News Article

THQ President: Lack Of Vigil Buyer Is A "Travesty"

Posted by Andy Green

There's still some hope for Darksiders

This week saw the sad end of THQ, as the publisher sold off its assets at auction and closed its doors for the last time. SEGA, Koch Media, Crytek, Take-Two and Ubisoft all gathered around for the sale, taking with them most of its IPs and studios.

One development team that unfortunately didn't get picked up was Vigil Games, the developer behind the Darksiders series of which Darksiders II was released on Wii U. This was seen as a surprise by many, considering the talent working at the studio as well as the quality of the games it has created in the past.

In an interview with Game Informer, THQ President Jason Rubin explained why they found it so difficult to sell the popular studio, saying:

Having just finished a product, Vigil was farthest from release of their next game, and we were not able to garner any interest from buyers, despite a herculean effort. Additionally, they were working on a new IP, which meant even more risk for a buyer.

It has recently been revealed that the game Vigil was working on was a title codenamed Crawler, very little is known about it but it was certainly a game Rubin thought highly of.

When the teams got together recently to show each other their titles, Crawler dropped the most jaws. It is a fantastic idea, and truly unique. The fact that nobody bid for the team and title is a travesty. It makes no sense to me. If I weren’t barred from bidding as an insider, I would have been there with my checkbook. I’m sure that’s little consolation to the team, but that’s a fact.

There is still some hope for the Darksiders series, as well as the other unsold franchises like Red Faction, as Rubin confirmed there will be a separate process to sell off the back catalogue and IPs, which will take place in the coming weeks.

What are your thoughts on this? Would you be keen to see Vigil Games find a new home and continue its work? Let us know in the comments section below.


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User Comments (46)



TheHeroOfLegend said:

Man, I hope some company gets it. The best matches, in my opinion, could be Nintendo or merging it with Platinum Games in this case. These companies seem like they would do good for Virgil Games.



AVahne said:

Come on Platinum, buy Vigil! Well, if you have enough money to spare that is. If not, Nintendo please?



chrisWLKP said:

WOAH !!! I tink NINTENDO should buy it and make them to do some more adult zelda games- because darksiders 1 was much like zelda games, i think second part was similar. I don't even think how good would be new Metroid with them to work for, not maybe alone but to help RETRO studios.



Chrono_Cross said:

I'm sure Activision or EA will buy the Red Faction license. I could see EA buying Vigil and merging it with Visceral Games.



ShadJV said:

Now I'm curious about Crawler. What the heck is it? Come on Platinum, buy Vigil already so I don't have to wonder about this mysterious game!!!



ajcismo said:

The travesty was THQ crumbling to begin with. Sucks that they got picked apart, but they didn't exactly make the best decisions the last few years of existence. Hopefully the remaining IPs find a home and the people involved find work.



Slapshot said:

Nintendo, you're now buying into great development teams - you need to buy Vigil! And you best do it quickly, before Sony Santa Monica snatches them up first.



hYdeks said:

I hope some company picks them up, there the only THQ studio I actually liked recently. I don't blame company's for not buying them though, how things are lately putting your money into them when there making a new ip is a extremely huge risk, at least lately it is. I hope a big name picks them up, and they continue making great games like Darksiders!



CanisWolfred said:

It's their Best studio after Relic, with Darksiders being their #1 game. This really is a travesty.



darkgamer001 said:

They were working on a new IP too....that's even more reason why Nintendo or Platinum Inc. should snap them up...
As for those noth bothered about Vigil because they didn't like have every right not to like the franchise, but may I remind you that people make a living at that studio. Have a heart...



DM666 said:

Darksiders 2 was my 2012 game of the year. Would love to see where it went next.



ajcismo said:

Can't. The company prez can't buy because it would be considered Insider Trading. Securities and Exchange Commission looks kinda down on that in a big way.



Xilef said:

I just hope that someway or another Vigil gets to make more Darksiders.



AceSpadeS said:

I didn't realize Red Faction hadn't been sold, although I should have. I'm hoping that it goes to a good home, as it is an enjoyable series. As for Darksiders, both of the games are sitting in my PC backlog...



cornishlee said:

Have to say I don't really care for any current THQ games with the obvious exception pertaining to this thread. I'm enjoying Darksiders 2 on Wii U. I think it could do with a little more polish (charm? soul?) but another parent company might be a better fit for the developer than THQ and help to provide just that.

Just starting work on a new IP explains the troubles though. The big publishers are allergic to new IP's right now.



Zodiak13 said:

Sony... I dream of the day they go bankrupt. Anyone other than Sony or EA would be a good home. I doubt Nintendo would buy them.



AceSpadeS said:

You dream of the day a multinational, billion dollar company that employees more than a hundred thousand employees and has been creating innovative products in consumer electronics for decades goes bankrupt? That's a pretty harsh dream...



CanisWolfred said:

I would rather Nintendo didn't snap up a studio known for making good Zelda clones...I'd rather Nintendo had competition, you know?



Splat said:

@Slapshot - I would be fine with Santa Monica snatching them up.

I just finished the first Darksiders today and it was a really good game. It's sad there hasn't been more interest.

@Zodiak13 - WOW dude! Not liking them is one thing but wishing they would go bankrupt is a bit much.



Slapshot said:

@Splat Yeah, I'm perfectly fine with Santa Monica acquiring them as well. In fact, I think that team would be a perfect fit for Santa Monica!

@Zodiak13 I'm guessing your young (basing it off your comment ant the "13" in your avatar), but just a bit of advice, it doesn't matter if you "like" the developers games, in this day and age, a good developer with considerable talent needs to keep on developing games - they might make something that you really enjoy down the road.

Also, don't ever wish ill on someone/something you don't particularly like - karma bites!



taffy said:

Given that Iwata himself admitted that games on the Wii U have been a bit on the slow side coming out (after the last Nintendo direct), it would have been a perfect opportunity for them to get another studio under their belt to bolster up their game production. I wouldn't have wanted them to make a Zelda game but rather come up with something new to keep things fresh and interesting on the Wii U



Knux said:

@Zodiak13 How very thoughtful of you. You wish for a company who employs millions of people to go bankrupt. Talk about being as biased, thoughtless, and heartless as hell. And what's even worse is that you're thirty-three according to your profile. It really says a lot about you. I give a zero out of ten for your first impression.



Obywan said:

@Slapshot The number at the end of his name has no relevance.

It's quite obvious he's an old Sega fan who's still salty about the Dreamcast. lol



luminalace said:

I wasn't that excited for Darksiders 2 when I got it but it has blown away all my expectations. Nintendo should buy them because these guys are talented and could at the very least port Zelda games into HD ala Wind Waker or make a new franchise that with Nintendo backing would sell alot better than Darksiders ever did.



Dizzard said:

Darksiders is the only THQ franchise I'm remotely interested in. (I haven't played the darksiders games but I've considered it)

So it's definitely a shame to see them being left out to dry like this. Once again the world seems to be in total disagreement with my own ideals.



eltomo said:

Never good to watch the vultures get the pickings... But apart from Company of Heroes, THQ haven't been part of a great game since Wresltemania 2000.



Linkuini said:

The heck? Admittedly, I haven't played Darksiders II, but my impression was that it was one of the best things to come out of THQ in recent memory. How could nobody be interested in the studio that developed it?



Bobhobob said:

@cornishlee Yeah, it would be awesome if Nintendo picked them up, maybe create a new, more mature IP. Nintendo is trying to appeal to the core gamer now, right? A more adult-oriented franchise would surely pick up attention, or even more Darksiders games as Wii U exclusives.
They would be a great fit at Platinum too, so I'm glad they're interested in picking them up. As long as they aren't banished to Microsoft to make bad Kinect games like Rare...



AceSpadeS said:

The extremely well recieved Saints Row: The Third would like a word or two with you about greatness. So would Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War, Supreme Commander, and Metro 2033.



sinalefa said:

All of this strikes me as odd, as if we are not being told something.

If the studio is that talented, should not it be the first one to be taken? Unless it is that talented, that the initial bidding price is so ridiculously high no one wants to bother.

Rubin says he would be there with his checkbook, but that he cannot do it because he is part of the company. The company that does not exist because it went bankrupt? Is he really hindered from creating a new company for the sole purpose of buying Darksiders, if he is that interested? Or even "lending" the money to a "friend" so they snatch it?

Big publishers are afraid of new IPs, but technically if you buy Vigil then you have the right to decide what they will work in. They can work in a couple of "safe" games before being allowed to have it their way with "Crawler". As long as they don't try to pull off a Silicon Knights and work in two projects at the same time.

Anyway, Platinum could come back from Clover's ashes, so I still have hope for Vigil Games. And if the studio dissolves and the individual members have to go to other developers, they will still have work and we will still be able to enjoy said work. Best of luck to them, whatever it happens.



Tsuchinoko said:

Well, at least there's still a chance for them. I've never played any of these games, but its hard not to feel for their situation. If the studio was as creative and talented as the article says, then this same situation could happen to any company really.



Gamer83 said:

Really annoys me that companies ran in part because they're afraid of new IPs. That's why this industry is turning to poo, it's the same old, same old or crap designed for mobile devices. When a company does get an interesting looking new IP they don't advertise it, yet still expect sales and then when the games (not surprisingly) don't sell they make it seem like it's because gamers don't want new experiences. I am begging somebody, have some guts, pick up the developer, publish its game and actually try advertising for once and maybe something good happens.



ThreadShadow said:

Dear Nintendo,

Please buy up Vigil Studios. Help them finish "Creeper" and release Darksiders Ultimate Edition for Wii U, and hone them into another great first party developer like Retro Studios. Thanks.




cornishlee said:

Companies are not interested in investing in talent, per se, but in making a profit. If Vigil have just started work on a brand new IP that represents a big risk.

As for Rubin's quotes, no, he can't do any of the things you said. They all count as insider trading.

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