Today we've shared our first impressions of Devil's Third, which aren't particularly positive. Focused solely on the single player campaign for now, we've highlighted concerns with performance, design and a range of factors. In some respects it's silly fun, but there are a number of issues hindering our enjoyment with it so far.
In any case, the past few days have brought more rumours and whispers about the situation of its arrival in North America, and it seems like a good time to dig into the likely realities around what's being said.
As a catch-up, it began with an Unseen64 report into the issues with the game, which we certainly agree with, and the revelation that while Nintendo is publishing Devil's Third in Europe and Japan, Nintendo of America seemed set to skip it. Siliconera then reported that another company would likely pick up publishing duties [Correction: Siliconera didn't name XSEED or any specific publisher, so we've amended this line; XSEED, which has experience bringing games like The Last Story to Wii, was cited in subsequent rumours as the company in question]. Nintendo of America then subsequently published a tweet suggesting that it plans to support the game in the region, however, contradicting these reports.
This has prompted a backlash against the initial rumours, including Unseen64's Liam Robertson, a source that we trust and have collaborated with in the past. Recently, though, a whole load articles have popped up citing sources in Nintendo of America suggesting that the aforementioned tweet is effectively a u-turn in response to fan reaction. Nintendo World Report is one example citing this line, implying that the early rumours were accurate, yet prompted a change of policy at NoA and that the subsidiary is now considering publishing the title.
Rather than skip this we've caught up with a few sources and seen the basis for these u-turn reports, and they appear accurate. We had a chat with former Nintendo Force and Dromble writer Emily Rogers, for one, who referred us to multiple authoritative sources and journalists that reinforce the original suggestions that NoA didn't wish to publish Devil's Third, and the follow-up reports that it's now contemplating a reverse in course. Rogers gave us the following quote, which is also representative of further evidence we've been shown off the record.
I've spoken to multiple sources with contacts in NOA, and I can confirm that XSeed was being considered by NOA to publish the game.
There were people inside of Nintendo's Treehouse who didn't believe Devil's Third was a quality game. Unseen64's report was correct.
Of course, sources are still ultimately rumours, yet there are a number of individuals we know well, respect and trust that are reinforcing this narrative. As it stands we're inclined to believe the basic outline that Nintendo of America did plan to skip publishing Devil's Third in favour of leaving XSEED to pick up the reins, but that a minor public storm prompted a change of course.
Whatever the ultimate truth, details will likely be announced soon for the publisher and release date of Devil's Third in North America.