Nearly two years ago, at rAge 2010, I was introduced to Tomonobu Itagaki’s Devil’s Third by a visiting THQ rep from the UK. The game had been revealed a few months prior at E3 2010, but it had somehow slipped under my radar. The moment I saw its gameplay teaser, it shot onto my “Keep An Eye On” list. Just over a year later, publisher THQ cancelled the game, making Devil’s Third one of the more heartbreaking causalities of the publishers potential death throws. Fortunately it seems THQ is gaining ground (they’ve just officially been cleared of a stock exchange delisting) with their new approach to focusing on established AAA titles. It’s also just been revealed that they’ve relinquished all rights to Devil’s Third.
Speaking to Famitsu, the decidedly off-beat Itagaki confirmed that THQ has returned the rights to its creator. Itagaki had been working on Devil’s Third since 2009 after he left his own Team Ninja due to a falling out. His previous work includes creating Dead or Alive and rebooting Ninja Gaiden.
“Most important thing is gamers’ happiness,” Itagaki told Famitsu. “So we can’t thank THQ enough. Anyway, we now own the Devil’s Third IP.”
It sounds as if there is no bad blood between Valhalla Games and their previous publisher, despite the game incurring greater development costs under THQ.
“They didn’t want to part with this IP, Itagaki said, “but we all have to see into the future and at last they did, for us. We were anguished and they were really kind to us. Mr. Danny Bilson was searching for a way to work together until the very end. I do appreciate him and THQ managers that signed the transfer contract.”
At present, Devil’s Third is lacking a publisher, but that’s a much better position to be in than in permanent lock-down at THQ. Hopefully another publisher will pick this up soon; until then the game remains without a release date.