Ex-Team Ninja head Tomonobu Itagaki's first project after leaving Tecmo could be in trouble. During today's financial briefing call to investors, THQ president and CEO Brian Farrell said Devil's Third no longer fits the publisher's "profitability profile."

"The profitability profile for Devil's Third no longer met our internal threshold and we are currently in discussions with third parties regarding the future of this title," Farrell said. "There were a couple of unforeseen events that happened during the development of Devil's Third. One was the company that Valhalla was using for the engine went out of business, so we had to assist Itagaki and the team with a new engine – it took a fair amount of time and cost a fair amount of money."

The other big issue was the appreciation of the Yen, which reduced Devil's Third's potential for profit compared to other stuff in THQ's pipeline. "We think it's an excellent franchise; we've really enjoyed working with Itagaki-san, and we're going to explore other opportunities with him and others to make sure this product comes to market."

Devil's Third is the first project from Tomonobu Itagaki's new development studio, Valhalla Game Studios. Itagaki, who is quite possibly best known for his years at Tecmo on the Dead or Alive and Ninja Gaiden series of games, left Tecmo back in 2008.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.