THQ Nordic has announced the acquisition of the Outcast intellectual property, three years after the game's original creators reformed Appeal Studios to work on new games in the franchise.
In what is only the latest in a string of IP acquisitions including Novalogic, Deep Silver, Koch Media, Volition, TimeSplitters, and a potentially thorny deal for Kingdoms of Amalur, THQ Nordic has announced that it now owns the IP rights to the Outcast franchise. Developed by Appeal Studios and published by Infogrames in 1999, the third-person adventure was notable for a novel graphics engine which combined ray casting with texture-mapped polygons and a prototypical voxel-style volumetric landscape system - made most obvious early in the game when the player's progress through snow is marked by bootprints that create actual dents in the surface, rather than a flat texture stamp.
While the game received critical acclaim - along with a few criticisms, mostly centred around the engine relying entirely on CPU horsepower and being unable to take advantage of 3D acceleration hardware thus running at a maximum resolution of 512 x 384 - plans for a sequel were cancelled when Appeal entered into bankruptcy. In 2013, Appeal founders Yann Robert, Franck Sauer, and Yves Grolet announced they had acquired the IP from Infogrames - now known as Atari - and a year later launched a crowdfunding campaign to finally develop the sequel, and while funding failed the reborn company entered into a deal with Bigben Interactive to release Outcast: Second Contact in November 2017.
Now, Appeal has signed a new deal - one which sees it transfer the Outcast IP over to THQ Nordic, giving it the rights to both games and all future entries in the series. Thus far, though, the company hasn't revealed what it plans to do with said rights - nor whether Robert, Sauer, and Grolet will be involved in the development of any future Outcast titles.
July 1 2020 | 17:34