There was a time when THQ Nordic was more than just an amalgamation of IPs. Yes, there was a time when there was simply a company named “THQ,” developing and publishing AAA titles. The company found many successes in the industry up until 2012, when it defaulted on a $50 million business loan. The company liquidated all assets, and eventually Nordic Games bought the company’s name and some of its assets, rebranding as THQ Nordic. But prior to doing that, THQ was working on an Avengers game long before Square Enix. A gameplay video of the canceled title recently surfaced, showing off the progress THQ had made on its first-person Marvel title.
What could have been
This Avengers game reportedly was intended to release alongside Marvel’s The Avengers (2012) in theaters, being developed by THQ Studio Australia and Blue Tongue Entertainment. As troubles started to surface for THQ, the project was canned, leaving Ubisoft to then take the reins of the license, developing Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth. On the Xbox 360, Battle for Earth was a fighting game where the Kinect camera was required to play it, but there was also a Wii U version.
The canceled game was inspired by the Secret Invasion storyline involving the shapeshifting Skrulls. This story arc might have allowed the development team to utilize more Marvel characters than just the Avengers themselves given the characters present in the series’s events (Wolverine, Luke Cage, Cyclops, etc.). As the video shows, it looks like the models for Thor, Captain America, Hulk, and Iron Man were mostly finished — even the enemy models look nearly complete. However, the same can’t be said for the environment.
From the unknown to known
You might be asking yourself, “Where does one suddenly find a copy of an unfinished Avengers game?” It looks like the build surfaced on a hard drive obtained by Obscure Gamers, a preservation community. Andrew Borman, digital games curator at the Museum of Play, also uploaded some Captain America gameplay to Twitter.
— Andrew Borman (@Borman18) June 1, 2020
PC Gamer points out a few features that might’ve made it into the final product, like PvP. A news ticker hints at some sort of PvP component as well as DLC character skins. This is far different than what we’ve seen from Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix regarding its third-person Marvel’s Avengers game due out in September.