THQ Nordic has released a short teaser for a remake of the popular SpongeBob game Battle for Bikini Bottom, dubbed the “Rehydrated” edition, for PC, PS4, XB1 and Switch. Instead of original developer Heavy Iron Studios, the remake is being realized by the Austrian-based Purple Lamp Studios. Currently there is no release date for Rehydrated.
Battle for Bikini Bottom was originally released in 2003, as the first of two SpongeBob games by Heavy Iron. The game saw you fight a robot invasion of the titular town masterminded by series’ villain Plankton using a variety of weapons based on famous gags from the show. Though it had mixed reception upon its release, it’s enjoyed a cult status in recent years in great part thanks to its popularity as a speedrunning game. It was followed a year later by a game adaption of the show’s theatrical debut.
This remake comes in the wake of THQ Nordic (formerly Nordic Games) making several fast acquisitions of other studios and properties. In March 2018 a contract between Activision and Nickelodeon came to an end, allowing THQ Nordic to strike a partnership to re-release 16 Nickelodeon franchises that had been previously published by THQ. Other properties recently bought by THQ include Kingdoms of Amalur, Alone in the Dark, TimeSplitters and Outcast.
Though THQ Nordic has said that the reason they waited to rename themselves was to avoid negative connotations of the THQ brand following its commercial collapse, it has since managed to create a dreadful reputation all of its own. After an AMA session on the image board 8chan, infamous for hosting and encouraging harassment campaigns, racism and child pornography, THQ Nordic has rightfully been looked down as pariah by much of the industry. CEO Lars Wingefors has since issued an apology.