Devil’s Third rights handed back to Itagaki-san

Tomonobu Itagaki’s Valhalla studio has been returned full rights to upcoming actioner Devil’s Third by publisher THQ.

The company confirmed the move to Eurogamer following news that the publisher had revealed its intention to drop the project from its line-up.

“THQ confirms that the company will not be publishing Devil’s Third. All of the game’s IP rights have been returned to Itagaki-san and the Valhalla team,” said the company.

Furthermore, Itagaki-san himself confirmed to Famitsu Xbox 360 that he is now in possession of the rights to the IP.

The Dead or Alive creator also revealed that Devil’s Third is currently in the final stages of development, a critical phase for any game. He also expressed his thanks to former THQ executive vice president of games, Danny Bilson, for his support on the project.

“Most important thing is gamers’ happiness. And people in business side like distributers and presses. And developers. It’s a Happy Three. So we can’t thank THQ enough. Anyway, we now own the Devil’s Third IP,” Itagaki-san commented.

“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.”

“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 added.

“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.”

Devil’s Third is due out on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. A release date has yet to be pinned down.