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THQ

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THQ
THQ.png
THQ Nordic logo 2016.svg
Embracer Group logo.svg
The dead don't stay dead forever.
Founded: April 1990 (THQ)
2004 (Embracer, as Nordic Games AB)
2011 (Nordic)
Defunct: January 23, 2013 (THQ)
Founder(s): Jack Friedman (THQ)
Lars Wingefors (Nordic & Embracer)
Headquarters: Agoura Hills, California, United States (THQ)
Vienna, Austria (Nordic)
Karlstad, Sweden (Embracer)
Key people: THQ
Brian Farrell (chairman, CEO)
Jason Rubin (president)

THQ Nordic
Klemens Kreuzer (CEO)
Reinhard Pollice (director of business and product development)
Predecessor: JoWooD Entertainment (Nordic)
Parent: Embracer Group (Nordic)
Subsidiaries: See List of subsidiaries


THQ Inc. was an American video game publisher that was founded in 1989. THQ abbreviates to Toy Headquarters. The company was shut down in 2013 due to bankruptcy. However, in 2014, THQ's assets were acquired by Nordic Games, an Austrian publisher currently known as THQ Nordic. They started re-releasing a bunch of classic Nickelodeon games plus HD releases of other classic THQ games as well.

THQ Nordic GmbH (formerly Nordic Games GmbH) is a Swedish-Austrian video game publisher founded in 2011, based in Vienna. The company was formed as a video game division of Nordic Games Licensing AB (later known as THQ Nordic AB and Embracer Group AB), itself a retailer company based in Karlstad, Sweden. It was formed after Nordic Games AB acquired assets and employees from the dissolving JoWooD Entertainment to form the backbone of the company.

After acquiring THQ's license and brand name in 2014, the company began rapid expansion in 2018 through the holding company with the acquisition of Koch Media (and its publishing label Deep Silver) and Coffee Stain Studios. In 2019, THQ Nordic AB renamed itself as Embracer Group AB to distinguish itself from their main publishing label whose retain its name. As of December 2021, Embracer Group has ten major subsidiaries through acquisition, including Coffee Stain, Gearbox Software, and Koch Media.

Why They're The Kings of Licensed Games

  1. When it comes to licensed games, unlike most companies, THQ did manage to deliver quite a lot of good licensed games, that took great respect to their source material, such as their SpongeBob games (Especially Battle For Bikini Bottom and The Movie games), games based on Pixar movies (like Cars, Wall-E and Up), and even games based on toys from other toy companies like with a few Hot Wheels games they've published.
  2. Despite their focus on licensed games, they made original games as well, such as Destroy All Humans, Saints Row, Darksiders, and Red Faction.
  3. As THQ Nordic, they also released remasters of their old really popular games, like the remake for Battle for Bikini Bottom and the Destroy All Humans! remaster, that is for the most part faithful to the original games, which can give nostalgia for people who grew up with these games or give a chance for those who haven't had a chance to play these games when they first came out.
  4. Unlike most other yearly franchises, like Activision's Call of Duty and any EA Sports game, THQ did a good job with WWE games during their era, as despite being a yearly franchise, they did at least innovate and polish their games after each one, to the point where it feels like a new experience rather than the same thing over and over again.
  5. Adding to that reason they are also known for a lot of popular and successful sports game series like the WWE games (Before 2K took over the series), and the MX VS. ATV games.
  6. Most of their 7th generation games didn't have DLC, and the DLC they did provide was cheap and optional.
  7. Their game WALL-E was the first game to ever be officially localized in Arabic.
  8. They're also shown to be really good animators as seen from their SpongeBob Toys R Us commercial and the animations they put into the games such as Battle for Bikini Bottom (both the original and the remake) along with other certain games they make.
  9. Through Embracer Group, the company has rescued dozens of forgotten video game franchises. Not just from THQ, but from other studios such as Eidos.
  10. As of 2020, they're one of the few companies that still make physical computer games.
  11. In May 2022, Embracer announced the Embracer Games Archive, a preservation archive for video games.

Bad Qualities

  1. While great in concept, the uDraw tablet (at least on the Xbox 360 and PS3), failed, which would later follow the original company's bankruptcy and eventual merger with Nordic to form THQ-Nordic.
  2. Back in the early to mid-2000s, some of the PC versions of their licensed games were different from their console counterparts (With a few exceptions such as The Incredibles and the Cars Video games), though this is most likely since some people at the time didn't have a computer that's powerful enough to run these games, thankfully though, these games can be emulated almost perfectly nowadays.
  3. Over the years, the original company has published quite a lot of bad games, here’s a category of their bad games on CGW.
  4. Their early years in the gaming industry (1990-1995) are considered to be the worst years for the company as they had seemingly nonexistent quality control. Just about every game from that era ranged from average to downright unplayable.
  5. Even now most of the companies they owned were good, a few of them were not, such as Big Sky Interactive (Who only developed 2 games which were The Jimmy Neutron Boy Genius game and the SpongeBob SquarePants: Revenge of the Flying Dutchman game (PS2 and GCN), before they closed down), Blitz Games (Who notoriously developed bad licensed games, with some of them like the PS2 era Bratz games, all reskins of each other) and AWE Games (Who developed PC versions of their licensed games, making them different from the console counterparts).
  6. THQ Nordic once hosted an Ask Me Anything Thread on 8chan, a website with a notorious reputation.
    • THQ's PR director, Philipp Brock, apologized that he did not research the dark history of 8chan, and that he does not condone the site's beliefs.
  7. THQ completely moved away from making toys early in its history, which kind of kills off the Toy Headquarters name THQ abbreviated to.

Trivia

  • Prior to THQ's formation in 1990, Jack Friedman formed LJN, a toy company that also published video games. He left LJN to form THQ.
    • After leaving THQ, Jack Friedman founded the toy company Jakks Pacific.
  • When THQ went bankrupt, they sold off most of their franchises, most of which ended up under the Embracer Group. However, there were a few exceptions.
    • Relic Entertainment and Warhammer 40,000 were sold to Sega.
    • THQ Montreal and South Park: The Stick of Truth were acquired by Ubisoft. Coincidentally, THQ Nordic will be releasing an upcoming South Park video game in the future.
    • Freespace was sold to Interplay.
    • Evolve and WWE were sold to Take-Two Interactive via 2K Games.
    • Drawn to Life was sold to 505 Games.
    • ValuSoft was sold to the Cosmi Corporation.

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