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THQ Nordic have snapped up the Timesplitters IP

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THQ Nordic today announced the acquisition of the video game trilogy Timesplitters.

Timesplitters was largely considered as one of the most influential console games of the early 2000’s. The three game series earned a large and passionate fan base thanks to its unique humour, art style and pop culture references while encouraging customization and modification to give each person their own individual experience.  Timesplitters was originally created by the development studio Free Radical Design that later become Deep Silver Dambuster, part of the THQ Nordic group. 

In addition to Timesplitters, the IP and the rights to science fiction action-adventure game Second Sight were acquired. Both acquisitions were made through THQ Nordic’s fully owned subsidiary Koch Media GmbH.

This is fantastic news. THQ Nordic have been doing a good job of releasing their past games on todays platforms, so here's hoping Timesplitters is finally making its return! They have also picked up the right to Second Sight, which is a bit of a gem that was released in the same generation.

 

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Fantastic news. Kudos to THQ Nordic for picking it up, especially with having Dambuster under their wings, though whether there are many if the original Timesplitters developers there is a different question.

The best thing about it is that the slide put out by THQ Nordic the other year showing their upcoming slate of titles being worked on by their studios showed that Dambusters was working on a secret project so we can only hope it's Timesplitters related. I'd happily take a remaster of the old games but a new entry would be amazing.

And getting Second Sight too is brilliant. Always wanted to play it so any possibility of a remaster is ok in my eyes. And Volition have a secret project on the go as well so who knows, maybe they're working on that. Probably not but interesting to speculate.

THQ Nordic are doing a good job as a middle tier developer/publisher. They might not be printing money but they're doing some interesting games and the upcoming Biomutant is one I'm keeping an eye on. Looks as though it won't release till next year but at least we'll get to see more next week at GamesCom as they've said that that's where they'll be showing off all of their games.

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Bloody fantastic news!! Love Timesplitters and THQ Nordic is the best possible home it could have right now!

 

A remaster of the original trilogy is all but assured now! Timesplitters 4 is even on the cards now! Woohoo! :D 

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I've always wanted to give Second Sight a spin (after stupidly passing on a 5€ bargain), so hopefully they'll rerelease that.

As for the prospects of Timesplitters 4... how much of the old staff is working at THQ Nordic? If it's mostly new blood, I'd be sceptic. Or maybe not, I would need to watch footage.

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Fantastic news indeed, we had to cover this even though there are no platforms confirmed... yet. :D

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I'm a huge fan of Timesplitters, especially the second game for the multiplayer alone. :)

Let's not forget about Second Sight though, the very defintion of a modern day hidden gem right there. ;)

Very much welcome news indeed, the prospect of some HD re-releases is tantalising enough, let alone a new entry for either series! :bowdown:

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I spent way more time on the map maker for Timesplitters 2 than I actually did with the single or multiplayer game itself. I'm one of the rare bunch that belonged to the "meh" camp. I just found it very unsatisfying to play and the weapons didn't do an awful lot for me. I spent ages with it hoping I'd get into it, but nah, it wasn't for me. Will give it another go in the future if a remake or sequel comes about.

This is good news for the many who enjoyed it, however. There's potential there for a remake or even a reboot of the series and I'm sure with the current technology available they can make it an even grander experience. So, hooray!

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Probably not worth making it's own thread but THQ Nordic have picked up the Kingdom of Amalur license, including the unfinished MMO Copernicus. I've been wanting this to be picked up and had hoped a remaster would be on the way so I'm happy to see someone has taken it. Whether it ends up being remastered or a new game is made from the remains of the MMO (alongside possibly getting R.A. Salvatore and Todd MacFarlane back on board) I'm interested to see what they do with it.

THQ Nordic are getting themselves a nice stable of IPs. Hopefully something good comes from all of these recent acquisitions and that it all works out for them.

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Kingdom of Alamur was awesome. A little repetitive but a gem if you like grinding and action RPGs. Perfect for me :D
Hope a remaster is on its way.

 

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Timesplitters 2 was amazing. Spent many an hour playing the multiplayer with my friends. It so many cool modes, like the one where you change size based on how well you're doing, or the one where an army of monkeys helps the last placed player. 

Ice Station was such a badass tune as well (wait for 1min20secs and turn the bass up loud):

 

 

Edited by bob
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After the last Alone in the Dark game, I'd have rather had that stay dormant as it was absolutely abysmal (I remember being sent the Wii version of it and it was just a broken mess).

They're certainly buying up a lot of cheap IPs but they don't necessarily have the development staff to cover all of them. Is this simply to give the impression that they're bigger than they are or are they actually going to go all out on all of these purchases. It's certainly going to be an interesting year or 2 as we see what they plan on doing. I suspect they might end up being added to the already crowded E3 conference schedule if the latter point is the case. I just hope they don't end up going the same way that THQ did as they do seem to be active in creating new IPs so while having established ones will help to bolster their position, I'm hoping they continue to lean on that.

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Loved Timesplitters and Second Sight but I feel they'd both need full on remakes rather than remasters to be worth revisiting. They're very outdated now and I don't see how they could easily be modernised.

Also, what are people finding inspiring about THQ Nordic? 

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I don't know about gameplay, but a FPS where you travel through time and have gun fights in different time periods definitely has legs. If they made it fun and colourful, they could perhaps differentiate from all the other shooters out right now. It would probably get Overwatch comparisons, but maybe they could concentrate on single player to stop that?

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I was going to say, if Blizzard were handling it you could be sure they'd pour in the love the franchise deserves. Just look at the effort Free Radical put into their character select screen: 

Future Perfect had a solid campaign, a raft of co-op missions, a beefy multiplayer mode (including online) and a map maker. For the time it was released, that was a ludicrous package.

Thing is, arena multiplayer shooters aren't that popular any more, so that whole mode would have to overhauled. Linear, arcadey FPS campaigns are also less common now. There's definitely space for a comedic, arcadey shooter, but it's such a mammoth task to take on considering the wide range of environments (as you mentioned) and huge cast of characters required. It's a big legacy to live up to and I'm not sure why people have so much faith in THQ Nordic to deliver it. This is beside the point though as they're probably only interested in remastering the trilogy.

Edited by dwarf

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The THQ Nordic purchase train shows no sign of stopping. They've recently picked up both Bugbear Entertainment (who are making Wreckfest) and Coffee Stain (who made Goat Simulator) and they've announced as part of their earnings report that they now have 55 games in development across all studios under the THQ Nordic brand, 35 of which haven't been announced.

That's just mind boggling numbers for in development projects across a relatively young brand. And they're saying that there are likely more purchases on the way. You do wonder if they are spreading themselves a bit thin with all the spending but they must feel confident enough that they can put quality products out.

It's likely that some of the 35 unannounced products are likely remasters and if wager that the likes of Kingdom of Amalur and Timesplitters will be two of those getting that treatment. Some of them must be in early stage development as well so this could also be a long pipeline of games so this announcement might just be to reaffirm long term plans.

I honestly wouldn't be surprised to see them do an E3 conference or a conference at Gamescom next year with everything they've got cooking. Let's just hope it doesn't end up going the way that THQ originally went a few years back.

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I really hope THQ Nordic know what they are doing, they do seem to be confident with the number of acquisitions they seem to be making.

If they plan to be a brand focused around remasters of beloved franchises to start with, which may then lead to new entries, plus a variety of oddball titles... then I'm in. :D

This sounds like what they are planning anyway, in any case, I really can't wait to see what they do with Timsplitters, Second Sight and Darksiders to start with. :peace:

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I think Darksider 3's release in just over a week is going to be quite an eye opener for THQ Nordic with regards to their output. They've clearly given Gunfire Games the time and means to put together the game though whether it brings back it's budget in sales and then any profit remain to be seen. It is a very niche title but it's had a bit of space from RDR2 to allow it to have a chance and if they've managed to recapture what made the original so good (and was somewhat lost in the second one) then it might but home with people wanting a more traditional Zelda-like in the run up to Christmas.

I do hope they've been careful on the budget for it and for the games they're working on going forward and that they're keeping expectations for performance reasonable. They could easily carve out a niche as a strong AA publishing house with a strong line-up of titles to back that up but only if they've spent accordingly. Starting with remasters for many of the IPs they've picked up is definitely a way to go to allow for a minimal investment but maximum return scenario and it's what I see them doing. After all, their sales were apparently up over a 1000% in the earnings report so they clearly have a good idea of the market they're aiming for.

The likes of Biomutant looks like it could be a great AA title as there seems to be a decent amount of interest in it (even with it having disappeared from a supposed 2018 release). If that is indicative of their path forward, then hopefully it's a path that works as they clearly have a want to preserve various older IPs as well as creating and nurturing newer ones.

I'm hoping it works out for them anyway as the AA market didn't really come back after the success of Hellblade when people suggested it would. I'll be taking a look at Darksiders 3 when it released but I can see it hitting the Christmas sales unfortunately.

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Oh yeah, that reminds me...

*Pre-Orders Darksiders 3*

Yeah, I know... the price will probably go down but... I got the other two games cheaply and I want to support THQ Nordic, so it's worth it. :D

I'm only tending to pre-order games that I really want now, as opposed to games that I might play... possibly and then regretting it later.

Darksiders is a series which I fully intend to play, but everything in good time. :)

Edited by S.C.G

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1 hour ago, Ganepark32 said:

I'm hoping it works out for them anyway as the AA market didn't really come back after the success of Hellblade when people suggested it would. I'll be taking a look at Darksiders 3 when it released but I can see it hitting the Christmas sales unfortunately.

Yup. It has a quick price reduction written all over of it. I could be wrong but I can't see it doing that great in the charts. Also, it seems to be a 10-12 hour game. This doesn't bother me at all but a lot of gamers expect everything to be a 40+ hour adventure and won't bother with anything less.

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And now they’ve acquired the rights to Carmageddon from Stainless Games. Was anyone even asking for this to come back?

I’m pretty nervous about THQ Nordic. A lot of projects already in the works, if not being planned out, and far too many IPs for even a publisher with over one thousand employees to make use of.

Something is making me think that all of these acquisitions of IPs are more for insurance purposes than anything else. Turbulent financials? Offload a couple of IPs. And, if these IPs have games already in production at the time of sale, then THQ Nordic could be in a strong position to negotiate for investment/a greater selling price as a result.

I really don’t know how to feel about this. Can anyone remember any examples of publishers going on any massive acquisition sprees as large as THQ Nordic has? Maybe this is a norm that I’m not aware of ::shrug:

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Quote

Growing publisher THQ Nordic has released its interim financial results for 2018, showing dramatic increases across the board.

For the 12 months ended December 31, the company reports net sales of $447.6 million, up an impressive 713% year-on-year from $55.1 million. EBITDA rose by 257% to $105.7 million, while operational EBIT rose 139% to $52.5 million.

As with all THQ Nordic's results this past year, the significant year-on-year increases can largely be attributed to its acquisition of Koch Media/Deep Silver last February, now reaping the revenues from that publisher's titles.

The year's takings were boosted by a particularly strong fourth quarter, with total net sales from games coming in at $59.9 million -- more than each of the previous three quarters, which peaked with net sales of $52.5 million in Q2.

In Q4, THQ Nordic's titles accounted for 64% of the total net sales at $38.2 million, while games from Deep Silver and Coffee Stain generated $20.3 million and $1.5 million respectively.

Total net sales for the whole company in Q4 came in at $149.6m, up 441% from $27.7 million last year. EBITA rose more than doubled to $35.4 million, while operational EBIT rose 84% to $21.1 million.

The CEO added: "We look forward to our most exciting year ever. By the end of the quarter, we had a record 77 games under development. 48 of these are still in the pipeline waiting to be announced, including a few that are scheduled for release in 2019."

Fantastic news for these guys. I looking forward to seeing what they end up becoming. They've certainly have made some interesting acquisitions over the past year or so. 

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They're also saying that Darksiders 3 has recouped it's development costs and then some, going on to say they're happy and that it's performance was in line with its sales forecast.

I personally didn't like what I played of it as it was just a bit messy and seemed to be trying to morph the gameplay styles of Darksiders and the Soulsborne games and that's not what I wanted. Nevertheless, managing to meet expectations in spite of some really poor review scores shows good business practice from THQ Nordic in keeping expectations in checked and not thinking and needing it to sell stupid volumes.

If that's the style of business they're working with, keeping measured expectations with their releases and being pleased with the profits they're making after recouping development costs, they can easily carve out a niche for themselves as a top AA developer and publisher.

I also saw that they've acquired Warhorse Studios, the makers of Kingdom Come Deliverance (another game that was a moderate success that managed to shift half a million in its first month and exceeded expectations at that). So it seems that they're not yet finished their buying spree. When we see the fruits of much of this is the biggest question. I have a feeling that we'll be seeing some kind of conference come E3, whether a direct style video or an actual physical conference. If not there then GamesCom as they've surely got plenty on the go to show off by now, even if it's remasters. We'll definitely be seeing some form of big presence at these shows in years to come that's for sure.

Edit: can't for the life of me remember where I saw the article about Darksiders 3. Sure it was linked on Twitter somewhere.

Edited by Ganepark32
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23 minutes ago, Ganepark32 said:

Edit: can't for the life of me remember where I saw the article about Darksiders 3. Sure it was linked on Twitter somewhere.

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So THQ Nordic are in the middle of what can only be called a shitstorm of a PR disaster. Their marketing department held an AMA on 8chan, a site well known for some really disgusting and questionable activity from what I've heard. Quite frankly, it's baffling they've gone ahead with it. I've not seen/heard much of what's been said but Patrick Klepek of Waypoint has shared a few snippets on Twitter and it's just mental to think a PR department would sign off on doing an AMA on anywhere other than Reddit.

Not a great image for their business. Gonna be hard to resolve this issue. As I saw someone say on Twitter, you've got to feel for the dev teams working on games to be published by THQ Nordic following this as there'll surely be some form of impact/fallout.

Just when you think the industry can't get any more baffling...

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Hmm, this sounds like it could be sabotage to me.

Why would a company who has spent so long buying up beloved IP's and generally building up goodwill in addition to flourishing financially in the last quarter suddenly risk it all?

I'm betting that if this goes as wrong as it could and everything crashes, there'll be some kind of buyout by a larger AAA company and it'll all go to shit again.

Pure speculation of course, I really hope this doesn't happen but I don't get a good feeling from this at all.

Although... just reading one of the articles about it for myself, it could well have just been a mistake as they say, someone maybe didn't do their research beforehand.

As I understand it, Google have blocked the site in question from their search results years ago due to this "questionable activity" so I can see why the PR has spiralled.

If this was an honest mistake on THQ Nordic's part then they really don't deserve this, although clearly they could have checked before agreeing to this AMA session.

Lessons will be learned here I'm sure but I just hope that it doesn't get blown out of all proportion resulting in ruin for the publisher and developers.

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