Itagaki returns with Devil's Third

E3 2010: THQ to publish first effort from Dead or Alive creator's Valhalla Game Studios; violent action title combines swordplay, gunplay.

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Months after Tomonobu Itagaki first revealed the name of his new Valhalla Game Studios, the former Tecmo developer's first project with the outfit has been officially announced. THQ has released a teaser trailer (see below) for a new game called Devil's Third, with the clip bearing the Valhalla logo and proudly proclaiming the title to be Itagaki's.

So what happened to the Devil's first two?

Devil's Third is apparently a third-person shooter for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 featuring two characters: a women clad in snakeskin boots and jacket, and a man with an X-shaped scar on his face. While the woman in the clip carries a machine gun, she is only shown acrobatically eliminating uniformed adversaries with a sword. The man, on the other hand, is depicted dispatching foes not only with swords, but also with a shotgun, a bazooka, and even a Gatling gun.

While other high-profile developers like Bungie and Respawn Entertainment have made retaining ownership of the intellectual property a prerequisite to their publishing deals, THQ holds the trademark to Devil's Third.

Itagaki is best known as the creator of the Dead or Alive fighting franchise and the producer of the Ninja Gaiden games for the Xbox and Xbox 360. Itagaki parted ways with Tecmo in 2008, and spent much of the intervening time involved in legal action against his former employer. When he split from Tecmo, Itagaki claimed the publisher owed him about $1.4 million in unpaid bonuses for development of Dead or Alive 4 on the Xbox 360 and filed suit to get it. At the time, Tecmo said it would "let the court decide" on the bonuses. The two eventually settled out of court earlier this year.

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