Platinum Games courting Darksiders, ex-Vigil employees


The courts have approved the auction results which portioned up THQ's development assets, but one studio and the franchise that put it on the map were notably absent: Vigil Games and Darksiders. It's a long shot, but some murmurs suggest Platinum Games may not let that be the end of their story.

Yesterday, THQ confirmed Vigil received no bids in the auction, and that its employees will be laid off. THQ will continue to seek buyers for its unsold assets as the Chapter 11 process continues, meaning the license is still up for grabs, and will likely go at a fire-sale price if any interested buyers emerge.

Speak of the developer and he shall appear. Platinum Games' executive director and producer Atsushi Inaba tweeted his interest in such a prospect yesterday, as translated by Kotaku:

"In THQ's studio and IP selling off auction, Darksiders is unsold? [We] wanna buy it...on the cheap..."

Cool to see Inaba's interest, though of course it could just be an idle notion. But add in this tweet from Platinum Games writer JP Kellams to Haydn Dalton, Darksiders I and II lead designer, after Dalton pined for making a four-player co-op Darksiders III.

Vigil Games lead combat designer Ben Cureton expressed immediate interest in the idea.

An interesting picture emerges. Before we let our imaginations run wild with thoughts of Platinum buying the property, hiring up a team of Vigil veterans, and letting the horsemen ride again, let's remember there are a lot of ifs here: Platinum would have to actually acquire the license, for starters, and Inaba made it clear price would be a strong factor in the decision.

Reality aside, do you think Platinum Games would make a good home for the franchise?

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  • jackthemenace - January 27, 2013 2:43 a.m.

    Jesus God yes. Like, yes. From the start, I've been saying Darksiders should go to Capcom, But after playing the Rising Demo the other day, Platinum deserve to get their hands on another Franchise they can work their magic on. I mean, maybe if they keep getting other people's franchises to work on to build up their name, their own franchises will finally start selling to people other than me?
  • Moondoggie1157 - January 24, 2013 6:48 p.m.

    I'm playing the first Darksiders right now, It's decent. It was free on PS+, so hey I might as well get it. I won't lie though, I am only playing it so I can justify playing the sequel. Anywho, I think Platinum would do a great job with Darksiders.
  • MetroidPrimeRib - January 24, 2013 5:52 p.m.

    No, Platinum wouldn't do good with Darksiders honestly.
  • Moondoggie1157 - January 24, 2013 6:46 p.m.

    AAAAAnd here's Captain Buzzkill!
  • BladedFalcon - January 24, 2013 6:52 p.m.

    Why? because Darksiders has such a deep story and engrossing characters, and isn't all all focused on action? How exactly could platinum wreck it? not to mention, if they are buying the company, is probably because they want the talent to keep working on the franchise, if platinum took over completely what would be the point?
  • MetroidPrimeRib - January 24, 2013 10:50 p.m.

    No, because Darksiders isn't Platinum's foray. Darksiders has a open world, dungeons, much more simple combat then DMC3, Bayonetta, or Revenegance and in the second game they introduced a loot system and skill trees. Platinum has never done anything remotely close to this. Giving it to Platinum wouldn't make it the same game and they'd probably just not do very well with it. They'd also change the series feel altogether. Also, even if they get ahold of the series and all the workers and become the publishers, publishers usually have quite a lot of creative control. I like the direction Darksiders is going and want it to progress naturally (though I see that as impossible now that THQ has effectively killed itself) If, under some circumstance, they manage to avoid all that, then by all means.
  • CrashmanX - January 24, 2013 11:07 p.m.

    Dude. It's platinum games. Honestly, I could see them doing very well with the series if they worked with it's creators.
  • scaler2000 - January 25, 2013 12:56 a.m.

    dont you think like since they are gona most prob hire the rest of virgil they will have a team who has done all this, therefor can share info between them. anyway its nothing radical, they both made hack n slashes, not like one made an rts the other made fpses. i think there's huge potential here. on plats side they can refine the controls and combat while virgil can keep the depth of story along with dungeon puzzles and open world settings.
  • Zowie - January 25, 2013 2:55 a.m.

    Yeah personnaly I'm interested in seeing what such a Japanese/American collab would do on that IP, + it's Platin-fucking-Num Games. Darksiders would be so awesome with that Hyperactive-Action Japanese touch
  • BladedFalcon - January 25, 2013 5:40 a.m.

    "Darksiders has a open world, dungeons, much more simple combat then DMC3, Bayonetta, or Revenegance and in the second game they introduced a loot system and skill trees. Platinum has never done anything remotely close to this." One word: Okami Shame on you sir, for forgetting that Platinum is essentially the same company that clover, who developed Okami, which actually, had a VERY similar kind of open world and dungeon exploration, and that was done better than the Darksiders series itself has done it... even BEFORE Darksiders came out. So if that's anything to go by, you could say they actually have a big change in actually making the darksiders series SIGNIFICANTLY better. Even taking Okami out of the equation, you're short selling platinum's ability here. A cover based third person shooter also sounded like a very un-Japanese concept, and one that you'd think was something Platinum wouldn't be skilled ta... Yet they made vanquish, which is, in my opinion, the best cover based Third person shooter in existence so far, at least gameplay wise. Besides, like you said, THQ is now dead, so there's no way Darksiders could grow on it's own naturally, no matter who else picked it, there is probably gonna be some influence put on the project. And frankly, I can think of much, much, MUCH worse studios or publishers to pick it up.
  • MetroidPrimeRib - January 25, 2013 2:41 p.m.

    To be fair, Okami is like Darksiders 1, and there are a lot of people who would do worse with the series. And I love Platinum, I really do, I just don't see this to be one of the things they'd do well with. I can't name another company who would do good with Darksiders though, so there's that.
  • BladedFalcon - January 25, 2013 8:27 p.m.

    I'd argue okami was way more than Darksiders 1, at least in tightness of execution and scope. And well... Again, I would agree with you if we were talking about a franchise that it's known for either subtlety, story or characters, which to me, are platinum's most consistent shortcomings. But considering The Darksiders series isn't really known for any of the above, I honestly don't see how they could screw it up too much. I mean, why would you assume they would even get rid off the things that already work well with the franchise even if they simply aren't familiar with the concepts? The loot system is already in place, and at worst can be left mostly as is for the next one. And in return, Platinum could definitely help improve on the combat challenge, and enemy variety and bosses, all things that Darksiders do decently, but Platinum easily does better.
  • Rub3z - January 26, 2013 1:44 p.m.

    Lol, I'd just like to point out that it's funny to hear Vanquish referred to as a "cover-based shooter" ... because Platinum managed to make a so-called "cover-based shooter" that you're only really playing well if you're hardly using cover at all, further reinforcing the games' theme of riffing on Western design quirks, especially relating to that of the "cover-based shooter." Man, Platinum is just awesome.
  • ObliqueZombie - January 24, 2013 4 p.m.

    After seeing how they handled the Metal Gear IP, this would be an AWESOME transition. I just hope it doesn't become so linear, but, the action and cut scenes would more than make up for it.
  • winner2 - January 24, 2013 12:19 p.m.

    I want a horseWOMAN this time. I never played the first 2 but I might play the second soon. I want to see famine and pestilence already.
  • Memph - January 24, 2013 12:26 p.m.

    That's Red Dwarf isn't it? In DS world the other two are Fury and Strife.
  • winner2 - January 24, 2013 1:59 p.m.

    That's just the other 2 that I've come to know. I've read that pestilence replaced Conquest in more recent years, but as personal preference I say pestilence since it's unclear how the 2 got mixed anyway. I've actually never seen red dwarf. I wish they'd ditch fury and strife though. The name strife or fury isn't required to be a badass horseman/woman.
  • BladedFalcon - January 24, 2013 4:18 p.m.

    To be fair, pestilence and famine are kind of difficult concepts to translate into a physical, ass kicking action character. Famine specially, since with pestilence I guess you could be a bit more creative with the kind of diseases he could inflict as his special attacks. All famine can to is starve people do death...
  • winner2 - January 24, 2013 7:06 p.m.

    I've been thinking about that and I've realized I just think it'd be cool if they kept true to more "historical" names as opposed to ones they make up. I know "famine" doesn't really conjure up a big badass picture but to be fair, if we're comparing the name with what that horseman is supposed to do I would imagine war mind controlling everyone into fighting each other. But then that sounds like strife so it's confusing. I'd just prefer famine and pestilence to be badass horsewomen is all, I don't even care if they have no ultra strong connection to their names power-wise. On a side note: pestilence is obvious, but I think famine could be stretched with an aura that weakens and deforms enemies into more manageable husks of themselves. And pestilence could be all sorts of toxic acid and poison and disease and such. Most people associate those things with each other anyway even though pestilence=disease.
  • Bloodstorm - January 24, 2013 2:55 p.m.

    In the Darksiders comic that came with the first game, one of the horsemen is a woman, so it would stand to reason the 3rd or 4th game would star a female character.

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