Yesterday, many gamers wept both physical and virtual tears as the final results of the THQ auction came out. Sure, a lot of promising studios and IPs were transferred into safe hands, but unfortunately, the talented folks at Vigil Games, the developer behind the Darksiders series, were left in the dust. It appears nobody had the guts or wallets to pick them up. Recently however, notable action developers Sony Santa Monica (God of War series) and Platinum Games (Bayonetta, Vanquish) have expressed interest in hiring or outright buying the remains of Vigil.
The following is a tweet from Platinum Games executive director Atsushi Inaba, which roughly translates in English to: “Oh man in THQ’s big sale it looks like nobody’s bought Darksiders … I’d love to buy that (if it was cheap).”
It didn’t stop there. Today, Sony Santa Monica sent out several tweets stating that they would be happy to help find a new home for many of the now jobless Vigil employees, and even went on to state that they had “a lot of admiration” for the team.
What this essentially means is that Vigil’s legacy will likely live on. Even in the case of Sony Santa Monica, who may not be looking to buy the whole studio, any Vigil employees who join up with them will be able to continue using the ideas and design philosophies they used while working under THQ. Who knows? maybe some of the planned gameplay features and artistic touches from unreleased games like Crawler or the Darksiders sequels will end up in some of Santa Monica’s projects, or those of Platinum Games should they decide to hire some of Vigil’s staff as well. It feels good knowing that the industry is willing to band together and support each other in these desperate times, all the while collaborating and fusing their ideas to make terrific games.
As for why nobody else was interested in picking up Vigil; there remains the distinct possibility that once publishers knew they were working on the brand new IP that is Crawler, they may have been scared away. Knowing how ambitious Crawler was going to be, they probably weren’t too thrilled at the prospect of having to give them copious amounts of time and money to see the vision through. A real shame, but a partially understandable decision from a business perspective. Even if a potential buyer decided to cancel Crawler altogether, it wouldn’t have sit well with the studio in terms of morale and trust. No publisher wants to deal with that.
Stay tuned for news on any upcoming titles from Platinum Games or Sony Santa Monica, who may very well be aided by some help from ex-Vigil developers one day.