The Reset Button 1/28/2013 - THQ Aftermath
We all knew this was coming. sooner or later, it had to become reality, and I believe it was a justifiable state of mind to see this when THQ, also known as Toy Head Quarters, pulled their booth from E3. There was no return.
I am, of course, talking about the Great THQ Auction of January 23, 2013.
Sure, other news happened like the Nintendo Direct conference, American McGee apologizing for anti-EA comments, and Leland Yee, the legislator behind the Supreme Court stricken anti-gaming bill, telling gamers their opinion isn't viable in a serious discussion, but this was huge in terms of how the industry might change on a broad scale within. This auction had some pros, cons, and just plain head-scratchers that made little to no sense in the long run.
Whether of not you were a fan of THQ, you've played at least one of their games over the span of their lifetime. If, on the off-hand chance you haven't, shame on you. Seriously, go play Warhammer 40K, Saints Row, or a WWE game. Any of them will do. Do it now, then come back here and read the rest of this.
Otherwise, let's take a look at the fallout from the THQ auction from the past week.
Vigil Games says goodbye to fans in NeoGAF post
Vigil's Lead Combat Designer Ben Cureton left a farewell note on NeoGAF under the username "tragic." Cureton said that he enjoyed coming into work every day and will miss the job he's had for quite some time.
He also said to the fans to not "cry for the people at Vigil," because they "made games for the game player."
"It's OK, though. I guess this post makes it sound a bit melodramatic. Seriously... if you work in the video game industry you have to be resilient. Doing what you love often comes with a price - anyone who has been around for a while can tell you that. Today, that price has been paid. That being said, I'd still never dissuade anyone from following their dreams if their dream is to make video games. While it's not as romantic as it sounds, it's sure a hell of a lot of fun."
Indeed it is.
It's the same for anyone associated in the games industry, whether you're a developer, publisher, critic, writer, or whatever. This industry can be very fun to work in, but also heartbreaking at times. Anyone pursuing a job in any profession, and I do mean any, should acquire some thick skin as the world is not all sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows. We're all aware of that, right? Right! So here's hoping the fine folks at Vigil find some work quick.
Heck, Santa Monica Studios is encouraging everyone formerly of Vigil to apply right away. That's some good in such a sad story to hear. As unfortunate it is to hear Vigil did not find a single buyer, there's at least some good in knowing they'll possibly find quick work for their efforts with Darksiders. Speaking of Darksiders...
Platinum Games seeks interest in Darksiders
Platinum Game's Atsushi Inaba definitely had his eyes on the THQ auction, as did a good percentage of the industry. In a translated tweet, Inaba said the following:
"In THQ and IP selling off auction, Darksiders is unsold? [We] wanna buy it...on the cheap..."
While nothing has been made official, this is certainly one tweet that started making fans and reporters alike salivating over the idea of a Platinum Games Darksiders.
Who can blame anyone? I certainly can't. It sounds like a match made in heaven for the makers of Bayonetta. With other projects upcoming for the Wii U, I can only imagine the possibilities of a Darksiders III exclusive for the Wii U.
Although, I think that might be asking for too much seeing that the game did very well on a wide range. Darksiders is an awesome series. Platinum Games is an awesome studio. Would it be a case of two awesome things flopping, or succeeding greatly beyond expectations? We'll only find out if the two meet up on a deal.
Hopefully soon, too.
Take Two acquires WWE license
According to IGN, the WWE license has been sold to Take Two, a studio related to 2K Games. The details of the deal are unknown, but IGN said that the deal was struck outside of the auction process.
Well isn't this a fine how'd-ya-do? Seeing how good the 2K Sports games are, I'm more than interested in seeing how they handle the WWE property and how they try to tip-toe their way around Vince McMahon's needs to keep the brand "strong," as if it needed to get any bigger.
In all seriousness, this is more of a personal note for me as a wrestling fanatic and I hope 2K and Take Two make the license all well and good, and not the victim of new Legacy's comedy.
Koch Media purchases Volition, Saints Row
Koch Media and Deep Silver, the guys behind Dead Island, have purchased the rights to Saints Row and bought the studio behind it, Volition, for a whopping $22.3 million USD.
According to the company, they won't be immediately addressing the fate of these two entities, but let's just say it won't go to waste. Deep Silver COO Geoff Mulligan said:
"These franchises hold a special place in the hearts and minds of anyone who loves exceptional video games. We’re thrilled to usher in a new era for these franchises and are proud to welcome the visionaries and talented forces at Volition on board."
Deep Silver also said that more information will be given in the next couple of months. They've also acquired the rights to the Metro franchise.
If I were them, I'd feel like we just won the Powerball lottery with these major acquisitions. The feeling is probably mutual down in Champaign, Ill., for Volition. Mainly because they get to keep their jobs, but they also get to keep making the beloved Grand Theft Auto off-shoot rival Saints Row.
Not too hot on the deal for Metro, but I feel that if they can make a pudding with their pie, then let them eat cake. Nowhere else to go but up, right? Only time will tell with this one.
Relic Entertainment purchased by Sega
In a wild card move, Sega has acquired the rights to Warhammer 40K and its respective studio, Relic Entertainment, for $26.6 million. The runner-up was Zenimax Media, Bethesda's parent company, which bid $26.3 million.
Clearly, Sega wanted the rights to Warhammer 40K, as it can obviously be profitable for them. What strikes me very odd about this story, however, is that Sega has no Western-based studios whatsoever.
Well, they have one now, technically, but that's besides the point.
The point I'm trying to make is this: Outside of Warhammer 40K, what use does Sega have for Relic Entertainment? Is this another 343 Industries like business move, where that's all they'll be making? I know a lot of studios focus on one franchise, but Relic Entertainment could possibly show more potential for Sega outside of this franchise.
Of course, I could be just thinking wishfully. Who knows? I could be right. But more often than not, I'm proven wrong in these circumstances.
Take this for what you will.