THQ has halted work on Insane and returned the rights to director, Guillermo del Toro.
THQ's ongoing money problems have now cost the publisher two promising original projects. Earlier this year, the company dropped Tomonobu Itagaki's Devil's Third, and now it's decided to cancel work on Guillermo del Toro's horror sandbox title, Insane.
THQ announced it had returned the rights to the IP to del Toro during an investor call today.
Saints Row developer, Volition, had been working on Insane since around August 2010. The title was supposed to be the first installment in a trilogy of the same name. According to recent rumors, the project had been handed off to a studio in Canada shortly before it was axed. Going by an interview with del Toro from back in 2011, the game had at least another two years of development ahead of it.
In response to its plummeting income, THQ has been forced to abandon projects that aren't guaranteed money spinners. In 2011 the company shuttered a number of its studios and dropped several long-running franchises. It's unclear if the consolidation has worked, but the publisher has managed to stave off financial destruction for the time being. It's still losing money, but a "reverse stock split" allowed it to narrowly avoid being delisted from the Nasdaq stock exchange.
Itagaki has managed to find a partner, but not a publisher, to fund work on Devil's Third, hopefully del Toro manages something similar.