Setbacks for latest game from Tomonobu Itagaki have THQ looking to hand off the project to another company as publisher cites profitability concerns.
THQ is distancing itself from Devil's Third. In an investor conference call today, the publisher confirmed that it was talking with other companies about taking the maiden project of Valhalla Game Studios off its hands.
"The profitability of Devil's Third was not competitive with our other releases," explained THQ CEO Brian Farrell.
There were two major reasons given for the project's change in status. First, the third-party company Valhalla had been using to make the game engine went out of business. Considering also the strengthening value of the yen against the dollar, THQ decided that the game no longer met its profitability profile.
Devil's Third was announced at the 2010 Electronic Entertainment Expo and made a splash as the first project for Valhalla Game Studios, the new developer founded by Dead or Alive creator Tomonobu Itagaki in the wake of his acrimonious parting with Tecmo. While Itagaki continued to do interviews to promote the project, little else was seen of it beyond the original trailer. Last year, Itagaki explained why the game was a no-show at the Tokyo Game Show but said to expect more information on it in early 2012.
Such a shame. Tecmo destroys Ninja Gaiden and is about to Crapcom the hell out of DOA, and the game Itagaki's been working on for years is as good as dead. No good news has come out of 2012.
Not surprising at all. They had a trailer for this game 2 years ago and nothing new has been shown since then. In all honesty, I can see this game being cancelled. Which would be a shame since I was one of the people looking forward to it.
Itagaki has really bad acne scars. You rarely see Japanese people with this type of skin condition. He dresses like Billy Idol did in the late 80's who also suspiciously had problem skin. I'm not saying that's why the game was dropped, but you have to admit, there could be a connection.
@dynomitemasta What an absurd comment to make regards a persons personal appearance and the impact of such in relation to the article - doh!
I saw this coming. Especially since we haven't seen ANYTHING from the game since that first trailer.
Oh man every THQ related news are bad. To think I only care for Metro and Darksiders II for the rest of the year. Also, please THQ execs, listen Itagaki! you can see how bad Ninja Gaiden 3 did.
By the looks of the recently released games, they're all aimed towards casual gamers, Itagaki's games are always headed towards hardcore. Most games coming out the past two years are watered down.
It might be a disagreement between Itagaki and THQ who might wanted the game to be aimed towards casuals? who knows. But i do have faith in Itagaki, look what happened to the disgraceful Ninja Gaiden 3 after his departure.
Business people dont understand creative visions most of the time I think Thq needs to bettter understand the needs of their "target market" before they do something stupid like shelve what might be one of their best titles in years..
I wanted this game so bad, just from one video. I hope someone picks it up, well except for Team Ninja. (they haven't made a good game)
I'm not surprised to hear this news I found DMC 3 to be dry and a let down for the series as a whole. Too much time as passed since the series was active on the market so I didn't really have much hope for another title.
Itagaki will have no problems looking for investors. It will turn out to be THQ's loss, I'm sure of that. Whether this game turns out to be an overwhelming success or not is irrelevant in my opinion.
I mean, what were the early sales figures for Ninja Gaiden back in 2004? Not that great, I'm sure. But the re-releases and sequel turned Ninja Gaiden into quite a lucrative franchise on the back of some deservingly great reviews.
When you have the man who was most likely responsible for the success of Ninja Gaiden Black leading this project, he's worth the risk 100%. If it flops you can take heart in the fact that most games aren't turning a profit today anyway.
However if it gets any level of success, then you have yourself a formula and a following to churn out some sequels and build on a game headed by a man who is known to create products with superior production values - a rarity in any industry today.
Back it 100% and you could have something special. My plan is to buy this game regardless of previews and reviews anyway. After Ninja Gaiden Black, I think Itagaki has earned that much from me as a gamer; that is, one blind purchase.
@u1tradtI agree. I believe that if THQ, cant even risk putting resources into being a publisher for the game it speaks magnitudes about their financial situaition. THQ is broke and could be a bad wind away from the auction block. Maybe Take Two was right?
I can only hope this game finds another publisher willing to support Valhalla Studios. The videos of the game look extremely promising and considering that Ninja Gaiden 3 turned out to be nothing but a disappointment, a new action game made by Itagaki could take the crown of best action game this gen.
THQ going down and they cant afford to reasle this game and haveing cold feet. Head THQ isnt fit enough to run this company and i see homefront 2 will go to cytect thats it.
Tomonobu Itagaki isnt worth the risk people. Especially for the kinda of money they've most likely sunk into this project already.
I can't see them having too much trouble finding someone else to pick the game up, but the writing does seem to be very firmly on the wall for THQ.
1. no so long ago, THQ wants to create new IPs as part of their big strategy,
2. they investing a lot of money,
3. now they decided if their new IPs is not worth enough,
4. it's not even released on the market yet.
no wonder THQ going downhill with those kind of management.
The profitability of Devil's Third was not competitive with our other releases. well THQ your not profitable for me so i will continue not to buy your junk games as im not a fan of saints row or any other ass games you have. your loss
@MrStarkiller I believe he was talking about MP already, and trying to push the no. of players, as for casual if you don't include them in your game, it is not going to be a big shot, that's the truth but pure hardcore titles are no longer big shots, that's why every company tries to casualize it's series, and hey that is business, otherwise they will lose money.
@Sam_Redfield That's not true.Titles like Demon's Souls and Dark Souls shows that there is still huge profit in games made for hardcore gamers, as long as they're made good enough.
@MrStarkiller I hate to admit it but your logic is sound in today's gaming industry.
I understand at the end of the day the video game business is just that a business...But I feel that unless they take chances on creative properties,all they will be known as is a company that makes cheap knock off games to try and turn a profit. And Without a basic understanding of the fanbase they cater to this is why they are in the red financially, This is why they are failing because they are trying to emulate other businesses in the industry instead of actually making games the fanbase wants to play....
unfortunately i felt THQ is doing the right thing. i doubt devil's third will sell anywhere near 100k in it's first week. and the long development time now means the cost will be too much.
@DennisWZH not to mention that Ninja Gaiden even though was amazing, hardly sold 1 Million copies according to VGChartz, it's because the game was hardcore only, which is bad for business nowadays, like it or not, but we hardcore gamers became a minority today.
@DennisWZH The only reason why it wouldn't have been profitable is because THQ weren't prepared to fully back it. With the right marketing it will probably turn out to be a success.
I don't see how THQ would have turned a profit this year anyway. Unless they're going to pull Saint's Row 4 out of their arses by magic some time this year, they're well set to record a net loss come the end of the current fiscal year.
When you're already on your way down you might as well take a risk. Pragmatism isn't always the best solution for the situation THQ find themselves in.
So much money has already been spent and how can you be so sure of how many copies the game would sell from what we have seen. I think THQ are scared to take even a small risk and it's caused them to contemplate making a bad business move, or they are in a worse financial state than they are letting on and literally don't have the money to fund the project.
@DennisWZH A lot people don't see that. I am glad people like you understand the business side of it.
that's great THQ... continue promoting & wish for profitability on your pathetic, same old garbage wrestling games
Tomb Raider and Bioshock get delay until 2013, Diablo 3 server went down in less than a day, CAPCOM has no idea how to handle DLC and now THQ is kicking out Devil's Third... What else can possibly go wrong?
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