Shenmue III released this week on PS4 and PC, after almost two decades of development hell, and being saved by a successful Kickstarter campaign. Koch Media, the company who owns THQ Nordic, and Shenmue III publisher Deep Silver - recently bought for roughly $150 million - isn't done with bringing back old favorites.
Deep Silver, on top of the critically acclaimed Shenmue games, also has published prolific titles like those from the Saints Row series, which hasn't seen a release since 2013, but is largely beloved for being a zany, over-the-top, silly alternative to the more realistic Grand Theft Auto games. As well as the first-person shooter Homefront, and just last year gained the rights to the sci-fi first-person shooter, TimeSplitters. And it would appear that Shenmue isn't the only franchise that is being brought back from the dead. Saints Row, and even the ironically named Dead Island are slated for returns from Koch at some point.
Koch CEO, Klemens Kundratitz, said according to gamesindustry.biz, "Look, Dead Island is a very important brand for us and we've got to get it right. It's just a testimony of our dedication to get it right." And in August this year, it was reported that a new Saints Row game is slated to some out no later than March of 2021.
So these clearly aren't cashgrabs or ventures that are being made for the sake of banking on nostalgia, but actually giving these dormant franchises the love and attention they deserve. A breath of fresh air when it feels like so many franchises, like Mega Man, No More Heroes, and Diablo are being brought back mostly for nostalgia and not for any care or consideration for the fans who pay a lot of hard-earned money for good experiences.
In a market currently fixated on publishers like Square Enix, Ubisoft, and Capcom, Deep Silver and its business ventures seem to be proving that they can stand toe to toe with the best of them, and that some of the heavy hitters could even possibly start taking cues from this business model, but that remains to be seen.