Ninja Gaiden Mastermind's New Game is on Hold

Devil's Third, the next game from legendary Ninja Gaiden mastermind Tomonobu Itagaki, is on ice for now.

The game, set to be published by THQ, will not come out before April 2013 and seems to be in jeopardy of coming out at all. During a quick chat with me at a THQ event today, Executive Vice President of Core Games Danny Bilson said that the company is looking for financial partners to finish the game. Itagaki's action game is an expensive proposition, Bilson said with a grimace that reflected his wish for the project to be on firmer ground.

Devil's Third is to be Itigaki's first game since leaving Tecmo, and unlike Ninja Gaiden, it places a focus on shooting over melee combat. The story and setting of the game are still shrouded in mystery, but when we first learned about it, Bilson described it as having a musical bent, since the "Devil's Third" is a reference to the tritone, a dissonant musical interval long associated with the Prince of Darkness.

A THQ spokesperson told me that the company is "looking at strategic opportunities on the title. As a project self-funded by THQ, that's not going to happen."

If THQ finds a financial partner the game could still come out in later 2013, but it may no longer be under the THQ umbrella.

While some might take this as a bad omen for other upcoming THQ projects, Bilson said that the company's projects with Left 4 Dead co-creators Turtle Rock and Assassin's Creed visionary Patrice Desilets are well under way.