Swedish firm buys 'Red Faction'

Swedish firm buys 'Red Faction'

CHAMPAIGN — A Swedish company has agreed to buy the "Red Faction" video game franchise owned by California-based THQ Inc. and developed by Champaign-based Volition.

Nordic Games Licensing, a video games publisher based in Sweden, has agreed to buy "Red Faction," "Darksiders" and several other games from THQ for $4.9 million, THQ announced Monday.

The game package also includes "Summoner," another game franchise developed by Volition.

THQ, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last year, auctioned off many of its assets in January. As a result of that auction, the Volition studio and its popular "Saints Row" franchise were acquired by Koch Media Group and its Deep Silver unit.

The studio, now legally known as Deep Silver Volition, last month disclosed plans to release its newest game, "Saints Row IV," in August.

According to a brief description of the game on the studio's website, the leader of the Saints has become president of the United States, and the Earth is being invaded by the galactic overlord Zinyak. Prospective players are promised they can "leap tall buildings, outrun sports cars, and use the power of the mind to fling enemies like rag dolls."

Dan Cermak, the general manager of Deep Silver Volition, said the sale of "Red Faction" will have "no impact on us from a business standpoint."

He said the studio's full focus is on "Saints Row IV."

Cermak said even though the studio is legally Deep Silver Volition, the brand will still be Volition.

THQ's February auction did not attract successful buyers for all the company's intellectual properties, so some were put up for auction again.

This time, three buyers seem likely to walk away with those games. Texas-based Gearbox Software agreed to buy "Homeworld" and "Homeworld 2" for $1.35 million, and Italy-based 505 Games Srl plans to pay $300,000 for "Drawn to Life" and "Drawn to Life: The Next Chapter."

But the lion's share of the remaining intellectual properties appears destined for Nordic Games Licensing. In addition to the "Darksiders" and "Red Faction" games, the Swedish company is due to acquire the "MX vs. ATV" games and scores of other titles.

The bankruptcy court is expected to hear the sales motions on May 13 and eventually finalize the transactions.

The original "Red Faction" game, which involved a mining company on Mars, came out in 2001. It was followed by "Red Faction 2" in 2002, "Red Faction: Guerrilla" in 2009 and "Red Faction: Armageddon" in 2011.

"Summoner," a role-playing game in which the hero is on a quest for rings, came out in 2000. "Summoner 2" debuted two years later.

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