Nordic Games, the publisher that purchased most of THQ's intellectual property following its bankruptcy earlier this year, is working on rebooting a franchise from an earlier acquisition: The underwater shooting series AquaNox.
Speaking to Polygon at Gamescom 2013, Nordic Games head of business and product development Reinhard Pollice explained how the project came to be. The AquaNox franchise was created by German developer Massive Development in 1996 — the series was started by an MS-DOS predecessor titled Archimedean Dynasty. The studio was acquired by JoWood in 2000, where the AquaNox games were developed. In 2011, Nordic Games bought JoWood, and acquired the IP in the transaction.
Considering the size of its catalog, though, why did Nordic decide to bring back a series that ended last decade, rather than one of the properties they just purchased from THQ?
"there's also a lot of smaller stuff that people aren't aware of"
"We thought it was just an interesting concept for an action game," Pollice said. "As you said, there's not many underwater shooters out there. Some have underwater components, I can think of a few that have underwater missions, but it's totally different."
Details about the reboot are scarce; a brief mood demo was showcased during a session with Nordic Games, showing a dark, undersea facility where the player could outfit their ship and take on missions, followed by a few seconds of puttering around the ocean. It wasn't much, but it wasn't meant to be.
"This is how we approach things. When we acquire IP, we carefully look and see what is possible here, what is the market like on this side, what is the potential market. Then we start making case studies, prototypes, mood prototypes and see if this is spot-on, basically. It's similar to the THQ stuff, other than the big stuff we all know — everyone's aware of MX, Red Faction, Titan Quest — but there's also a lot of smaller stuff that people aren't aware of, that might also make sense to start something new."