THQ has returned the rights to the Devil's Third back to its creators. The promising third-person shooter from Ninja Gaiden producer Tomonobu Itagaki and his development team at Valhalla Game Studios will have to find another publishing partner. During E3 THQ unloaded the rights to another major franchise – UFC – on EA for an undisclosed amount of cash.
"THQ confirms that the company will not be publishing Devil's Third," the company confirmed with Eurogamer earlier this week. "All of the game's IP rights have been returned to Itagaki-san and the Valhalla team."
Itagaki also confirmed that the ownership of the IP had been returned to his company in a statement to Famitsu Xbox 360 prior to THQ confirming the story.
"Devil's Third development is in its final stage now, and is most expensive in this term. In the West, we need to spend a great deal for advertisements – as much as development cost – to sell a lot. But it wasn't fit for [THQ's] mid-term plan," he told Famitsu Xbox 360. "They didn't want to part with this IP, but we all have to see into the future and at last they did, for us."
He went on to say that former THQ executive vice president of core games Danny Bilson did all that he could until "the very end" to work together on this project and that he appreciated his efforts. He added that he also appreciated the efforts of the THQ managers that signed the transfer contract.