A gem from the era of licensed games is getting new life from THQ Nordic. The publisher announced a remake of 2003's SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom today, alongside a short trailer.
THQ Nordic, working with Nickelodeon and Purple Lamp Studios, will be bringing the "Rehydrated" version to PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. No release date has been set yet, though a tweet from THQ Nordic confirms the game won't be at E3 this year.
In the trailer's description on YouTube, THQ Nordic says "the cult classic is back, faithfully remade." THQ Nordic confirmed to USgamer that this is a remake from scratch in Unreal Engine 4, from the ground up. The trailer's description also teased a "brand new multiplayer mode," a feature that wasn't in the original.
In Battle for Bikini Bottom, you took control of SpongeBob, Sandy, and Patrick to complete a series of challenges in each area, opening up new ones as you collected more Golden Spatulas. It was similar to 3D Mario games of the time in its construction, but it had a lot of variety and quirky gameplay mechanics that garnered a following. This following is, understandably, quite excited about a remake of their beloved gem.
The topic "Battle for Bikini Bottom" immediately started trending on Twitter as soon as the announcement hit, even with Pokemon news ostensibly dominating social media. From nostalgic fans to speedrunners who have spent hours breaking the game apart, there was a lot of excitement.
WAIT GUYS SHUT UP ABOUT POKEMON FOR A SECOND. SPONGEBOB BATTLE FOR BIKINI BOTTOM IS GETTING REMADE. pic.twitter.com/goZ0qY9WXD— PK Ben (@Ben_Faulstick) June 5, 2019
Yep. That pretty much sums up the reaction.
With all that said, THQ Nordic has been having some trouble in the public eye after a controversial decision to host an AMA on the online forum 8chan, a site known for racism, hate speech, and being delisted from Google for hosting child pornography. The company has gone through several bouts of apologies, with co-founder and CEO saying, "I condemn all unethical content this website stands for."
The publisher seems to be planning on bringing several games to E3 2019, though the SpongeBob remake won't be among them. New entries in both the Red Faction and Darksiders series have leaked in various ways, so expect to see Nordic pop up a few times at this year's show. To keep up with all things E3, check out our E3 2019 guide.