THQ took the step of cancelling Tomonobu's Itagaki's action game Devil's Third after the grim reality of flagging business set in, and the publisher has now returned the rights to the IP to the game's creator, Eurogamer confirms. "THQ confirms that the company will not be publishing Devil's Third," a statement reads. "All of the game's IP rights have been returned to Itagaki-san and the Valhalla team."
Dead or Alive creator Itagaki left his role at Team Ninja in 2008, eventually going on to form Valhalla Game Studios and start work on Devil's Third. He told Famitsu in a recent interview that the newly freed up game is just about finished, but that the cost of completing it and advertising it just didn't fit into THQ's current picture. Itagaki went on to express his thanks to the publisher and to recently departed core games division boss Danny Bilson for ultimately letting the IP go after trying and failing to make a release work.
Devil's Third had at one point been pegged for a 2013 release by THQ, but that's all up in the air now with Valhalla in need of a new publisher and enough capital to finish off the game.