UTV hands off Vanillaware’s Dragon’s Crown to Atlus

UTV Ignition has confirmed that it will not be the publisher of Vanillaware action-RPG Dragon's Crown, and has passed the rights to Atlus.

Last month it was feared that the GrimGrimoire and Muramasa: The Demon Blade developer's latest title – a fourplayer, scrolling action-RPG for PS3 and PS Vita that was announced last June – had been canned after Amazon told US customers it was cancelling pre-orders and removed the game from its site entirely.

Vanillaware artist Shigatake said on Twitter that Dragon's Crown was still in development, but refused to elaborate. Now, UTV has confirmed to us that the publishing rights have been passed to Atlus.

SVP Lokesh Dhar said: "While we are saddened to no longer be associated with the Dragon's Crown project, we are very confident that the title is in excellent hands with Atlus.

"Since the initial announcement, information on timing and features in the game have changed and other details regarding design and functionality are yet to be determined. We are confident that Atlus and Vanillaware will deliver the finest game possible."

Reading between the lines, it would appear the project is behind schedule, and Dhar's reference to functionality presumably means the cross-platform save system, which allows users to play on PS3 at home, then resume their game on Vita when on the move.

It's in good hands, at least: Atlus USA has plenty of experience in bringing esoteric Japanese games to the west, from the Shin Megami Tensei games to N64 racer Snowboard Kids and Wii's Trauma Center series. It's worked with Vanillaware before, too, handling the western release of PS3 ARPG Odin Sphere, which was recently released on the PlayStation Store as a PS2 classic.