Mortem
Return to Mysterious Island
Safecracker: The Ultimate Puzzle Adventure
Sentinel: Descendants in Time
The Black Mirror
The Book of Unwritten Tales
The Cameron Files
The Egyptian Prophecy
The Experiment
The Moment of Silence
The Mystery of the Mummy
The Omega Stone: Riddle of the Sphinx II
The Sacred Rings
The Secrets of Atlantis: The Sacred Legacy
The Secret of the Nautilus
Traitors Gate 2: Cypher
Voyage: Inspired by Jules Verne
2013 All Star Cheer Squad THQ[6]
All Star Karate
Alter Echo
Baja: Edge of Control
Battle of the Bands
Beat City
Big Beach Sports
Big Family Games
de Blob
Deadly Creatures
Deep Six
Destroy All Humans!
Dood's Big Adventure
Elements of Destruction
Fantastic Pets
Frontlines: Fuel of War
Full Spectrum Warrior
Lock's Quest
MX vs. ATV
Neighborhood Games
Pax Imperia: Eminent Domain
Red Faction
The Outfit
Titan Quest
World of Zoo
Desperados: Wanted Dead or Alive Atari, SA[8]
2014 Codename: Panzers – Cold War Make Projects[35]
15 Days DTP Entertainment[9]
Curse of the Ghost Ship
Overclocked: A History of Violence
The Mystery of the Druids
2015 Men of Valor 2015 Games[36]
Bridge Project bitComposer Entertainment[11]
Jagged Alliance
North & South
Panzer Tactics DS
Thunder Wolves
Nexus: The Jupiter Incident HD Publishing[37]
Codename: Panzers NeocoreGames[35]
Impossible Creatures Relic Entertainment[38]
2016 Bang Bang Racing Digital Reality[12]
Black Knight Sword
Imperium Galactica
Liberty Wings
Sine Mora
Scarabeus: Pearls of Nile
Armored Fist NovaLogic[14]
Black Fire
Delta Force
F-16 Multirole Fighter
F-22 Lightning II
Jigsaw: The Ultimate Electronic Puzzle
Joint Operations: Typhoon Rising
MiG-29 Fulcrum
Tachyon: The Fringe
Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy Mobile Gaming Studios[15]
Legends of War Enigma Software Productions[15]
War Leaders: Clash of Nations
2017 Rad Rodgers Slipgate Studios[20]
Giana Sisters Black Forest Games[39]
Rogue Stormers
Fret Nice Pieces Interactive
Kill to Collect
Robo Surf
Roby Tumbler
2018 1940s HandyGames
Aces of the Luftwaffe
Bouncing Bandit
Clouds & Sheep
Devils & Demons
Dynamite Fishing
Farm Invasion USA
Epic Battle Dude
Happy Vikings
Hidden Temple
I Slay Zombies
My Fitness
Ninja Hero Cats
Panzer Panic
Photo Party Puzzle
Pick by Watch
Rocket Island
Save the Puppies
Stage Dive Legends
Stunt Kite Masters
Super Party Sports
Vegas Fruit Slots
Watch Face
TimeSplitters Crytek
Second Sight



  1. ^ Wingefors, Lars (12 August 2016). "Nordic Games Reincorporates to THQ Nordic". THQ Nordic. Retrieved 3 January 2017. 
  2. ^ Richardson, Tim (17 May 2001). "Gameplay division sold for £1". The Register. Situation Publishing. Retrieved 3 January 2017. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b c Leo, Jon (17 August 2011). "Nordic Games Holding acquires JoWood and The Adventure Company". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 5 January 2017. 
  5. ^ Calvin, Alex (24 September 2014). "Nordic Games on publishing big IP for less". MCV. NewBay Media. Retrieved 3 January 2017. 
  6. ^ a b McWhertor, Michael (22 April 2013). "Nordic Games acquires THQ's Darksiders, Red Faction and more in $4.9M bid". Polygon. Vox Media. Retrieved 3 January 2017. 
  7. ^ Hall, Charlie (12 June 2014). "THQ trademark acquired by Nordic Games". Polygon. Vox Media. Retrieved 3 January 2017. 
  8. ^ a b Sarkar, Samit (24 June 2013). "Nordic Games acquires rights to Atari's Desperados and Silver". Polygon. Vox Media. Retrieved 3 January 2017. 
  9. ^ a b Suszek, Mike (12 May 2014). "Nordic acquires adventure games from Awesomenauts publisher". Engadget. AOL Tech. Retrieved 3 January 2017. 
  10. ^ Sarkar, Samit (2 July 2015). "ELEX is the next game from the studio behind Risen". Polygon. Vox Media. Retrieved 3 January 2017. 
  11. ^ a b Parfitt, Ben (5 August 2015). "Nordic swoops for BitComposer licenses, including Jagged Alliance". MCV. NewBay Media. Retrieved 3 January 2017. 
  12. ^ a b Calvin, Alex (3 February 2016). "Nordic Games buys Digital Reality IP including Sine Mora". MCV. NewBay Media. Retrieved 3 January 2017. 
  13. ^ Takahashi, Dean (12 August 2016). "Nordic Games brings back the THQ name, rebrands as THQ Nordic". GamesBeat. VentureBeat. Retrieved 3 January 2017. 
  14. ^ a b Donnelly, Joe (31 October 2016). "THQ Nordic buys Delta Force and the rest of NovaLogic's back catalogue". PC Gamer. Future US. Retrieved 3 January 2017. 
  15. ^ a b c Minotti, Mike (5 December 2016). "THQ Nordic acquires more franchises to prepare for the Nintendo Switch". GamesBeat. VentureBeat. Retrieved 3 January 2017. 
  16. ^ Sal Romano (6 January 2017). "Lock's Quest rated for PS4, Xbox One, and PC in Germany". Gematsu. Retrieved 7 January 2017. 
  17. ^ "Cool Nintendo DS game Lock's Quest coming to PC, PS4 and Xbox One". Eurogamer. 17 February 2017. Retrieved 16 February 2017. 
  18. ^ "Baja: Edge of Control HD Announced for PS4 & Xbox One". PlayStation LifeStyle. 1 March 2017. Retrieved 3 March 2017. 
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  20. ^ a b "THQ Nordic acquires Rad Rodgers IP". Gamasutra. 31 March 2017. Retrieved 31 March 2017. 
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  22. ^ "THQ Nordic Announces Darksiders® III". THQ Nordic. 2 May 2017. Retrieved 2 May 2017. 
  23. ^ Pearce, Alanah (9 July 2018). "Darksiders 3 Release Date, Collectors Editions Announced – IGN First". IGN. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved 9 July 2018. 
  24. ^ Batchelor, James (5 July 2017). "How THQ Nordic will build a successful brand out of a failed one". 
  25. ^ a b McAloon, Alissa (21 August 2017). "THQ Nordic picks up Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams dev Black Forest Games". Gamasutra. Retrieved 28 August 2017. 
  26. ^ THQ Nordic PR (21 August 2017). "THQ Nordic acquires the independent developer Black Forest Games GmbH". Retrieved 29 June 2018. 
  27. ^ a b Lemne, Bengt (28 August 2017). "THQ Nordic picks up Pieces Interactive". Gamereactor. Retrieved 28 August 2017. 
  28. ^ Reuters Staff (28 August 2017). "BRIEF-THQ Nordic to acquire all shares of Swedish Game Development Studio". Reuters. Retrieved 29 June 2018. 
  29. ^ Batchelor, James (17 November 2017). "Biomutant developer Experiment 101 acquired by THQ Nordic". 
  30. ^ Kerr, Chris (17 November 2017). "THQ Nordic acquires Biomutant developer Experiment 101". Gamasutra. Retrieved 11 May 2018. 
  31. ^ McWhertor, Michael (2018-02-14). "THQ Nordic acquires Deep Silver, meaning Saints Row is back at THQ". Polygon. Retrieved 2018-02-14. 
  32. ^ Romano, Sal (21 March 2018). "THQ Nordic and Nickelodeon to revive several select game titles from the past". Gematsu. Retrieved 21 March 2018. 
  33. ^ a b THQ Nordic IR (9 July 2018). "THQ Nordic acquires the German game developer and publisher HandyGames". THQ Nordic Investors. Retrieved 9 July 2018. 
  34. ^ Roberts, Samuel. "TimeSplitters and Second Sight are now owned by Koch Media, 'future products' in the works". PCGamer. PCGamer. Retrieved 15 August 2018. 
  35. ^ a b Sinclair, Brendan (24 September 2015). "Nordic acquires Codename: Panzers franchise". Gamer Network. Retrieved 5 January 2017. 
  36. ^ Campbell, Evan (15 April 2015). "Darksiders Publisher Nordic Games Buys Rights to Men of Valor". IGN. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved 5 January 2017. 
  37. ^ "Nordic Games acquires 'Nexus'". Gamasutra. UBM TechWeb. 16 September 2015. Retrieved 5 January 2017. 
  38. ^ Hillier, Brenna (23 November 2015). "The improbable journey of Impossible Creatures". VG247. Videogaming247. Retrieved 5 January 2017. 
  39. ^ McAloon, Alissa (21 August 2017). "THQ Nordic picks up Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams dev Black Forest Games". Gamasutra. UBM plc. Retrieved 22 August 2017. 
  40. ^ a b McWhertor, Michael (12 August 2016). "Nordic Games changes its name to THQ Nordic". Polygon. Vox Media. Retrieved 3 January 2017. 
  41. ^ a b "About Us". THQ Nordic. Retrieved 15 June 2017. 
  42. ^ Batchelor, James (17 November 2017). "Biomutant developer Experiment 101 acquired by THQ Nordic". Retrieved 17 November 2017. 

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