THQ has cancelled pre-production on Insane, a game that was to be a three-part project developed by Volition (Red Faction series) and movie director Guillermo Del Toro. According to THQ, it has returned the rights to the game to Del Toro so he’s free to look for a new publisher.
Even though the game was announced back in December 2010, THQ says the game was in the very early exploratory development stage and that no development teams were going to be affected by this move. This has Jason Rubin, THQ’s new president, written all over it. The company recently pulled a similar move with Devil’s Third from Tomonobu Itagaki’s Valhalla Game Studios. Rubin is tasked with pulling THQ out of mediocrity and it seems that he’s cutting the dead weight and cancelling anything that he doesn’t feel can return big profits and/or become a core franchise.
Personally, I like what Rubin is doing and while both Insane and Devil’s Third seemed intriguing, I don’t know that anyone felt they would be breakout new IP’s, at best they would be solid and at worst they would perform below expectations. THQ needs a string of wins to shore up its balance sheet and restore fan and media confidence. So I say to THQ and Rubin, keep doing what you are doing, whatever it takes to get THQ where you feel that it should be.