Red Faction, Painkiller, Risen and more get closer to home in THQ Nordic and Koch Media IP trade

(Image credit: Piranha Bytes)

THQ Nordic and Koch Media - both part of the Embracer Group's gaming portfolio, and respectively a fairly new publisher formed from THQ's shell, and the parent company behind the publishers of Dead Island and Saint's Row 4 - have traded multiple IP.

THQ Nordic offered the rights to Red Faction and Painkiller in exchange for the Risen, Sacred, Rush for Berlin, Second Sight, and Single: Flirt Up Your Life IP from Koch Media. If that sounds strange, that's because it kind of is. It's not unprecedented for studios to directly trade for IP rather than sell them, but it is rare to see a studio offer up a whole suite of IP like they're trading Pokemon cards on the schoolyard. And that is pretty much what's happened here, just with more red tape. 

In a press release, THQ Nordic said that "evaluations on remasters, ports, potential sequels and new content etc. will start right away. We have something in mind already." Risen seems like the most likely candidate for some sort of continuation or revival. The series was pretty well-received back in the early 2010s and spawned multiple sequels and DLCs. And as of this acquisition, THQ Nordic now owns all of the titles from Risen's original developer, Piranha Bytes, after acquiring the studio itself last year. It stands to reason that it wanted to finalize ownership of all things Piranha Bytes because it intends to do something with it, but that's just speculation.  

That said, with Red Faction now back under Koch Media's umbrella - which also includes Volition, the series' original developer - we may see something out of it as well. And while Painkiller creator People Can Fly is now working on the cross-gen shooter Outriders, it's not unfeasible for Koch Media to put the old IP to work within its own studios. 

You may know THQ Nordic from Darksiders: Genesis, but it's also behind the upcoming Destroy All Humans remaster.  

Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a senior writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature, all while playing as many roguelikes as possible.