Fans of the Darksiders series can look forward to Darksiders 3 if sales of Darksiders 2 are good enough for THQ to make another sequel! This may seem like a shoe-in, but it means they have at least planned out ideas for Darksiders 3 & 4 as they made the story for Darksiders 1 & 2. Two interview quotes give some clarity about the future of the Darksiders franchise.
Haydn Dalton, Vigil Games lead designer, is one of the Darksiders 2 developers and has some interesting ideas if Darksiders 3 goes into development.
Quote 1: “The only people who can really shape if we do [another] Darksiders or not is basically the public. If we come out and it does really well then I think it’s really compelling; we can’t not come out and maybe do something else in the Darksiders franchise.
“Maybe what he [Jason Rubin, President of THQ] might do is turn around and say, ‘We’ll do another Darksiders game, but we’ll try and reduce the scope so that we can make it even higher polished’.” -Vigil Games lead designer
If Jason’s [Rubin, President, THQ] sat there and we go and sell 4 or 5 million units*, I’m pretty sure he won’t say, ‘Let’s go and do something different now’. Maybe what he might do is turn around and say, ‘We’ll do another Darksiders game, but we’ll try and reduce the scope so that we can make it even higher polished’. Because our scope is huge. Maybe he says, ‘Bring the scope down a little bit, we’ll still do another game but it’s a lot more focused’. That’s not such a bad thing to do either.”
* By comparison, Darksiders 1 sold 1.2 million copies in its first half year.
As you know, Darksiders 2 takes place around the same time as the first Darksiders: Wrath of War game, and sees Death take over the in-game world’s perspective as the central character trying to save his brother War.
Danny Bilson, THQ core games executive VP, said at his IGDA Leadership Forum 2010 keynote speech that there are four different stories to tell in the Darksiders universe.
Quote 2: “When we do the Darksiders sequel, it’ll be a different character and take place simultaneously to the other story. There’s only one apocalypse — I couldn’t very well have four different apocalypses, one for each rider.” Each game will also have some new mechanics to differentiate it a lot and grow it from the first game, because he says “you have to build on the first one, you can’t repeat it.”
So who’s story will be told in Darksiders 2? To clarify who’s left, here’s the story recap about the Four Horsemen:
“Some say the Horseman War triggered the Apocalypse… that he rode to Earth, unbidden, and doomed all of Mankind. But what of the other Horsemen, fearless enforcers of the Council’s will? What of Fury, Strife… and Death?** To know those names, you must first know another. Nephilim-cursed union of Angel and Demon. The Nephilim put countless realms to the sword, and burned them to ash. But Four amongst them grew weary of the slaughter, and feared their conquest would imperil the Balance [between Angels and Demons]. And so, a truce was made: The Four would serve the Council, in exchange for unimaginable power. Thus were the dreaded Horsemen formed. And the riders’ first task was to purge their own brethren from Creation… To annihilate the Nephilim.”
** To clarify who are the remaining Horsemen: Fury is the only female horseman (and the last female Nephilim) who wields a fiery whip and a set of razor-sharp claws; she rides a black horse (Fury replaces the Horseman Famine). And Strife who dual-wields the two pistols Mercy & Redemption; he rides a white horse (Strife replaces the Horsemen Pestilence/Conquest).
That quote comes from the Darksiders 2 intro cinematic (shown below) that talks about the story so far with two of the four horsemen, although one of the two we haven’t seen yet (the one with the whip) seems to be a woman, but I guess three horsemen and a lady wasn’t as catchy a group name.
Not to mention, the Darksiders 2 open ending clearly hints at one or both of the other Horsemen being called into action for Darksiders 3! – You can see the secret scene in the video below, it comes after the ending credits.
Announcer: “And the number of the riders shall forever be… four!”
You can read the full Haydn Dalton interview at: Videogamer
February 2013 Update: Sad news for Darksiders fans. Publisher THQ has gone bankrupt and the developer making the Darksiders games, Vigil Games, was closed. However, Vigil’s lead David Adams was hired by Crytek to run Crytek USA Corp. as CEO with the core team of game creators from Vigil now hired back. Although, that sounds promising, the new studio flat-out said they won’t be making Darksiders 3.
To quote a recent interview with Crytek chief executive officer Cevat Yerli: “We had chosen Austin as the destination for [our U.S. branch], and we needed a lean and core team of expert to run the studio. At the same time, we didn’t want to continue with Darksiders 3, since that doesn’t fit with our strategy. So when I heard that [THQ laid off everyone at Vigil], I decided on Saturday morning to fly out to meet with them to see if the team would be interested to join our mission, which is significantly different than what this team has done before.”
March 2013 Update: Crytek USA’s new CEO David Adams has revealed in his Twitter account that he intends to bid on the Darksiders IP. To quote: “Going to bid on Darksiders IP. Put 7 years of heart and soul into that franchise, and I think it belongs at home with its creators.” He continued by saying: “Looking to buy Darksiders IP back from THQ. The IP belongs in the hands of its creators.”
May 2013 Update: In a recent interview with IGN, Vigil’s former creative director Joe Madureira reveals what Darksiders 3 was going to be about:
“It was always our hope to do a full four-player co-op game, with all four Horsemen playable. It’s possible we could have pulled it off. I would have liked to introduce Fury and Strife. I know many fans feel robbed that they never got to play the last two Horsemen.
Story wise, we tossed around the idea of the Horsemen attacking Hell to challenge Lucifer. And then taking the battle to the Charred Council to regain their freedom. Epic stuff. There was also an idea to do crazy ‘western’ type story, where the Horsemen are mortals after the rebirth of Mankind, sort of an alternate future. But neither idea got very far.
The biggest limiter for us was always scope, time, and money. I do think that it would be very difficult if not impossible to have four players running around simultaneously and maintain the level of graphic quality we achieved. So the next one, had we introduced co-op, would have benefited from the power of the next generation of consoles.”
So what does the future of Darksiders holds now that the IP was bought by Nordic Games who want to outsource development of Darksiders games? To this Mr. Madureira says:
“I’d love to see Vanillaware make a Darksiders 2D sidescroller. I’m not sure how I feel about the Nordic purchase to be honest. I have sort of a ‘wait and see’ attitude about it, as I’m sure many people do. I’m not sure if I’d want to get involved with it or not. A lot of my love for the IP is also wrapped up in the people we had at the studio and the stuff we created together. But I’ve learned to never say never. If it’s cool, and I have time, I’d consider it. But my involvement couldn’t be what it was before. I’m moving on to new things right now.”
May 2014 Update: Darksiders former creative director Joe Madureira has commented on his Facebook page hinting Darksiders 3 may go in development after all!
To quote: “Darksiders is not dead!!! The new owner, Nordic seems very committed to continuing the series. As far as my involvement, I can’t say at this point. Hopefully we will all have exciting news about the franchise soon!!!!!!”