Game developer Crytek has opened a new office in Austin, Texas, and added 35 staff members from THQ's Vigil studio, home of the "Darksiders" series.
The two "Darksiders" games starred the Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Here pictured: Death (R)
Much of THQ's series and studios were sold off during a January 23 auction, which saw Crytek purchase the ownership rights for "Homefront 2," having already agreed to develop it for the beleagured publisher.
Crytek has a track record of snapping up ailing teams, with "Homefront 2" now in development at Crytek UK, which under its previous guise as Free Radical Design had nurtured the iconic "TimeSplitters" series and, more recently, "Haze" for the PlayStation 3 and the unreleased "Star Wars: Battlefront III" action game.
During the THQ auction, "Saints Row" and "Red Faction" developer Volition went to Koch Media, "Grand Theft Auto" publisher Take Two acquired Turtle Rock Studios' upcoming "Evolve," Ubisoft obtained the THQ Montreal studio, headed up by an ex-Ubisoft designer, along with "South Park: The Stick of Truth," while Sega plumped for Relic Studios of "Company of Heroes" fame.
Vigil Studios went unclaimed, with a staffer posting to the NeoGAF discussion board with the comment "The walls look bare. It's quiet. The seats are empty."
As it turns out, Vigil general manager David Adams becomes CEO of Crytek Austin, and 35 developers from Vigil are joining him at the new outfit -- but THQ CEO Jason Rubin then confirmed that "Darksiders" (and "Red Faction") had not yet been auctioned off.
A similar situation played out during 2012 when Epic Games of the "Gears of War" series set up a new studio, Epic Baltimore, composed largely of staff from the defunct Big Huge Games, developer of "Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning" and Xbox 360 download "Catan."
Current Crytek projects include mid-February release "Crysis 3," online free-to-play "Warface," expected later this year, and Xbox 360 exclusive Roman-era action game "Ryse."