Another E3 has come and gone, and games both near and far have been showcased to journalists and the world at large. Of particular note is Nintendo, who made some waves with what they did (or didn’t) show in their annual Digital Event. Despite the seemingly light load of games featured in the Digital Event, Nintendo’s E3 booth actually had plenty to play across both the Wii U and 3DS. However, their is one game that was conspicuously absent during the Digital Event and wasn’t even mentioned on the show floor. This game is releasing this year in Europe and Japan, yet we had no trace of it at E3. I’m talking, of course, about Devil’s Third.
Devil’s Third has had a bit of a troubled development and is directed by Tomonobu Itagaki, the man behind both the Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive series. Itagaki originally left Tecmo is 2009 to form Valhalla Game Studios, and Devil’s Third began development soon after, to be published by THQ. The game went through multiple engines, constantly being reworked until eventually settling on Unreal Engine 3. Not long after the final engine was decided, THQ collapsed and left the fate of the game was up in the air. It only resurfaced at E3 2014, when Itagaki revealed that Nintendo would be publishing the game.
What’s worrying is that the game is supposed to release this year, yet Nintendo appears to be sweeping it under the rug. Japan will be getting the game at the beginning and Europe at the end of August, but the North American release date is still TBD. Want to be even more worried? Take a look at Nintendo’s E3 site – Many games are shown that weren’t shown off or mentioned by Nintendo, but still no sign of Devil’s Third.
This may mean that Nintendo actually has no plans to release the game on North American shores. This wouldn’t be the first time Nintendo of America chose to ignore a game that was published in other regions – just look at the fight we had to go through to get Xenoblade Chronicles.
It could be simply be a mismatch for the market, and NoA figures that a gritty, violent third person shooter wouldn’t sell in the North American Wii U market. Though considering the European market for the Wii U is considerably smaller, that’s unlikey to be the reason. Instead, it could be that they feel the quality of the game isn’t up to standard. Tomonobu Itagaki is a director with a legacy of quality titles, but very few games come out of 6 years of development h ell in the state they should be in.
Then again, maybe it’s nothing at all. Maybe Nintendo just thought that now isn’t the right time to talk about Devil’s Third and didn’t chose not to talk about it so as to not distract anyone from their E3 announcements. Still, it’s concerning that even though the rest of the world gets the game in two months, we haven’t heard a peep about the game. Here’s hoping that my fears are unfounded.