In a short interview with GameInformer, now ex-THQ boss Jason Rubin has spoken about his upset over, but the likely reasons behind, Darksiders team Vigil not finding a home in this week’s auction of THQ’s assets.
“I am not claiming that everything I did was successful or that my time at THQ was without failings,” says Rubin. “I failed to find Vigil a home. Having just finished a product, Vigil was farthest from release of their next game, and we were not able to garner any interest from buyers, despite a herculean effort. Additionally, they were working on a new IP, which meant even more risk for a buyer.”
It makes sense – whereas Relic had the imminent Company of Heroes 2 to offer buyers, and teams like Volition and THQ Montreal were well into development on their next titles, Vigil only released Darksiders 2 in August last year, with the Wii U version launched a couple of months later, so would only be in the early stages of development on their next project.[drop2]So what of this next project, which was apparently codenamed “Crawler”? “When the teams got together recently to show each other their titles, Crawler dropped the most jaws,” says Rubin. “It is a fantastic idea, and truly unique.
The fact that nobody bid for the team and title is a travesty. It makes no sense to me. If I weren’t barred from bidding as an insider, I would have been there with my checkbook. I’m sure that’s little consolation to the team, but that’s a fact.”
A much-shared post on NeoGAF by Ben Cureton, lead combat designer at Vigil, mentions the project:
“I knew, without a shadow of the doubt, that the project we were working on […] was going to blow people away. In fact, it DID blow people away. We did, in TWO months, what many companies haven’t done in a year.”
As well as Crawler, Darksiders 2 lead designer Haydn Dalton tweeted on Thursday that “there was a shimmer on a slither of hope, that at one point, there’d be a Darksiders III: 4 Player Co-Op; It rode off into the sunset today.”
There’s still the possibility that Vigil will find a home when the rest of THQ’s remaining assets are sold off at a later date, but it is more than likely that the team will be broken up – to that extent, many Vigil employees have been tweeting about looking for new jobs in the wake of the auction (and many teams, like Sony Santa Monica and Platinum, have been offering positions).
Whilst we waited for the results of the auction earlier in the week, there had been rumours that Take 2 planned to pick up Vigil and the Darksiders IP, but strip the team of their assets and shutter the studio. Whether those rumours had a founding in fact is unknown, but either way no sale went through at the auction.