Ex-THQ Head Says Lack Of Bids For Vigil Was A “Travesty”

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.”

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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.

Source: GameInformer, via Joystiq

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20 Comments

  1. I like Jason Rubin. It’s probably because he was one of the co-founders of ND and was behind both Crash and Jak, but i’m sad he didn’t get more time at THQ.

    Also, this Crawler game is being made to sound pretty awesome. Hopefully we’ll see a video of it over the next few months.

    • I agree, with more time Rubin could have turned THQ around.

      I also agree that no bids on Vigil is a shame, and an oversight that must surely be corrected in the near future.

      • In the article, he talks about the fact that a couple weeks in to the job he realised it wasn’t looking too good (worse than it publicly looked), but it was finances later in the year that really screwed them over. I agree though, I wish Rubin had had more time :(

  2. Good point
    “Having just finished a product, Vigil was farthest from release of their next game”
    So it would cost anyone a hell of a lot to get a product out of them, not just in marketing like the other THQ studios but also a couple of years of development, compounded by the fact that sales were disappointing.

    Can see Darksiders IP being picked in the administration process though on the cheap though.

    Rubin misses the real crime though, no home for Destroy All Humans!

    • Yeah, IP will be picked up cheap. I also think that Vigil might be allowed to die so that the staff can be picked up from the ashes, without the need to pay anything for the studio itself.

      Would be a shame to see them split up though. Darksiders has shown great potential, that team seems eminently capable of doing something really great.

    • Somebody needs to buy Destroy all humans! Even just to make a HD collection of them all or something…the first one was incredible and still is…darn.

  3. Thank god! No more Darksiders, woohoo!

    • seems like a very mean-spirited sentiment. Loads of people loved those games :(

    • Irrelevant of whether you liked the games you’ve essentially just woohooed people losing their jobs. Hope you feel proud.

    • I’m not much of fan of Darksiders, but that comment is morally wrong.

  4. Did anyone know THQ stood for Toy Headquarters?

  5. A real shame, it would have been great if Vigil could gain independence somehow and sell this Crawler to a publisher. They were a talented crew and I was looking forward to their next gen project.

  6. I really liked Darksiders, currently playing the sequel, and I always thought Dante’s Inferno was a hell of a game. I’m sad they didn’t get picked up :/

  7. Dante’s Inferno? That was by Dead Space developers Visceral :)

  8. Never really gave Darksiders any time even though I hear both games are really good, they do look appealing but never picked up either of them and feel pretty guilty for that now

    I can’t help thinking we as gamers are possibly the ones to blame for this

    How many people like myself thought the games look really fun but never actually parted with cash for them?

    • First Darksiders was an awesome game that didn’t really get as much love as it deserved. The second one was a fantastic game wrapped in an utterly awful story with an even more absurd plot.

      I for one would have loved to see a third one in the series, if atleast to redeem the failings of the sequel. On reading that they planned to make it 4 player co-op I’m not too bothered about that. Gutted for the guys that have lost their jobs and I’m pretty sure they’ll get snapped up quickly as they are all a talented bunch.

  9. A real shame, I very much enjoyed both Darksiders games. I imagine now they will not be releasing the rest of the DLC bought for with the season pass as well.

    • Oops my bad, they have already released all the DLC. Still, sad to think this will be the last game!

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