So where will these games go? It was already noted that WB Studios, EA, and Activision have all been visiting THQ to check out all of the titles. There are currently no signs of any of them buying specific titles, but you can’t help but wonder where the big banks will go. Some of these are my favorite games, so I can’t help but to speculate.
Warner Bros Acquisitions
This is by far my favorite game coming out of THQ. The game is so far out there and so fun that I can’t wait for the fourth title. This also scares me. If this game ends up with a major studio like EA, will they still allow the over the top mayhem to be included? Or will it need to be toned down for PR sake? THQ somewhat slipped under the radar with Saints Row 3, but give the game to a massive studio with a big marketing push behind it? Suddenly the media becomes interested in it.
I think Warner Bros Studios is perfect for this role. They already picked up Mortal Kombat and pushed it back into the Mature audience range, and have other Mature rated titles under their belt. Saints Row seems like a positive fit for them. Any other studio is going to take it and want to directly attack Grand Theft Auto, unless of course Rockstar comes out of the blue and buys it.
Metro: Last Light
Metro is another game coming from THQ I’m fascinated with. I was actually working on an article talking about how Metro could be the FEAR of THQ. FEAR really pushed WB Studios in a new direction, a more mature direction with better quality games. Metro was already putting THQ on the map with very positive reactions every time it was shown off.
This is why I think Warner Bros should be looking into picking this one up. I’m not sure if they are interested in tossing another studio under their belt, but the game will do them wonders since they already have a positive reaction to the horror genre. Metro could be the revamp of FEAR, and push another strong FPS title into their system. The question is are they interested in doing that? Being an FPS title, this is probably THQ’s most expensive piece to sell.
South Park: Stick of Truth
This game is already pretty much done. It’s just sitting on a shelf waiting to be released, so who wants the quick buck? Don’t really see any major studios put a lot of effort into getting it since most of the other rumored studios all have tons of games coming out soon.
EA Sports or 2K Games
You may not want to read this, but WWE 14 will most likely end up at EA Sports. They are trying to push their new fighting system in, and they obviously love their licenses. WWE fits into their system well, rather or not they do something more with it? Who knows?
Then again 2K has been known to step up to the plate and face off against EA on many occasions. Why not take the WWE license and make a wrestling game to compete with EA’s MMA style games? It’s about the best shot they have at doing so.
The game obviously had a little cult following for a while. It looked promising, and played well; it was just too short and too lackluster. The follow up seems to promise to improve on everything though, which could very easily make it an attractive FPS title.
EA is constantly looking for the “Call of Duty” killer and has gobbled up more FPS titles than anyone, so why not add yet another? Crytek already works with EA making Crysis, and this could turn into something similar to DICE and Danger Close making Medal of Honor and Battlefield. It could even ease up a little stress on those games and give more development time to them.
EA obviously wants to acquire a variety of games, and this one could fit the bill. Remember the MMO? EA could very easily take that, market the heck out of it, and try to challenge Activisions World of Warcraft once again. Win or lose? Who knows, depends on if the MMO market is still there. The question is, after Star Wars does EA want to take another shot?
Company of Heroes 2
Ubisoft has a fascination with these types of games and with RUSE not doing amazingly well; perhaps they can take that technology and put it behind an already established franchise? The game is set perfect to make sequels so this might be a hard one to acquire, but I think its best suited at Ubisoft. EA already has Command and Conquer doing well, so they don’t need it.
Where Do You Think?
I’m not entirely sure where this one belongs. If Sony or MS want to jump in perhaps one of them will do well with the title? Otherwise Activision? It is an easily marketable product and it fits in their line pretty well, plus I don’t see them doing too much harm to it. However where do you think Darksiders should end up?
How About The Studios?
Now the more likely route is the people buying things will most likely buy the full studios. After all third parties will want to keep making these games right? Some might buy the studio, but give publishing rights elsewhere, who knows. Where do we think the studios might end up?
Like I’ve stated above, if WB is looking to buy a studio this is the one they need to put all the money into. Volition is the studio behind the all mighty Saints Row, Red Faction, and several forgotten older titles including The Punisher. WB seems to be the best fit for Saints Row, otherwise it might become a struggle between creativity and PR publicity.
This depends on rather or not the Metro license goes with them or with THQ Montreal. If Metro comes with it, I don’t see why WB wouldn’t want it. That or Microsoft, because they really have nothing else in the pipes or history. Buying them is somewhat of a risk since Metro hasn’t entirely hit mainstream just yet.
Ubisoft might step in here. THQ went to direct competition with Ubisoft when they opened this studio as they both are located in the same area. Ubisoft is really big on Canadian developers, so I don’t see them simply passing this studio up. Might as well take the new IP (1666) and see what you can do with it. The only issue is this was the only studio THQ created on their own, and currently it has 500 employees. That’s a big payroll increase.
I think Darksiders is going to end up with Activision. Writing this far along I still can’t think of where else the game will go. Activision will pick them up, get a game that creates easy sequels, plus they get to gamble on a new IP in the pipes with “Crawler.”
I split their games up above. Warhammer goes to EA IF they want the MMO risk, otherwise Ubisoft might be looking here as well. Relic is also known for Company of Heroes, which is doing wonders on the PC, so perhaps Valve steps in to boost up their Steam Box?
Crytek already owns the once titled Free Radical Design studio, so EA is obviously a leader in the acquisition. If EA doesn’t work with the entire studio, then Homefront will be sold off and the studio will just be absorbed into Crytek itself.
They make the WWE titles, and I think their license will just be sold off. EA Sports will most likely pick the license up, take in a few of the developers, but leave the studio behind. Sad, but most likely true. At worst, the license will not be purchased and simply lost.
They are the smart studio that simply worked with THQ. They are on the list because they were developing the South Park title, but they are a studio that is hired to work on already licensed games. They will keep doing what they do, the question is where will their licensed game go?
Does Sony or Microsoft Buy Anything?
The argument is that the two stay away from all of this because the games will come to their console eventually. They could go as far as paying for the dreaded timed exclusive deals, but why not just go all in? Yes the game will come anyways, but if you get it exclusive then it’s a big bonus. Metro was originally exclusive to Microsoft and PS3 players will obviously want it. Imagine if the other titles go exclusive entirely. Saints Row, Warhammer, or any of the new interesting IP’s? Sony could add to their already robust exclusive line and Microsoft could very easily play the same game with a few easy purchases. After all they do waste money on timed exclusive deals….
Of course this is all speculation, only time will tell who picks up what. So we want to hear your thoughts! Where do you think each studio, and more specifically their games, belong?