THQ Nordic, the company behind the Darksiders and de Blob re-releases, has bought Koch Media, owner of Saints Row and Dead Island publisher Deep Silver, in a deal worth 121m euro.
For that, THQ Nordic gets all of Deep Silver's studios and games, such as Volition (Saints Row), Dambuster (Homefront) and Dead Island. It also picks up Deep Silver's exclusive rights to the Metro games, which are developed by 4A.
In a note to press, THQ Nordic said it has no plans to restructure Deep Silver, which hopefully means jobs are safe (there are 150 people currently at Volition, for example), and Koch Media will continue to operate as a separate entity within the THQ Nordic group. It also said it plans to soldier on with Deep Silver's current slate of in-development games.
THQ Nordic boss Lars Wingefors said it reckons Deep Silver will release at least four ongoing triple-A projects, including Metro Exodus, the next game from Volition (a new Saints Row) and the next triple-A game from Dambuster. In May 2017, Deep Silver told Eurogamer Dead Island 2 was still alive, despite no news emerging on the game in over a year. It's in the works at UK studio Sumo Digital.
Deep Silver has had a tough time of it in recent years, with a couple of high-profile video game flops sparking layoffs. After Volition's Agents of Mayhem failed to make an impression, over 30 people lost their jobs at the studio. Before that, Dambuster's troubled Homefront failed to set tills alight.
THQ Nordic said it will "closely monitor and delegate resources" to Koch's games business "in order to ensure quality and a healthy return on investment on its large in-house development projects".
"Following less successful launches in recent years with substantial write-offs in the business area (primarily Agents of Mayhem and Homefront), Koch Media has made significant organisational changes in its management, internal steering and control, technology, as well as its selection process for development of IPs," THQ Nordic continued.
"With the competence THQ Nordic possesses on management level, Koch Media will be better positioned to deliver the full potential of its development projects in the future."
There's an interesting circle of life element to THQ Nordic's acquisition of Koch Media. Nordic Games bought the THQ name in 2013 when it picked up Darksiders, Titan Quest, Supreme Commander, Red Faction and other THQ properties, and re-branded as THQ Nordic a year later. Deep Silver bought Saints Row and Metro as part of the THQ firesale, and, later, Homefront from Crytek. All this means Saints Row, Metro and Homefront are all "THQ" games, once again.