THQ Nordic announced that Warhorse Studios is now part of their ever-growing stable of AA developers. The mid-tier publisher has been steadily building up a moderate profile of studios in the recent past, and now the makers of Kingdom Come: Deliverance has joined their stable.
According to the press release over on Cision, THQ purchased the Prague studio for €42.8 million.
Warhorse generated €42 million in 2018 with the release of Kingdom Come: Deliverance, which came out for the Xbox One, PS4, and PC. The game was well received among gamers and sold well enough to make the Steam top-sellers list, but activist-bloggers working at some of the major gaming outlets hated the game.
In fact, Jeff Gerstmann and others at Giant Bomb refused to discuss the game because Warhorse Studios founder Daniel Vavra had supported #GamerGate in the fight for better ethics in media journalism, while those at Waypoint refused to review the game because they claimed it wasn’t worth it. Other gaming media outlets attacked Vavra and Warhorse studios for being “racist” because Kingdom Come: Deliverance was attempting to be historically accurate.
As for the deal with THQ Nordic, this isn’t that new nor that surprising. Keep in mind that Koch Media, the parent company for THQ Nordic, signed a distribution deal with Warhorse Studios under their Deep Silver label ahead of the release of Kingdom Come: Deliverance in order to sell the game at retailers for the Xbox One and PS4. Apparently Koch saw the potential and decided to purchase up the entire studio.
As noted by Gematsu, Warhorse Studios will continue to operate as usual, with Daniel Vavra and Martin Klima continuing to run the studio as they have been doing.
Now this could go one of two ways: In one sense, Warhorse now has a stable revenue income from an established publisher. After a successful Kickstarter run for Kingdom Come Deliverance, they can now focus on making their next project without worrying about funding. However, on the flip side, being under a publisher’s thumb also means they have to abide by the publisher’s release date and financial structures, which can be detrimental to the quality of a project. That’s not to mention that if a game flops under a publisher, they’re not afraid to cut ties and leave a developer to the wolves.
We’ll see which side of the equation Warhorse Studios comes out on now that they’re working for one of the more established AA publishers in the business.
(Thanks for the news tip zac za)