THQ Nordic explains its rebrand

THQ has been heavily tied to Nordic Games’ growth.

Before the European publisher bought a number of IPs from the bankrupt THQ, no-one really knew who it was.

The day we announced we were making acquisitions from THQ, there were a number of headlines like: ‘Who the fuck is Nordic Games?’ – no-one had ever heard of us,” CEO Lars Wingefors says.

THQ was very centered around US gamers, with IP like MX vs ATV. There was a lot of interest in us and it transformed the entire business into something else.

Before, we were a European player, with a legacy in Austria, Germany and Scandinavia, rather than being an international publisher. I’m not saying we’re an international publisher; we’re just a small player when compared with the big guys. But we have some big ambitions for the future.”

After buying a number of THQ IP, Nordic purchased the THQ name in 2014. And earlier this month, it rebranded itself as THQ Nordic.

Since we acquired the THQ brand, we have come to realise just how big that name actually is,” Wingefors says.

Our business is so centred around IP we purchased from THQ that I just felt that we are a mixture of THQ and Nordic Games. That’s why we have made the name THQ Nordic. It’s still called Nordic as we have a legacy in Sweden and Austria.”

The firm has 23 titles in the works; 13 of which are projects that are yet to be revealed. And though Wingefors is unable to share details, some of these titles will be from the THQ stable.

I can’t comment on each IP, but I can say that quite a few of the unannounced games are from the THQ portfolio,” he says. I am really excited about having those announced in the coming few months or the next year. There will be more news soon.”

When MCV spoke to Nordic earlier this year, the firm talked about its ambition to have an IP in every single core gaming genre. Nordic is also releasing We Sing, a casual karaoke title made in partnership with Wired Productions and Le Cortex.

THQ had a number of family franchises in its portfolio, including de Blob and Wheel of Fortune.

From what we have seen in the market, PS4 and Xbox One have not been ready [for kids and family games] because consumers have not been there,” Wingefors says.

We are going to test the water with We Sing and I’m curious to see if there will be a casual market on the major console formats. People have been waiting since the Wii died for some other games console other than mobile or iPad to actually become casual in some way. If Sony and Microsoft could catch a few million families, we’d be interested in trying out good casual products.

I’m sure there will be a casual market again, but it will never be the same as it was on Wii or during the PS2 days. Does it mean we will become a casual player or have the same impact as THQ had? No, I don’t think so.

We’ll continue with our hardcore games, but we will test the water with We Sing. It’s a top product. And if stuff goes well, we’ll see.”

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