Update: Crytek Forms Studio From Darksiders Studio's Ashes

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Update: Crytek Forms Studio From Darksiders Studio's Ashes

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Vigil Games wasn't purchased in the THQ auction, but it may be saved anyway.

Update: A representative from Crytek got back to me to say the new studio will not make another Darksiders game. "Crytek USA won't work on a new Darksiders game. At this point in time it is too early to share any future plans," said Jens Schafer from Crytek. It doesn't look like Crytek has any interest in acquiring the IP from THQ. He also confirmed the 35-member team led by Adams consisted entirely of former Vigil Games employees.

Original post: One of the surprises in the THQ firesale last week was Vigil Games not finding a buyer. No entity placed a bid on the studio, despite developing a strong franchise in Darksiders, and all of its employees were laid off. Thankfully, it looks like the studio will be reborn. Today, the German game developer and publisher Crytek - makers of the Crysis games - announced it was forming a new studio in Austin, TX. The new studio is called Crytek USA Corp, and will be run by David Adams, the former head of Vigil.

"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 statement. "The studio's launch represents Crytek's commitment to delivering diverse and high quality content to players everywhere."

Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli chimed in with some thoughts on how Adams will be keeping his team together. "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," Yerli said.

Jason Rubin, former CEO of THQ, congratulated Crytek on forming the new studio.

So, Vigil Games is dead; Long live Crytek USA Corp. I'm not positive about the legal wranglings, but it appears Crytek hired back the employees of Vigil Games to form this new studio. There's no word on what game the studio will work on next, but it will apparently use the CryEngine.

I've reached out to Crytek to clarify the status of the Darksiders IP. Jason Rubin said THQ would attempt to sell the remaining intellectual property off, and according to another Tweet from Rubin, the IP is still up for grabs. I wonder if Crytek will attempt to snatch it up when it goes on sale.

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If I'm reading that right, they didn't resurrect the studio, they just hired all the laid off employees. Vigil didn't own people and I don't think there's a law against hiring someone who's unemployed.

Vrach:
If I'm reading that right, they didn't resurrect the studio, they just hired all the laid off employees. Vigil didn't own people and I don't think there's a law against hiring someone who's unemployed.

I'm a cynic. I expect someone to buy whatever remains of Vigil and then sue Crytek for poaching.

Vrach:
If I'm reading that right, they didn't resurrect the studio, they just hired all the laid off employees. Vigil didn't own people and I don't think there's a law against hiring someone who's unemployed.

Why buy the studio for (potentially) several millions if you can just let it get shuttered and can hire the people working in it for free, at potentially lower wages (because they're happy to be getting a job)?

I don't understand where Crytek gets all the money from. They rose from a bunch of guys with a tech-demo to a major developer with big studios spread across the globe practically by night. Yet all they had were the FarCry and Crysis franchises, both of which seem to have a comparatively small, dedicated fanbase, if anything you read on the Internet is true.

Tiamat666:
I don't understand where Crytek gets all the money from. They rose from a bunch of guys with a tech-demo to a major developer with big studios spread across the globe practically by night. Yet all they had were the FarCry and Crysis franchises, both of which seem to have a comparatively small, dedicated fanbase, if anything you read on the Internet is true.

because they screwed over ubisoft by selling them the rights to a tech demo called far cry...

anyways, now they need to aquire the darksiders I.P. for cheap and they will rise as one of the most cunning bastards in the industry. (if you dont get it, read dexter111's post).

Dexter111:

Vrach:
If I'm reading that right, they didn't resurrect the studio, they just hired all the laid off employees. Vigil didn't own people and I don't think there's a law against hiring someone who's unemployed.

Why buy the studio for (potentially) several millions if you can just let it get shuttered and can hire the people working in it for free, at potentially lower wages (because they're happy to be getting a job)?

Exactly? I'm sorry, I'm not seeing anything illegal nor even immoral here, even disregarding the fact we're talking about business. Maybe I'm hazy on what buying a studio entails, but I was thinking it gets you more than just the staff, no? If you just want the workers, you wait until they're available. Why would you pay someone millions of dollars just so he wouldn't fire his workers for a day or few?

Tiamat666:
I don't understand where Crytek gets all the money from. They rose from a bunch of guys with a tech-demo to a major developer with big studios spread across the globe practically by night. Yet all they had were the FarCry and Crysis franchises, both of which seem to have a comparatively small, dedicated fanbase, if anything you read on the Internet is true.

I suspect engine licencing. The CryEngine might not be as widely used as Unreal, but it still means a steady income separate from game sales.

I believed the story of the riders would continue somehow.... I didn't know how but I just felt like it would find a way. It seems the 7th seal was broken after all hehe.

Vrach:
If I'm reading that right, they didn't resurrect the studio, they just hired all the laid off employees. Vigil didn't own people and I don't think there's a law against hiring someone who's unemployed.

Its not unknown for there to be in conditions of contracts terms stipulating that you can't work for a rival company for a set period of time. The wrangle becomes, if Vigil has gone and its parent company is being liquidated, are those terms still valid. What happens if someone buys the right to the THQ name, does the choice of enforcing those terms go to the new owner, or did those rights die.

Well it sucks that there won't be another Darksiders. Atleast not one from what was formerly Vigil.
But I'm happy to hear all those devs are once again employed. I was actually pretty surprised they weren't bought up in the auction.

Tiamat666:
I don't understand where Crytek gets all the money from. They rose from a bunch of guys with a tech-demo to a major developer with big studios spread across the globe practically by night. Yet all they had were the FarCry and Crysis franchishes, both of which seem to have a comparatively small, dedicated fanbase, if anything you read on the Internet is true.

Crytek actually did a lot of simulation work for the German military.
They still do:

http://www.vg247.com/2010/09/25/crytek-has-seven-studios-military-contracts/

I wonder if this is a Crawler-related move by Crytek?

Well it's great that they hired all of Virgil, like really great, thoroughly enjoyed Darksiders 1 and 2, but it's a shame they won't be making another one (haven't finished DS2 yet so dunno how the ending is), hopefully Crytek will buy the rights to it one day. IN fact who owns the rights now? They just floating about or what?

Good for them, I guess. But I really want another Darksiders game damn it!

Yeah, why would you want to save a franchise that's at least trying to be unique. Let em make another Crysis! Yeh, that's it.

I FUCKING HATE THIS SHIT!!

xP Every time I hear a bit of news about this THQ business, I get my hopes up and then crushed. "THQ auctioned off a bunch of studios and IPs!" Woo-hoo! "Vigil wasn't one of them." Curses! "Vigil Games will be ressurected by Crytek!" Woo-hoo! "They have specifically said they're NOT interested in making a new Darksiders." FUCK! I can't take this roller-coaster BS. Out of this whole mess, Darksiders was really the only IP I was hoping would survive and have a new game made. More and more it seems that dream is going down the drain...FAST.

Good news, everyone! You'll be happy to know that I have recently purchased the Darksiders IP rights for $21.50 USD.

Well, it's possible another Darksiders game could be made if the IP is bought. It just won't be made by the same team ...

"The king is dead, long live the king!"

Though I don't see why they would get part of Vigil and Not Darksiders. That game sold quite well, enough to warrant a sequel and the sequel sold well to.

Either the opening bid is to high, the sales weren't as good as I thought or they are just waiting for the price to drop. If I was them I'd wait it out to buy out whatever remains.

In the current Permanent IP industry having to many IP's doesn't exist.

AC10:
Good news, everyone! You'll be happy to know that I have recently purchased the Darksiders IP rights for $21.50 USD.

Damn it! Outbid by $1.

albino boo:
Its not unknown for there to be in conditions of contracts terms stipulating that you can't work for a rival company for a set period of time.

I'd be surprised if an enforceable non-compete clause existed in a case like this. (For most of the employees, it probably doesn't exist at all.) The laid off employees could hardly be regarded as competing with the defunct studio, and any claim to their specialized knowledge could be presumed released upon their bulk removal from service.

"A covenant not to compete is enforceable only if it is necessary to protect a legitimate business interest, reasonably limited in time and space, and consonant with the public interest."

'Course, it's Texas, so that makes things a bit more dicey. In California, you can't have a non-compete clause for anybody short of a partner or similar co-owner.

I for one am actually kinda happy they are getting a fresh start. I enjoyed darksiders 2, and saw my brother play one. Their was defiantly vast improvement between the games. This makes me think they will be much better off making a fresh ip instead of dealing with the tangled mess that story was becoming.

*Raises hand and waves it around* Uhm! Uhm! Darksiders is cool and all... but what about Dark Millenium?!

I'm glad all the employees were picked up by Crytek, even if they will most likely go to making yet another FPS since that is what Crytek is, an FPS studio. I just hope someone picks up Darksiders, they were fantastic games. I personally find it a bit annoying that if a series didn't sell 20 Million units it's not worth anyone's time. At the same time, I would rather see the property die than have the game transform into something unrecognizable.

I'm glad the employees are rehired for cheap but it seems like one wants DarkSiders?? Strange? I hope some other developer picks it up and is able to created a sequel.

Well I'm glad the people at Vigil got picked up but why has somebody still not bought the Darksiders IP? The first was really enjoyable, and while I haven't picked up the second yet, I've heard that's just as good if not better.

Really? Crytek wasn't even willing to pay a couple of pennies for the studio? Or did THQ just not want to sell?

But anyway, cool for the devs, though I hope they'll put their talents to work on something that isn't the most boring, by the numbers Hack and Slash series of this generation.

I'm glad all those people got work. Good on Crytek.

As far as Darksiders, it was always a "meh" property to me anyway, so no loss there.

Frakkin captcha errors...

Ignore this.

elvor0:
Well it's great that they hired all of Virgil, like really great, thoroughly enjoyed Darksiders 1 and 2, but it's a shame they won't be making another one (haven't finished DS2 yet so dunno how the ending is), hopefully Crytek will buy the rights to it one day. IN fact who owns the rights now? They just floating about or what?

I'm just starting the second game too, from what I have been told, it ties up Deaths plot well. That said, I don't know.

Just glad to hear they will still have jobs. Shame there may not be anther Darksiders game, but who knows what the future can bring.

Greg Tito:
Well, it's possible another Darksiders game could be made if the IP is bought. It just won't be made by the same team ...

Very true, but a random studio can take an old IP and make something amazing with it, it's happened before, like Retro Studios and the Metroid franchise. They blew mine and many others minds with Metroid Prime. I'm hoping something similar happens here with Darksiders.

By the way, Mr Tito, did you like the Darksiders games? Just curious.

I knew it. Crytek are good people.

There is nothing bad you can say about this story.

Crytek, for this you will always have my money. You are nothing short of awesome.

Shame about Darksiders, I really liked the games, but I was mosly upset at the thought of all those talented people having the rug pulled from under them.

Again, Crytek, there are not enough kudos in the world.

AC10:
Good news, everyone! You'll be happy to know that I have recently purchased the Darksiders IP rights for $21.50 USD.

You do know what they say, 'A fool and his money are quickly parted.'

Wow I love the Crysis games and I had fun with Darksiders for a while, it might be fun to see what comes out of this and I'm only a few hours away from Austin and have been dreaming of a job in game development since I was 13 and I was inputting the pages of code to get snake running on my TRS 80 and the strange sentences started to make a weird kinda sense. I should find out how to get in touch with these people...

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