Publisher THQ announced its own partner program in May of this year, and now it's revealed that the first game to be published out of the new division will be Team17's Worms: Battle Island
THQ has done publishing and distribution deals for other companies for some time, but the company has told us
its Partners division is tailored to strategically-selected larger firms who may want to self-fund some or all of game's development -- and lean on THQ for distribution and marketing.
The program is modeled on Electronic Arts' Partners program, which has allowed the publisher to tie itself to major brands from studios like Valve, Epic and MTV Harmonix. Those teams kept IP ownership of their games and took a larger cut of the profits, while still enjoying EA's publishing footprint.
When Worms: Battle Island
teamed up with THQ Partners, its scope got upsized
: It was originally intended as a downloadable game for Wii Ware and PSP. But it'll now be a full $20 Wii retail title, removing the barrier of WiiWare's very low file size limit. On the PSP side, the title remains downloadable only.
According to THQ, the Worms
franchise has sold over 25 million retail units in its lifetime. It's a strategy series where players control opposing armies of earthworms. It has a cartoonish tone, and goes for an over-the-top feel with its destructible landscapes and outlandish weaponry.