THQ’s Orphans: Five Franchises Left Behind And Where They Should Go

As we all know, THQ got sold for parts like the victim in a bad horror movie yesterday, and much of the company is now in the hands of others.

But there are some major and minor franchises left behind that haven’t been sold and in fact might be dead meat. So here are a few suggestions as to where they should wind up.

Red Faction

Surprisingly, this may not have been sold along with Volition, its developers, to Koch Media. The shooter/building destroyer franchise has its goofy and stupid moments, but it’s a game about shooting people and blowing stuff up on Mars. It’s hard to argue against that as a gameplay mission statement.

And, honestly, if it should go to anybody, it should go to Ninja Theory. Especially with DMC: Devil May Cry under their belts, they’ve shown they can mix firearms and third-person melee action quite well, and the ongoing theme of deconstruction and demolition in that game’s level design shows they’d have the chops to make it work.


Vigil did not receive a single bid during a heated auction, which frankly doesn’t bode well for either the developer of the franchise it built. But Darksiders II, beneath the bugs, was an intelligent evolution of the hack-n-slash franchise that was building a serious RPG angle into the game, and had some brilliant dungeon designs.

So, instead of selling to Platinum Games, let’s stop goofing around here, and sell it to Square Enix. They know action RPGs, and could put a company such as Eidos on the game, or even strengthen the RPG elements and bring the franchise to handhelds and mobile. Done right, this franchise has the potential to be popular both in Japan and the U.S., and it deserves a better shot than it got.


This RTS franchise has been quiet since 2003, but it’s still beloved and has a rabid fan base.

Honestly, this one’s a chip-shot: Firaxis, we have your next job. Making an RTS that stays true to the game’s PC tendencies while working on consoles is exactly what Homeworld needs, and we think Firaxis are just the team to do it.

De Blob

This cute puzzle platformer had a lot of good gameplay ideas, centered around color. It wasn’t exactly a hardcore game, but it had a lot of charm and it was a fun riff on a familiar concept. So, since Nintendo is in desperate need of something that isn’t “87th verse, same as the first”, they should look into picking this up.


OK, so affection for this racing game was never particularly strong, but it was solidly designed, a lot of fun, and honestly, the kind of thing that Codemasters focuses entirely on. And more racing games are no bad thing.