Namco Bandai has reportedly swiped the hockey mask out from under Splatterhouse developer BottleRocket Entertainment, giving the nearly-finished project to the publisher's internal Afro Samurai team instead. Sources close to the company say that Namco officials reclaimed all dev kits and Splatterhouse assets from BottleRocket last Friday, according to Kotaku, apparently leaving the California dev with nothing else to work on besides cleaning out its desks.

If true, it's unclear why Namco would wait so long to pull the project from BottleRocket, with the gory PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 action title set to go gold sometime in March. We've reached out to both Namco Bandai and BottleRocket for further comment, and will update once we hear more.

Update: We've heard back from both developer BottleRocket and publisher Namco Bandai – read their responses here. If you know anything about the specifics of this most unfortunate situation, be sure to let us know!

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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