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THQ*ICE ends operations

The running of Dragonica titles is handed to Gravity; aims for relaunch at end of September

Online publisher THQ*ICE has closed down, and its title Dragonica Online has been given to a different company to run, its official website has confirmed.

Operations for North America were suspended at the end of August, with Gravity confirmed as the new publisher taking over the reins.

The news comes just six months after THQ*ICE CEO Eddie Chen claimed that the game was "successful" and that more titles were ready to be released under the joint venture partnership.

However, it has now emerged in a Gamasutra report that THQ sold its interest in the partnership back to ICE only days after that interview in March - while China-based ChangYou acquired ICE Entertainment shortly after that.

"One of the reasons we entered into the partnership was to gain more collaboration opportunities going forward," he said then. "And those opportunities will involve bringing more Eastern titles and localising them to what I would call THQ standard for the Western market.

"At the same time, THQ also has a strategic plan for their online game business so we'll also be able to facilitate some of these games going from the West to the East. THQ*ICE was just the first step towards many opportunities."

Regardless, it appears that following THQ's pull-out, those plans were no longer viable - and question marks have been placed over the performance of Dragonica itself.

The game was created by Barunson Interactive, based in Korea - also the location of new publishing partner Gravity's parent company.

According to communication received by from Gravity, the game should be operational again by the end of September.

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