One of the sad stories of the THQ bankruptcy auction involved Darksiders developer Vigil. No outside publishers bid on the Austin-based studio, and the result left everyone at Vigil unemployed.
But all is not lost.
German developer Crytek announced today that it is establishing a new studio made up of some core Vigil employees in Austin, Texas. Crytek USA Corp. will begin working on games immediately using the developer’s proprietary CryEngine development kit.
“Crytek has always enjoyed a special relationship with gamers and business partners in North America, so establishing a permanent presence in the U.S. was a natural step,” Crytek chief executive officer Cevat Yerli said in a statement. “We are extremely excited about the work that we will be undertaking from our strategic new location in Austin, with David Adams and his team of 35 experienced developers. We believe our CryEngine technology will enable the team we assemble to create unparalleled new gaming experiences.”
Crytek appointed Vigil cofounder David Adams to Crytek USA Corp. chief executive officer. That’s a big swing from unemployed to CEO in a matter of days.
“I’m thrilled to be a part of the newest Crytek studio, which will boast some of the brightest development talent in the industry,” Adams said in a statment. “The studio’s launch represents Crytek’s commitment to delivering diverse and high-quality content to players everywhere.”
THQ president Jason Rubin Tweeted the following about the announcement:
Great news for Vigil, at least the core team: http://t.co/T3iR3ZkU Thanks to Crytek for saving as much as they could of a fantastic team.
— Jason Rubin (@Jason_Rubin) January 28, 2013
Vigil released Darksiders II in August. The studio had only just begun work on a new game dubbed “Crawler.” The new Crytek USA team will have to abandon that work and start from scratch on something new since what’s left of THQ still owns that property. The same is true for the Darksiders property — although Crytek could still purchase the rights to one or both intellectual properties.