Game publisher THQ Nordic have announced that they will not be attending E3 2018, opting instead to watch the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The announcement comes two months out from E3 and will likely disappoint gamers anticipating glimpses of games such as Darksiders 3 and Biomutant.
THQ Nordic has expanded markedly in the past two years. After THQ went bankrupt in 2013, Nordic acquired much of their assets, including Darksiders and Red Faction. In 2016, Nordic Games rebranded as THQ Nordic, to make use of the brand recognition of the THQ name.
The publisher has since acquired developer Experiment 101 and their IP, Biomutant, a Kung-Fu-based open-world RPG which puts the player in control of mutated animals. In a video game market filled with sequels, an exciting new IP like this game is rare currency.
In February this year, the publisher also scored the acquisition of company Koch Media, giving THQ Nordic ownership of previously THQ-owned IPs Homefront, Metro and Saints Row, as well as Dead Island and Shenmue. With the acquisition, THQ Nordic inherited the announced projects Metro: Exodus and Shenmue 3. Deep Silver, part of Koch Media, will be attending E3 however according to a statement from a press representative. Exactly which projects will be there from them, is unknown at this time.
Also on their slate are the revivals of a diverse range of Nickelodeon titles, including Avatar: The Last Airbender, Jimmy Neutron, Rugrats and SpongeBob SquarePants. The exact nature of these revivals is as yet unclear, something that an E3 appearance could have clarified.
The rapid expansion and varied acquisitions of THQ Nordic have placed a vast number of popular IPs and hotly anticipated titles in their lap, enhancing the disappointment many will feel at their absence from E3.
However, fans of THQ Nordic will not need to wait until E3 2019 to hear of THQ’s projects, many of the publisher’s upcoming games, announced and unannounced, to be showcased at Gamescom and then PAX West, in August and September respectively.