True Crime: Hong Kong, cancelled in February, isn’t quite cancelled any more. Square Enix picked up the rights to the Activision game, which was in development at the Vancouver-based United Front Games.
“When we first saw and got our hands on the game we fell in love with it,” said Square Enix London manager Lee Singleton to Gamasutra.
United Front Games is still developing the title, which will be released under a new name, as Square Enix has not purchased the rights to the True Crime franchise.
“It’s too early to say what the name will be,” said Singleton. “I can honestly say I think this is going to be pretty straightforward.”
Square Enix’s branding team is already working on conceptual titles. They plan on creating a franchise out of the game.
“We see this as a fantastic opportunity to create a new and unique franchise which gamers will come to know and love for years to come,” added Singleton.
The company’s motivation to pick up the title came from its “incredible new game engine, rich new story with deep and complex characters, and gameplay features which have simply never been seen at this level in an open world game,” according to Singleton. Square Enix “jump[ed] all over it.”
Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg said, “Our team has worked very hard to find a solution where everybody wins. Square Enix gets the benefit of the tremendous investment we’ve made in the game thus far. UFG gets to stay together and complete their vision. And gamers get to play a great game. We couldn’t be more thrilled.”
Following the game’s initial cancellation, Hirshberg had said the company axed it because “it just wasn’t going to be good enough.”
Square Enix seems a lot more friendly, on that note.
“We are committed to working with the team at United Front Games and giving them the time needed to realize the full potential of the game’s standout features and create a truly unique open world adventure,” said Singleton.
Stay tuned for future updates.