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‘Devil’s Third’ team making progress, release due in 2014

Dead or Alive creator Tomonobu Itagaki is still working with his team at Valhalla Game Studios on Devil’s Third, as was revealed in an end-of-year interview with 4Gamer (via Siliconera). He pegs the game as 80 percent complete, meaning it’ll be good to go for release on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 at some point in 2014.

Devil’s Third is a third-person action game that offers a mix of both ranged and melee combat, somewhat in the style of the Ninja Gaiden games from Team Ninja. That’s no surprise, given how instrumental Itagaki’s vision was in shaping the 2004 series reboot as the game’s director. He moved on from Team Ninja in 2008 to form Valhalla with some of his former colleagues at the then-independent publisher Tecmo (now Tecmo Koei), and announced Devil’s Third – the studio’s debut effort – in 2010.

Everything looked promising at first, with THQ on board to publish the in-development game, but numerous setbacks pushed Devil’s Third further and further back. First there was a need to switch game engines – the heart powering the systems in every video game – after the middleware developer that created the first engine went out of business. Then there was THQ’s slow decline into bankruptcy and dissolution. Although the now-defunct publisher actually returned IP rights to Valhalla before it started to really fall apart, that move was the product of worries over the game’s sales power.

Itagaki and his team still believe in it, and they’re very close now to showing us why. Based on Itagaki’s comments, we should be seeing a good amount of Devil’s Third before its eventual 2014 release.