THQ apparently couldn't find a buyer for Valhalla Games' first project, Devil's Third
. The rights to the project were handed back to creative lead Tomonobu Itagaki and his studio, THQ confirmed to Eurogamer. "All of the game's IP rights have been returned to Itagaki-san and the Valhalla team," the statement reads.
The news comes on the heels of a Famitsu interview Itagaki participated in, where he expressed gratitude to THQ and Danny Bilson for trying to make things work before giving in. "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," Itagaki said, according to EG's translation.
Itagaki also said that the game is "in its final stage now, though he admitted that the final stage is also "most expensive." THQ announced its collaboration with Itagaki and Valhalla Studios in 2010
– part of its "Core Games" push – but the publisher's recent financial issues eventually gutted the deal. It's unclear what publisher, if any, will pick up Devil's Third