THQ Nordic is finally developing games that have long been on my ‘wish list’

As THQ Nordic continues to scoop up development studios and IPs, the gaming conglomerate gave us some long-awaited updates. THQ Nordic released their Q1 financial report, which mentions a new core Saints Row game in development, discusses the TimeSplitters franchise and gave us an update on Dead Island 2.

According to THQ Nordic, Volition is “deep in development” of a brand new Saints Row game. This will be the first full entry to the series since Saints Row IV released in 2013. Volition, which created the Saints Row series, last worked on Saints Row: Gat out of Hell in 2015, and then launched Agents of Mayhem in 2017 to a mixed reception.

Screenshot from Saints Row IV video game

Dead Island 2 has seen a fairly strenuous development cycle but is still alive. Sumo Digital was previously spearheading the development. It would appear now the responsibility has been shifted to Dambuster Studios, the folks behind Homefront: The Revolution. THQ Nordic notes that Dambuster Studios is leading the development, so whether or not Sumo Digital has a supporting role in the game’s creation is still unknown.

In 2018, THQ Nordic acquired the TimeSplitters IP and had everyone foaming at the mouth for another romp with Sergeant Cortez. That reality is getting ever closer. It’s been announced that Steve Ellis, one of the TimeSplitters creators, has been brought on board. THQ Nordic’s Lars Wingefors notes:

Last year Deep Silver acquired the much-loved TimeSplitters IP. We’re delighted to announce that one of the series’ creators, Steve Ellis, has joined us to help plot the future course for this franchise.

Finally, Fishlabs, the studio behind the Galaxy Fire series, is hard at work on a new IP and “a number of other unannounced projects.”

2019 has been a pretty big year for THQ Nordic. The Q1 financial report boasts that the successful quarter was made in part by the reception Metro Exodus received and the Epic Games Store promotion of Coffee Stain’s Satisfactory. THQ Nordic also announced three games earlier this year. During E3, Spongebob Squarepants: Battle For Bikini Bottom – Rehydrated, a Destroy All Humans! remake and Darksiders Genesis were revealed to be in development. As noted by the report, all three games have been met with positive reception.

While today’s announcements don’t get into the nitty-gritty, it speaks wonders to the effort THQ Nordic has put into keeping beloved franchises alive and well supported. Having a strong catalogue of well-established IP, THQ Nordic is giving us exactly what we want to play.

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Steve's Take

Author

You’ve got to hand it to THQ Nordic! The publisher refuses to slow down, and their hard work seems to be paying off. The announcements made today are a stark reminder that maintaining cherished IPs can reap benefits down the line. Looking at the list of announcements from THQ Nordic this year, you really couldn’t ask for anything more. This is exactly the list of games I’m looking forward to playing.

While I commend Volition for wanting to branch out and experiment, Agents of Mayhem seemed like a half measure by not taking a strong enough stand of its own: it was too similar to Saints Row and drew constant comparisons, but not similar enough that its mild zaniness appeased Saints Row fans. Going back to the drawing board for a new Saints Row game is the perfect opportunity for Volition to revitalize the franchise and create a new twist—superheroes and aliens have been done, so what’s next?!

We’ve been eager to hear more about Dead Island 2 and TimeSplitters. Dead Island 2 has seen its fair share of development turmoil. As Dying Light has begun to overshadow the Dead Island series, the success of the sequel won’t solely rely on technical performance, but distinctive differences to set it apart from Techland’s series. The original Dead Island is special, and I’m glad to see THQ Nordic has not given up on the IP. There’s something there, and I’m eager to see what Dambuster brings to the table.

TimeSplitters has such a dedicated fanbase, all of whom are hungry for another hilarious, time-jumping adventure. I’ll never forget the disappointment when the development of TimeSplitters 4 was cancelled, leaving the series dormant. Whether we see a new entry or a remastered collection, you can bet your bottom dollar I’ll be revisiting the series.