Now that THQ Inc. has sold off all of its properties, what is going to happen to the franchise that we love the most, Saints Row? The developing studios will most likely be kept relatively intact, but as with most changes in ownership, some people are going to lose their jobs, so how is that going to affect the games that are created? And it’s not going to be just Saints Row we have to worry about, but the smaller series that were sold as well. Even though the entire studio was sold, new ownership can change things around, and we as gamers can only hope that the studios will be allowed to do what they do best.
Volition Studios, the makers of the Saints Row franchise were sold to Koch Media a little over a week ago. Along with that purchase, Koch got the rights to the Metro series as well, which was slated to release Metro: Last Light later this spring. While Metro looked to be a mostly finished game when it was last shown, the franchise needs to be kept in the hands of 4A Games to keep the franchise true to what made it a good game. This may be the scariest part about a publisher going bankrupt — a studio losing control of its games. If a studio is given a game that they did not make, the game will be different from what gamers know and love about the game. I feel that as long as Volition and 4A Games are able to stay in charge of the franchises that they created, then the sale will turn out to be a success.
It’s not just about Saints Row and Metro that I worry about. I worry about all the studios that were sold. South Park: The Stick of Truth, has been in development for a long time and has been delayed on a number of occasions. Now that Ubisoft has purchased the publishing rights, what is going to happen? My feeling is that Ubisoft, who typically gives a long leash to its developers, will not hinder the game.
A franchise that might benefit from the sale would be the WWE franchise. They have been acquired by Take-Two interactive, which controls 2K Games. 2K Games makes some of the best sports games on the market, and if Take-Two gives the WWE games to 2K, we might see some interesting results.
The one franchise that has no decided fate yet is the Darksiders series. The games are meant to be a series of four, one game for each of the horsemen of the apocalypse. Even if someone doesn’t immediately pick up that series, I am confident someone will pick up the rights, because both games did surprisingly well in stores, and no one is going to just let money sit around like that.
When THQ filed for bankruptcy, they sold off most of their assets. This change in ownership scares me in the respect that previously when studios changed hands, games were changed for the worse. I am also hopeful because changing ownership on a stagnant franchise can bring new light into the series. Hopefully, everything will turn out well for the studios that create the games that we all love.