Square Enix grabs True Crime: Hong Kong

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Remember True Crime? Those games that always featured a loose cannon of a cop who played by his rules, no matter how much his department head shouted at him? Despite having clumsy controls and driving sequences from hell, True Crime was at least a fun sandbox to play in, and upgrading your character skills in hand to hand and armed combat gave it a bit more depth.

True Crime Hong Kong was shaping up nicely this year, before Activision cancelled the title, effectively pulling the plug on the franchise. Fortunately, Square Enix has now grabbed the rights to publish the game.

In an interview with Gamasutra, Square Enix London Studios general manager Lee Singleton commented on why the publisher picked up the struggling sandbox game."When we first saw and got our hands on the game we fell in love with it.It’s one of those games where you don’t want to put the controller down, it’s what we call sticky.”

While Square Enix has the rights to publish the game, don’t go thinking that they now also own the True Crime property, meaning that the upcoming game will have a completely new title that doesn’t associate itself with that IP.

“It’s too early to say what the name will be", Singleton said. "I can honestly say I think this is going to be pretty straightforward, and that the Square Enix branding team is already working on concepts.”

Vancouver based studio United Front Games has begun development on the game, while Square Enix London is managing the project. Singleton explained that after meeting with UFG that, "It was a done deal in our eyes, we instantly recognized the huge potential in the game and the team. UFG is an incredibly talented team, who have individually worked on some of the biggest games in our industry, and this talent shines through from the moment you walk in the door."

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Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg, told Gamasutra in a statement that, "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.”

Hirshberg had already labelled the game as “not good enough”, in an investor call earlier this year when True Crime: Hong Kong was initially cancelled. Singleton however, has been more optimistic about the chances of the game, claiming that , "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”.

Source: Gamasutra

 

Last Updated: August 2, 2011

Darryn Bonthuys

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