Somewhat expected to happen but still surprising nonetheless, THQ has announced that they’ve dropped Insane - the new IP from Hollywood film director Guillermo Del Toro and developer Volition. Announced during THQ’s financial conference call yesterday afternoon, THQ pulled another Devil’s Third by relinquishing the rights to Insane and in turn return them to the original creator, in this case the talented Guillermo Del Toro.
It’s a shame to see THQ drop Insane but it’s something most of us saw coming. In the wake of the company’s financial issues and sudden shift to deliver fewer games every year (all of which will be marquee sure-fire properties), it was only a matter of time before the ax fell upon Insane. The departure of THQ Core Games VP Danny Bilson back in June was an early warning sign that all may not have been well with Insane as Bilson was a key creative figure on molding the project into whatever it was attempting to be.
Announced at the Spike VGAs in 2010, Insane gathered quite a bit of hype as it was said to be an “edgy” IP that would feature the trademark horror and unique monsters that Guillermo Del Toro is known to provide. But alas the project was never shown publicly and was said to have lingered in early development for the past two years despite having a 2013 release date.
As of now Guillermo Del Toro has the full rights for Insane but that doesn’t mean he can simply go somewhere else and pick up from where things left off. Despite handing off the rights to Guillermo, THQ likely has the complete ownership of rendered art assets, files, and other such basic things that would easily accommodate a new developer stepping in and not having to start from scratch. Also seeing as how Guillermo is busy doing his thing as a Director/Producer it may be a while before we see Insane return with a new publishing partner unless a deal is forged quickly.
Whereas THQ opted to drop Insane as it didn’t fit their new company wide direction, it was announced that the company has begun work on four new projects within the last two months. Current THQ President Jason Rubin revealed that THQ’s four remaining core studios have all begun work on unannounced projects. The nature of these projects is currently unknown but it’s safe to say that Volition is likely working on Saints Row 4 fulltime now that Insane has been kicked to the curb.
It’s nice to see THQ thrive in a sense, they even made a $15 million profit this past quarter, but I wouldn’t put a lot of value and faith into the company just yet. Perhaps shedding properties such as Devil’s Third and Insane was needed as it represented the old THQ regime which likely meant both had big price tags, but what’s to say that we won’t see THQ continue cutting projects long after they’ve been public knowledge. It’s somewhat normal in the industry to see things get canceled for various reasons, but will something like Turtle Rock’s unannounced FPS be next on the chopping block or even the game from Patrice Desilets and THQ Montreal simply because it doesn’t fit whatever the climate of the company is at that given time?
In the end I guess we have nothing to do but wait to see what happens with THQ and hopefully in the future learn more about Insane from one of the usually great and honest interviews Guillermo Del Toro partakes in.