Painkiller is back, thanks to the efforts of Koch Media and its new publishing label Prime Matter, which was revealed today at Summer Games Fest.
Unfortunately, that’s literally all we know. We were pre-briefed on the news at a media-only Koch Media event last week, but apart from Painkiller being back as a part of Prime Matter, nothing else was confirmed for us. We were briefly shown a single asset allegedly from the game, but were told after that we would not be receiving the asset to show to our readers, nor would we be able to look back at it for reference later.
Curiously, the one stand-out bit of the asset we were shown was what appeared to be a Saber Interactive logo in the corner. Following up, we were able to confirm that Painkiller is coming to Prime Matter “in conjunction with Saber Interactive,” but it’s unclear precisely what their role will be.
It has been a hot minute since we last saw Painkiller, which is a 2004 FPS made by Polish studio People Can Fly to considerable critical success, sparking the studio’s notoriety. People Can Fly as it was then was eventually acquired by Epic Games, with the current People Can Fly studio existing as a spin-off from its former CEO and making games like Outriders. Painkiller has since had a few expansions and sequels, such as Painkiller: Overdose developed by Mindware and Painkiller: Resurrection from Homegrown Games, but the franchise has been silent for several years.
Part of that may be due to the IP going on one heck of a journey over the years. It was initially owned by its publisher, DreamCatcher Interactive, which was later acquired by JoWooD Games in 2006. JoWooD was then acquired in 2011 as it struggled with insolvency by Nordic Games (which also acquired DreamCatcher separately not long after). Nordic Games was rebranded as THQ Nordic in 2016, and a few months later it assembled THQ Nordic AB as a holding company to contain THQ Nordic and its numerous acquisitions, which included Koch Media.
Then, just last year, Painkiller was formally transferred from THQ Nordic to Koch Media, alongside Red Faction. Koch Media received Risen, Sacred, Rush for Berlin, Second Sight, and Singles: Flirt Up Your Life in exchange.
Now, under Prime Matter, Painkiller joins 11 other upcoming games as a part of the new label such as Payday 3, King’s Bounty 2, and Gungrave: G.O.R.E. It also joins a handful of other Koch Media brands being moved under Prime matter, including Kingdom Come: Deliverance and Phoenix Point.
Koch Media’s reveals today were a part of Summer Game Fest, which is in turn part of a lead-up to E3 2021 this weekend. This year’s E3 includes events from Xbox, Square Enix, Ubisoft, Nintendo, Devolver Digital, and more, all of which can be watched and caught up on through IGN’s Summer of Gaming.
Rebekah Valentine is a news reporter for IGN. You can find her on Twitter @duckvalentine.