De Blob Online (lost build of cancelled multiplayer online game; early 2010s)
de Blob Online is a scrapped multiplayer online game based on the THQ video game duology of the same name, developed by Balanced Worlds and intended to be published by THQ Shanghai for launch shortly after the release of de Blob 2 in early 2011. Due to the interest to make the de Blob series a multi-media franchise, it was developed to expand the series to online gaming, but the project was never confirmed nor even known until years later as a result of being quietly scrapped due to the bankruptcy of THQ during its development.
Around the development of the second de Blob game and the interest to expand the series as a proper franchise, THQ started working on another de Blob game, this time for online gaming. The Shanghai branch of THQ started development on it, being primarily made for Asia audiences. Balanced Worlds, a Beijing-based team, came on to co-develop the game, known for the Buddies franchises of online 3D games. While the game was never officially talked about from THQ or Balanced, it was far into completion and was close from release, as THQ Nordic business and product development director Reinhard Pollice spoke about in a 2017 interview about the legacy of de Blob:
"Before THQ went bankrupt, they had an online De Blob game [in development] which was basically like Splatoon," says Pollice. “It was never released, but I think they invested a couple of million into it. They were making it for Asia. It was pretty far [through development], it wasn’t far off soft-launch. But it was funny, because when Nintendo announced Splatoon I was like ‘hey, I’ve already seen that – that’s literally De Blob Online."
Despite being nearly finished for release, the game was never confirmed to exist until years later, due to THQ's bankruptcy filled in late 2012 that prevented it from being completed and ceased production of any further de Blob projects, including all branches of THQ, Shanghai included. Balanced Worlds was acquired by Kabam Inc., a leader in free-to-play gaming, also in December 2012, which may have been a reason for the cancellation of de Blob Online.
In February 2021, years after the game was first mentioned in interviews, former THQ employee Richard Browne shared on his Twitter an unreleased pitch trailer for the game. The version was edited down, though the full trailer was uploaded a month later on his YouTube channel, albeit unlisted. The overall gameplay resembled in the trailer resembled de Blob 2 with a multiplayer emphasis, including general basis of the online game genre including character customization, online community, multiplayer combat, items, and skills. The game's build and any of its assets, however, remain lost and inaccessible to the public.
- Details of de Blob Online. Retrieved 10 Oct '22
- THQ Nordic director commenting on the legacy of de Blob. Retrieved 10 Oct '22
- THQ announcing its bankruptcy. Retrieved 10 Oct '22
- News of Balanced Worlds being acquired by Kabam. Retrieved 10 Oct '22
- de Blob Online trailer. Retrieved 10 Oct '22
- de Blob Online full trailer. Retrieved 10 Oct '22