InSane cancelled

THQ stops work on Volition's Guillermo del Toro-helmed project, gives up on casual Facebook and mobile games, turns first quarterly profit in almost three years.

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THQ has given up on inSane. In a post-earnings conference call today, THQ president Jason Rubin announced that Volition has stopped preproduction on the Guillermo del Toro game collaboration and returned all the rights to the intellectual property to the filmmaker. Originally announced in 2010, InSane was not expected to debut in the market until as late as 2014.

InSane and UnReleased.

InSane is the latest in a string of high-profile cancellations and reconfigurations for THQ this year. The publisher had already washed its hands of Devil's Third, returning all rights to the game's developers, Tomonobu Itagaki and his team at Valhalla Studios. On top of that, THQ took its long-in-development massively multiplayer online role-playing game Warhammer 40,000: Dark Millenium and announced it was converting it to a more traditional RPG, laying off 118 employees in the process.

Beyond the InSane cancellation, Rubin also said THQ would not be pursuing any future casual Facebook or mobile games, instead focusing all its efforts on the core gamer market. Although THQ last year sold off its THQ Wireless division, it has stayed involved in the Facebook and mobile markets with efforts like the Jimmy Buffet-licensed social game Margaritaville Online and the WWE arcade-style title WrestleFest HD.

The cancellation of Insane may overshadow some good news for THQ, as the publisher today posted its first profit for a quarter since the final three months of 2009. For the three months ended June 30, THQ posted a net profit of $15.4 million. However, sales for the quarter were down roughly 32 percent year-over-year, with THQ reporting net revenues of $133.7 million. THQ's results also included a $4.3 million expense "related to decisions made to cancel or reconfigure titles," a charge executives said in the call included Insane, but not Devil's Third (which hit the books in the preceding quarter).

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