Tomonobu Itagaki made a name for himself many years ago at Tecmo’s Team Ninja by creating the Dead or Alive series. He was also responsible for resurrecting the Ninja Gaiden series and being an outspoken critic of the industry. Since leaving the developer in 2008, Itagaki has started Valhalla Game Studios with several former Team Ninja teammates, as well as begun work on Devil’s Third, which made a big splash at E3 2010.
THQ happily snapped up the publishing rights to Devil’s Third back then, but now the cash-strapped company is looking to unload the game due to development difficulties. According to THQ CEO Brian Farrell, the third-party developer who was creating the game engine for Valhalla Game Studios has closed down:
“Two ‘unforeseen’ events reduced Devil’s Third’s profitability. The company Valhalla was using for the engine went out of business, so we had to assist Itagaki-san and the team with a new engine. It took a fair amount of time and cost a fair amount of money. There has also been a substantial appreciation of the yen against the dollar.”
Who knows, maybe Itagaki’s next creation will end up at Tecmo Koei. Wouldn’t that be wild?