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Madness: THQ Drops Del Toro's inSANE

Dear Santa, I know it’s a bit early, but I really, really want bad things to stop happening to THQ. Warhammer 40K Dark Millennium’s not an MMO anymore, Devil’s Third has flown the coop, and if any sort of harm comes to Metro: Last Light, my overburdened heart will go nuclear – leaving the rest of my organs to establish a ramshackle underground society in my legs. And now, we’re looking at the worst news yet from THQ’s ongoing financial crisis: Guillermo del Toro’s inSANE has hit the skids. So please, Santa, I’m on hands and knees here. Only you have the power to end this.

Newly crowned THQ president Jason Rubin explained the decision to pull the plug on the Hellboy and Pan’s Labyrinth director’s interactive opus during a recent investor call:

“We have stopped development for certain areas that are not productive for our new strategy. Consistent with this vision, THQ has made a few changes to previously announced projects. First, we made the determination not to pursue any casual Facebook games. Second, we will not be publishing casual mobile games, including those with Innovative Leisure. And third, we have decided not to pursue further pre-production on inSANE, and have returned all of our IP rights to Guillermo del Toro.”

“By canceling these explorations outside of our core business, we feel we can improve focus on our core game portfolio, which remains unchanged.”

So that’s pretty miserable. On the upside, though, del Toro can, if he so chooses, continue to develop inSANE elsewhere. Valhalla Game Studios, for instance, recently encountered a similar situation with Devil’s Third and managed to take a (Devil’s) second crack at finishing the madcap actioner elsewhere. For now, however, THQ’s not saying whether or not del Toro retains rights to code as well as IP, so the situation could be a bit more complicated.

If nothing else, we may have minor evidence of Santa’s existence in the form of THQ’s bottom line, which is – contrary to what you might expect – continuing to improve. This quarter, the struggling publisher actually managed to post a profit of $15.4 million, and a certain mega-blockbuster about death and pestilence stands to breathe even more new life into THQ’s ragged bones.

So no more casualties after this one, right? Please?

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Nathan Grayson

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