Going once. Going twice. Sold!
THQ officially announced its bankruptcy and is going to be auctioning off its properties in late January. This means that the futures of its game series, like Darksiders, Company of Heroes, and Saints Row, are all up in the air. Some may never see the light of day again, but this is also the chance for these licenses to get a fresh start with a new publisher.
We dont want to see any of THQs franchises abandoned and left out in the cold to die, so weve thought of some good homes where each series could grow and prosper. Hopefully these franchises get bought up and dont simply disappear in the wake of all the business dealings. Either way, here are the publishers we hope will fork over the dough for our favorite THQ properties. Let the bidding begin.
Who we want to buy it: Ubisoft
Why? We can't help but think that THQ took a step in the wrong direction with Red Faction, changing it from an open-world playground to an underground shoot-em-up, which is why we'd love to see the game handed over to Ubisoft. Put the franchise in the hands of the Far Cry 3 team and let them take full advantage of the massive Martian landscape and the destructible environments, and we're 100% sure the next Red Faction will make Armageddon's problems a distant memory.
World Wrestling Entertainment
Who we want to buy it: Activision
Why? Many companies are known for licensed games, but nobody annualizes them better than Activision. EA is already hedging its bets with the UFC franchise and the Fight Night series, but claiming the WWE license could be a win for Activision in the sports genre. For years WWE was one of THQs biggest franchises, and while many publishers could take it, we could easily see Activision here. Plus, the reliable nature of its audience to pick it up each year is just the kind of safe, exploitable bet Activision likes. We envision Treyarch or Neversoft teaming up with Yukes to keep the series going, thus allowing Activision to stick its toe in the sports world--one of the few markets they currently dont dominate.
Who we want to buy it: Capcom
Why? Capcom can be very hit-or-miss, but when it hits it knocks it out of the park. We're imagining a Darksiders game made with some help from Devil May Cry developers. It's easy to draw parallels with Deaths new repertoire of combo attacks and Dante's sword-slashing moves, so the transition to Capcom could work quite well.
Capcom could expand on the Darksiders combat and add some of that DMC flair--all while keeping it all contained in a Legend of Zelda-style world, of course. Plus, if DmC is successful, we wouldn't be shocked to see Capcom looking to branch out more into Japanese-influenced Western games, and Darksiders certainly fits the bill for that.
Who we want to buy it: Take-Two
Why?: Where would a high concept and possibly controversial FPS like Homefront fit in? Take-Two had tons of success with BioShock, and if the publisher got Crytek UK involved, we might get a sequel better than the disappointing original. Take-Twos history with Rockstar means it can deal with any controversy caused by the idea of a North Korean invasion of the US, and it could always use more free publicity. We can easily see Take-Two giving this one another chance.
Who we want to buy it: Square Enix
Why? Square Enixs biggest desires is to become a more international company with more Western appeal, which was something it did with Deus Ex last year and plans to do with Tomb Raider this year. Obviously the company likes to obtain established franchises for those territories instead of making its own, so why not Saints Row? Square Enix also could use an open world game in its portfolio, has been known to publish irreverent titles before (though nothing as crazy as The Third), and even tried something similarly weird with the cancelled Gun Loco. That corporate setting is perfect for Saints Row 4.
Company of Heroes
Who we want to buy it: EA
Why?: Relic Entertainments WWII strategy series would do well to end up in the hands of an experienced publisher in the strategy genre. EAs already has Command & Conquer, a long standing RTS series, and there aren't many better places for the WWII series to go.
Company of Heroes' tactical RTS gameplay and historical setting does differentiate itself from Command & Conquer's base-building style and futuristic setting, so it won't be stepping on any toes. And CoH has received critical acclaim, which we're sure EA wouldn't mind using to bulk up its RTS portfolio. Falling into EA's hands is the perfect place for the Company of Heroes series to get a new start--or to continue being a successful, tactical franchise.
Who we want to buy it: Take-Two
Why?: Few FPS games are as atmospheric as Metro 2033. After the release of the upcoming Metro: Last Light coming later this year, it would be incredibly disappointing to see such a promising series disappear in the dark pit that is the THQ bankruptcy. The developers of the Metro games, 4A Games, have done an outstanding job with the series. So, why replace them. We're hoping Take-Two will take the developer with the Metro name and keep the intense, atmospheric, and emotionally jarring FPS titles coming.
Take-Two has already invested in creepy FPS games before (you've probably heard of a little game called Bioshock), and we don't see any reason why they wouldn't be interested in a series with as much potential as Metro .
Where do you want the licenses to go?
Publishers will be meeting to snatch up the THQ properties soon, and any one of them could get their hands on your favorite franchise. Also, outside of those we mentioned, there are other franchises that would be thrown about as well, including about a thousand Disney/Pixar/Nickelodeon properties. Where would you like to see your favorite THQ license land?
If you liked this article, you should check out our Top 7 Games that were originally totally different games and our Most anticipated games of 2013.