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The future of Devil’s Third at stake as THQ returns IP rights to Valhalla Game Studios

By: Muhammad Qasim Hassan

  |   July 10th, 2012   |  
News, Uncategorized

After keeping Devil Third’s on indefinite hold for nearly two months, THQ has returned all rights for the upcoming third-person shooter video game to developer Valhalla Game Studios.

The company confirmed that it would not be publishing the game, something that hardly came off as surprising considering the current financial turmoil it is currently going through.

The Intellectual Property (IP) rights have been signed over to the Valhalla Game Studios, which is owned by Tomonobu Itagaki, the same developer who created the Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive franchises.

Devil’s Third was the first title that Itagaki was creating ever since parting ways with Tecmo in 2008. It was also his first game for the PlayStation 3, not to mention the first time he was deviating from his previous genre to create a third-person shooter.

The development of the game started in 2009 and both the publisher and studio seemed pretty much into it. However, trouble started to brew after the studio that designed the game’s engine closed down. However, Itagaki and his team managed to deal with the situation by switching to Relic’s engine.

However, the development of the game did not remain smooth for long as THQ got hit by a financial crisis. The former vice president of the publisher Danny Bilson conceded that the company was looking for investors to help with the game’s development. However, the efforts turned out to be in vain and thus the Devil’s Third was put on hold for an indefinite period. The future of the game seemed to be jeopardised due to the lack of financial resources as THQ struggled to stay afloat.

During an interview in May earlier this year, Bilson had stated that his company was probably going to offload the game. However, he expressed his hope to see Devil’s Third to get through the development stage and hit the shelves as he believed that the game was truly fantastic and definitely deserved to be played.

Understanding the circumstances that had compelled THQ to return the IP rights, Itagaki said that the decision was taken in the best interest of both the publisher as well as the studio.

“They didn’t want to part with this IP,” said Itagaki. “But we all have to see into the future and at last they did, for us.”

He further went on to admit that the team was indeed upset and deeply concerned about the game’s future at the moment. However, they did not hold anything against THQ for isolating them as the company is currently going through a tough period.

“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.”

The owner of Valhalla Game Studios revealed in a recent interview that Devil’s Third was in its final stages of development. However, the studio is in dire need of a publisher to see the development stage of the game to competition.