THQ Nordic has announced the acquisition of Darksiders studio Gunfire Games and MotoGP developer Milestone.
Founded in 2014 by former Vigil Games employees, Austin, Texas-based Gunfire is the developer behind Darksiders II: Deathinitive Edition, Darksiders III, From Other Suns, Chronos and the upcoming Remnant: From the Ashes.
Terms of the acquisition, which includes the studio’s 63-strong development team and all IP rights, weren’t disclosed, but THQ Nordic said it expects to recoup its investment within four years.
Milan-based racing specialist Milestone is the developer and publisher of series including MotoGP, MXGP, RIDE and Monster Energy Supercross.
THQ Nordic said the upfront purchase price is equivalent to €44.9 ($50.2 million), but could rise to €84.7 ($94.7 million) if Milestone meets earnout targets.
“With the acquisition of Gunfire Games we are strengthening THQ Nordic’s footprint in the US and are adding an experienced and talented development team that we know very well from having collaborated on Darksiders,” said THQ Nordic CEO Lars Wingefors. “Gunfire will contribute with premier development expertise to the group with realizable synergies from day one.”
Wingefors also said: ”Milestone has developed racing games for 25 years now and is leading the two-wheel racing game genre today. With 50 developed games since inception, eight million copies sold since 2013 and five games under development I am convinced that Milestone will see continued success in the future.”
THQ Nordic has acquired numerous studios and IPs in recent years, including Koch Media and its Deep Silver publishing label in February 2018. That deal gave it ownership of the Saints Row and Dead Island franchises, plus the exclusive licence for the Metro series.
The publisher raised SEK 2.1 billion ($225 million) through new share issues earlier this year to strengthen its merger and acquisition capacity. It announced in May that it had acquired German RPG developer Piranha Bytes and its intellectual property portfolio.
THQ Nordic also confirmed on Wednesday that a new Saints Row game is “deep in development” at Volition.
Additionally, it said Dead Island 2 is now being made by Homefront: The Revolution developer Dambuster Studios, while Timesplitters co-creator Steve Ellis has joined THQ Nordic to help “plot the future course” for the franchise.