THQ buys Big Huge Games

Smackdown maker scoops up Rise of Nations developer for estimated $20-$40M, touts its forthcoming PS3/360/PC RPG--but no RTSes; future console projects hinted at.

Eight months ago THQ announced a deal with Big Huge Games to work on an unnamed role-playing game. The agreement marked a new direction for the Maryland-based independent developer, which has won numerous awards for series of real-time strategy titles. Its critically acclaimed catalog includes Rise of Nations, Rise of Legends, and the expansion pack Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties.

But while all Big Huge Games' past titles were published by Microsoft Game Studios, all its future games will have the THQ stick on the box. Today, the Smackdown! publisher made a Big Huge announcement: It has bought Big Huge Games outright for an undisclosed sum. However, Oppenheimer & Co. analyst Shawn Milne estimated "the acquisition was in the $20 million to $40 million range given the size (100 developers) and quality of the studio."

"The acquisition of Big Huge Games is a big win for THQ as we continue to expand both our internal development capabilities and our portfolio of owned intellectual properties," said Jack Sorensen, THQ's executive vice president of worldwide studios.

Though the THQ announcement didn't reveal any new details about Big Huge Games' new RPG, it did offer some hints about the studio's future direction. Nowhere in the release was there any mention of the RTS titles that put Big Huge Games on the map. Instead, Big Huge Games is described as "a leading development studio focused on the role-playing-game (RPG) genre."

THQ's release also revealed that BHG is working on "additional console projects based on their proprietary technology" besides its mystery RPG. The unnamed Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC title is the first multiplatform title from the studio, which also developed the Xbox Live Arcade version of the strategy board game Catan.

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Discussion

44 comments
Mystic_Majinbuu
Mystic_Majinbuu

Damn, does that mean that RON series end up here, Although i didnt liked Rise Of Legends but still, Thrones and Patriots was the best. I will miss the Games SOB SOB SOB

Mystic_Majinbuu
Mystic_Majinbuu

Damn, does that mean that RON series end up here, Although i didnt liked Rise Of Legends but still, Thrones and Patriots was the best. I will miss the Games SOB SOB SOB

lop890
lop890

hopefully this wont happen thq buys big huge game [already happen] then sierra will buy thq then ea will buy sierra /thq/big huge games ending in 1 Big huge company and ea leader OUCH

smitoraj2008
smitoraj2008

For the past 2 years THQ has really changed form "that company that makes nickelodeon and wrestling games" to a publisher that is making some great titles.

ronnet
ronnet

They make RTS games with a lot of depth in them so hopefully their RPG wont be a standard hack 'n slash game like circle of doom.

champhf
champhf

i actually still play rise of nations part one and i was so disapointed in part two. part two was so bad that i unistalled it and went back to the store and bought rise of nations part one again. i still play it faithfully every weekend, it is one of my favorite games of all times and i own a xbox 360 so that should tell you how deep this game is.

Chainblaster
Chainblaster

Kinda sounds alot like Microsoft's aquisition of Bungie and the like. Not much coming out of their game studios for the PC since. Small developers need capitol not buyouts. BHG's RTS' are dead or the next thing to it. History predicts it and rewrites itself again. That sucks as a sequel to ROL with more depth was hoped for.

_Sargon_
_Sargon_

Well, speaking as a supporter of Rise of Nations and plenty of THQ games like CoH and DoW. I always hate to see independent companies sell out to the larger ones, like said earlier, they should've tried a partnering deal. I don't see this as being a problem for BHG though, they will just have more material and support...and yes I want RON2 too ;)

Agreb91
Agreb91

It will not be long before all video games are made by one huge company.

hongkingkong
hongkingkong

RoN is the most solid strategy ever, hopefully THQ can give Big Huge another chance to redeme themselves from the abysmal RoL sequel.

dnathug
dnathug

I wonder what we'll see in the future, will they make it work???

NotAFurry
NotAFurry

20-40 million $ is pretty cheap for a studio that gave us Rise of Nations.

Slashgibber
Slashgibber

Atleast it isn't EA ;) I hope we'll see Rise of Nations 2 now :P

Azwhtknight
Azwhtknight

My advise to THQ is not to mess with an already successful studio. If it ain't broke don't fix it! Just provide them with some material and let them do their thing. A good start and a good show of faith would be to let set them loose on another Rise of Nations.

Roken1
Roken1

Don't know if this is a way for THQ to get rid of RTS competition or just add more trophies into its already large portfolio. I would like to see BHG make more RTSs than RPGs...have they made RPGs before?

bhaskarchatta
bhaskarchatta

Hmmm... Lets see what is going to be next...

IIBlackknightII
IIBlackknightII

An RPG game in XBox.Would like to see details of the game.It may be similar to AOE 3.

stziggy
stziggy

No RTSs?!? What's next, Burger King without the Whopper?

K_M82
K_M82

Wow all these big publisher are buying developer like crazy. EA, Activision, and now THQ. I wonder what Ubisoft, Eidos and 2K would do next.

Padrepride
Padrepride

Yeah, I'd like to see a new Rise of Nations game. Rise of Legends was a disappointment for me.

PacoL250
PacoL250

I'm thinking THQ will be there for BHG like we all hope EA is for BioWare/Pandemic: just for additional resources and better brand recognition. What I really want to see is a Cities and Knights Expansion to the XBLA game Catan :D

8smokes
8smokes

Crap. Rise of nations was my favorite RTS. THQ better not mess around with it.

gin_rummy89
gin_rummy89

I hope THQ dosen't screw with BHG to much, their games are pretty good as is

haesuse
haesuse

i was gonna say pretty much the same duxup. THQ is not really known for consistency and BHG has been on a roll. So hopefully they just fund them well and let them do their thing!

duxup
duxup

Let's hope THQ knows a good thing when they see one and let Big Huge Game keep making great games without too much interference.

ImaginaryFriend
ImaginaryFriend

@Lord_Daemon & Canitbe I saw it happen when THQ bought Rainbow, maybe times have changed, maybe they are no longer slave drivers, or maybe THQ had nothing to do with it and it was the local management that fried out the employee's I've seen. I no long wish to ever step in any THQ owned studio again. If they weren't behind it then they didn't do anything to help the well being of the employees who were getting it.

Sandro909
Sandro909

Nuuuu! Speaking of Big Huge Games... I want another Rise of Nations already! :x

brain20035
brain20035

the wolves are hungry...biting everything they see...

TH3_1NF1D3L
TH3_1NF1D3L

As much as I like THQ...I can't see this being a good deal. I would rather see a studio stay independent than be bought by a mega-publisher. I feel the same way about this as I did when EA bought Bioware-Pandemic.

Lord_Daemon
Lord_Daemon

Really ImaginaryFriend? I know people who work at one of the studios owned by THQ and I've never heard of a complaint towards them in that regard so I'm somewhat hesitant to take your word on it.

Tremere1
Tremere1

"THQ's release also revealed that BHG is working on "additional console projects based on their proprietary technology" besides its mystery RPG. The unnamed Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC title is the first multiplatform title from the studio, which also developed the Xbox Live Arcade version of the strategy board game Catan." Could this mean that another company is being ruined by the big names in the industry? BHG owners should have focused on making a deal with THQ for partnering, not for selling the company. A good example for this is Bethesda and 2K Games. Beth made Oblivion and 2K distributed it.

Canitbe
Canitbe

ImaginaryFriend No, THQ has a history of actually supporting decent developers and allowing them to do what they want. That being said, I can't wait to see their first game after this.

ImaginaryFriend
ImaginaryFriend

That really Sucks, THQ has a history of buying studios, making them work rediculous hours to put out crap and then lay off employee's while doubling others work. This sucks for Big Huge Games.

Shegevara
Shegevara

I loved Rise of nations. Too bad they aren't making RTS games any more. :(

komet999
komet999

wow indeed my friends...

felshs
felshs

wow....all the game developers keep teaming up one after another. i quest thats a good thing so most game that came out will be solid.