Xbox founder's mobile start-up unphased by THQ cuts

Perhaps lost among THQ's relatively positive earnings report today and the cancellation of Guillermo del Toro's video game, InSane, was the news that the publisher was also canceling publishing plans for their mobile games.

Perhaps lost among THQ's relatively positive earnings report today and the cancellation of Guillermo del Toro's video game, InSane, was the news that the publisher was also canceling publishing plans for its mobile games.

In February, THQ announced that it had signed a deal to publish digital games for Innovative Leisure, a start-up founded by Seamus Blackley, the "father of the Xbox", and a murderer's row of arcade game developers that included the people behind such games as Asteroids, Gauntlet, Missile Command and Battlezone.

THQ's decision to cut the cord on Innovative Leisure could have been viewed by some as tossing Blackley and his talented crew under the metaphoric bus, but speaking to Polygon today, Blackley said the announcement was neither surprising nor a bad thing.

Blackley, whose company announced a round of seed funding from venture capital firm Hummer Winblad today, said he's been wondering why they're not self-publishing almost since they unveiled their company at this year's D.I.C.E. Summit and signed the deal with THQ.

"After DICE it became clear there were a lot of financiers who wanted to work with us and we realized we could self-publish our games in addition to doing the games with THQ," he said. Today's announcement "kind of works out great: THQ gets to refocus and we get to release our games."

Blackley declined to talk more about his VC deal today, or the games coming from the company, but promised to chat with Polygon down the road when the company is ready to show off their new games.

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