THQ Nordic GmbH (formerly Nordic Games GmbH) is an Austrian developer and publisher of video games based in Vienna, Austria. Its core portfolio comprises products and brands which were acquired from JoWooD Entertainment and DreamCatcher Interactive in 2011, and from THQ in 2014. In 2016, the company reincorporated as THQ Nordic under the previously acquired THQ trademark and logo.
As Nordic Games, they were responsible for the PC port of Remedy Entertainment's 2010 Xbox 360 game, Alan Wake and Alan Wake's American Nightmare. As THQ Nordic, they are the co-publishers and co-developers of the PC and Steam release of Microsoft Studios's 2016 action adventure game, Quantum Break.
At the beginning of the 1990s, Lars Wingefors founded a company named LW Comics to sell and trade secondhand comic books. In 1993 the focus of that company shifted to video games, again starting as a mail-order retailer for secondhand software and cartridges, finally becoming Nordic Games. Its headquarters is located in Karlstad, Sweden. Over the years the company added new goods to its portfolio and established several stores over the Finnish and Scandinavian area. In 2000 British retailer Gameplay.com (later renamed to Game) acquired Nordic Games for £5.96 million. After the dot-com bubble Wingefors re-acquired the Nordic retail division from financially troubled Gameplay for 1 Swedish Krona or 7 pence. In 2004, the company started with a new outlet store concept. In 2008, Nordic Games entered game development by creating its own publishing branch Nordic Games Publishing in order to create products for its outlet stores. Some minor success was the singing game series We Sing for the Wii console.
On 16 August 2011 Nordic Games Holding announced that it had acquired assets from JoWooD Entertainment, its products and brands, including The Adventure Company. Following the acquisition it was announced that JoWooD and The Adventure Company will become publishing labels for Nordic Games GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of Nordic Games Holding. Today, Nordic Games Austria is handling most of Nordic Games' releases, licensing deals are handled by the Swedish Nordic Games Licensing AB. In May 2012, Nordic Games acquired 55 shops and the online store for Sweden and Norway from Game.
In February 2012, Nordic Games took over the boxed release of Alan Wake from Remedy Entertainment for PC.
In April 2013, Nordic Games acquired the remaining properties still owned by the bankrupt American video game publisher THQ as part of the company's liquidation, including the Darksiders, Red Faction, and MX vs. ATV franchises. Nordic plans to find new distribution channels for some of its newly acquired properties, and has considered the third-party development of new installments. On 12 June 2014, it was also announced that Nordic Games had acquired the THQ trademarks, allowing the company to use the THQ brand as an imprint on future games. In November, it also acquired the rights to the THQ series de Blob.
From Atari, SA, Nordic Games bought the rights to the Desperados series and Silver in June 2013. In April 2014 it took over the rights to the adventure series The Black Mirror from bankrupt German publisher dtp entertainment. It was followed by the acquisition of dtp's licenses for The Moment of Silence, The Mystery of the Druids and Curse of the Ghost Ship, originally created by German developer House of Tales, as well as the commercial rights for the trademarks Overclocked: A History of Violence and 15 Days.
Grimlore Games GmbH was first European in-house studio of Nordic Games. The studio began as a developer team in Nordic Games in December 2013 with key members from former Münich-based game development studio Coreplay. In October 2014, the limited-liability company was founded. According to Nordic Games, "the studio will focus on PC games for core gamers, specifically the role-playing and real-time strategy genres." On November 24, 2014, Nordic Games announced that Grimlore Games is developing the next video game sequel in the SpellForce series, named SpellForce 3. The game is due for release in 2017.
In July 2015, Nordic Games and Piranha Bytes announced an upcoming sci-fi action RPG known as ELEX. The following month, Nordic acquired a number of franchises from BitComposer Interactive, including Jagged Alliance and The Great Giana Sisters. In February 2016, Nordic acquired intellectual property from Digital Reality.
Renaming the CompanyEdit
On 12 August 2016, Nordic Games announced that it had changed its name to THQ Nordic. CEO Lars Wingefors explained that the THQ brand was still widely associated with some of the franchises that it had acquired, and this move was intended to give their previously-obscure studio better name recognition, reflecting a goal to "shape our business in a meaningful way going forward" using its acquired properties.
He went on to state that "on a personal note, having worked in the industry since 1993, I have a lot of respect for what THQ accomplished in the video game marketplace. Their licensed and eventually hardcore games portfolio provided a lot of fun to millions of players, including me.". He also stated that THQ Nordic had 23 games in development, with many based on former THQ properties.