Darksiders 3 is back on! As we reported yesterday, the final THQ auction has closed and resulted in the Darksiders series (along with Red Faction, MX, and lots of other IP) being sold to Nordic Games, an outfit that nobody has ever heard of. That purchase came as a huge surprise, but the initial shock and consternation has quickly been tempered with optimism. That's because it looks like Nordic Games is handling Darksiders the way they should: by acting as curators and caretakers, and possibly even bringing the original creators back into the fold.
Darksiders 3 will not be developed by Nordic Games. That's because Nordic Games is, with a few small exceptions, not a developer. They're a publisher, and it looks like they're wasting no time in finding an actual developer for a third game in the series. And it looks like the developer they're most interested in working with is Crytek USA.
Darksiders and Crytek USA go way back, which is surprising, since Crytek USA is less than six months old. The Austin-based division of Crytek (Crysis, Far Cry) is its first in the U.S., and was formed in quite a hurry in January. That's when the first THQ auction went down and it's when Vigil Games went unsold, forcing it to close. But Crytek stepped in and hired at least thirty six former Vigil staffers to join the new Crytek USA outfit. It was essentially an acquisition, but of human capital rather than IP. Vigil Games developed both Darksiders and Darksiders 2. Now they may get their hands on Darksiders 3.
That's because Darksiders is Vigil/Crytek USA's specialty, and Nordic Games recognizes that. In an exclusive interview with Polygon, CEO Lars Wingefors repeatedly emphasized that Nordic Games isn't a creative company and doesn't want to be; they are strictly a publisher. But "over the last 24 hours [Nordic has] been in contact with quite a few of the original creators and studios. [Nordic Games] just want[s] to find the right team who have the creative talent to make something good out of these properties."
Nordic Games is looking into having Crytek USA (formerly Vigil Games) make a Darksiders 3. insidegamingdaily.com/2013/04/23/nor...
— Inside Gaming (@InsideGaming) April 23, 2013
Without saying we have been in contact with Crytek USA, I'd love to do something with them if we can find the right set-up. If they can prove they can make a worthwhile sequel, why shouldn't we talk? [...] I have a great respect for those guys. They made very good games. But I'm sure they have a full agenda. Making games takes time.
Even better for Darksiders 3, Wingefors wants to work with the former developers specifically: the team at Crytek USA "are the best-suited people in the world to make a sequel, that I'm aware of." So it's far from a done deal -- the contract for the THQ IP won't even close until a judge approves it in May -- but it doesn't seem like a far cry to guess that Darksiders 3 could very well be the first major project for Crytek USA.