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Rise From Your Grave, True Crime: Hong Kong

Square Enix resurrects the open world reboot Activision cancelled earlier this year.

True Crime: Hong Kong won't be called that when Square Enix ships it sometime in the future.

I was genuinely surprised when word arrived that Activision was dropping True Crime: Hong Kong after spending years of development on the series reboot with United Front Games.

Activision tends to prefer big with its releases, but it's been known to back some less-sure bets like Prototype, Blur and Singularity. True Crime: Hong Kong was not to have such a fate, with Activision cutting its losses.

Surprisingly, Square Enix has come to the rescue.

Gamasutra reports the Japanese publisher has picked up the development rights to True Crime: Hong Kong--but not the franchise itself. Square Enix will be re-branding the game, a change not yet finalized.

United Front is still working on the game in collaboration with Square Enix London Studios.

"When we first saw and got our hands on the game we fell in love with it," said Square Enix London Studios general manager Lee Singleton in his interview with Gamasutra.

There are plenty of details on Activision's decision making process in regards to True Crime: Hong Kong from my story this past May, wherein I broke down an internal memo explaining the cancellation.

"As many of you on the team know, I have a lot of heart for this game," said Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg, in a memo distributed to employees in February. "And there are many great things about it. Stopping now is a hard pill to swallow, because a lot of blood, sweat and tears have gone into getting the game this far. However, after two pushed deadlines and a huge increase in the original production budget, we needed to take a clear-eyed look at the reality of this game’s potential."

In short, Hirshberg didn't foresee True Crime: Hong Kong becoming a blockbuster on the scale of a Grand Theft Auto, and without blockbuster potential, it didn't make sense to compete.

"Even our most optimistic internal projections showed that True Crime Hong Kong was not going to be at or near the top of the competitive open world genre," said Hirshberg. "In an industry where only the best games in each category are flourishing, and for a game with a budget of this size, to be blunt, it just wasn’t going to be good enough."

For Square Enix, however, it's apparently more than good enough.

Patrick Klepek on Google+
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Posted by patrickklepek
True Crime: Hong Kong won't be called that when Square Enix ships it sometime in the future.

I was genuinely surprised when word arrived that Activision was dropping True Crime: Hong Kong after spending years of development on the series reboot with United Front Games.

Activision tends to prefer big with its releases, but it's been known to back some less-sure bets like Prototype, Blur and Singularity. True Crime: Hong Kong was not to have such a fate, with Activision cutting its losses.

Surprisingly, Square Enix has come to the rescue.

Gamasutra reports the Japanese publisher has picked up the development rights to True Crime: Hong Kong--but not the franchise itself. Square Enix will be re-branding the game, a change not yet finalized.

United Front is still working on the game in collaboration with Square Enix London Studios.

"When we first saw and got our hands on the game we fell in love with it," said Square Enix London Studios general manager Lee Singleton in his interview with Gamasutra.

There are plenty of details on Activision's decision making process in regards to True Crime: Hong Kong from my story this past May, wherein I broke down an internal memo explaining the cancellation.

"As many of you on the team know, I have a lot of heart for this game," said Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg, in a memo distributed to employees in February. "And there are many great things about it. Stopping now is a hard pill to swallow, because a lot of blood, sweat and tears have gone into getting the game this far. However, after two pushed deadlines and a huge increase in the original production budget, we needed to take a clear-eyed look at the reality of this game’s potential."

In short, Hirshberg didn't foresee True Crime: Hong Kong becoming a blockbuster on the scale of a Grand Theft Auto, and without blockbuster potential, it didn't make sense to compete.

"Even our most optimistic internal projections showed that True Crime Hong Kong was not going to be at or near the top of the competitive open world genre," said Hirshberg. "In an industry where only the best games in each category are flourishing, and for a game with a budget of this size, to be blunt, it just wasn’t going to be good enough."

For Square Enix, however, it's apparently more than good enough.

Staff
Posted by Animasta

weird

Posted by Sliced_Bread

yay? 

Posted by PerfidiousSinn

I had a feeling it would be back.
 
Can't say for sure if it's a good or bad feeling considering how poor this franchise as a whole is.

Posted by Eribuster

I'm glad Square Enix is taking a risk with this one. I like the city of Hong Kong and would like to see a good action game set in it.

Posted by lordofultima

Well, I like the concept of this True Crime. We will see if there's a good game in there somewhere though. lol

Posted by GreggD

You know what? It's nice to see Square Enix doing something good. Instead of focusing on a trillion FF titles like normal, they're actually giving a dead game new life. Good on them.

Posted by Halopower67

I can't help feeling good about this. The game looked terrible from the nits shown but still, it's great that Square Enix is saving it. Maybe they can do it justice.

Posted by N7

Awesome news. I was excited for TCHK and I couldn't believe they canceled it. Way to go Square for really stepping up. :)

Posted by FoxMulder

....ugh why? Far better games have been cancelled I'm sure, why bring this series back fro mthe dead?

Posted by jaks

Hopefully it'll start looking good and we can all sit back and watch Activision try to sue Square Enix to get the rights back.

Posted by JackSukeru

Neat to see all that hard work not go to waste I guess.

Posted by TheDudeOfGaming

The first two games SUCKED. I really don't see how they plan to make a good game out of a franchise that failed two times. 

Posted by RE_Player1

I loved Modnation Racers so I hope United Front the best of luck. Might check it out if it turns out to be a quality game.

Posted by CaptainTightPants
@FoxMulder said:

....ugh why? Far better games have been cancelled I'm sure, why bring this series back fro mthe dead?

Answer to your questions 
 1. "When we first saw and got our hands on the game we fell in love with it," said Square Enix London
 2. picked up the development rights to True Crime: Hong Kong--but NOT the franchise itself."
Those were both in the article :3 
 
 
On Topic : I for one am excited, I liked the little footage that was shown of the game.
Posted by KillyDarko

In concept, the game looked like it could be great. Gameplay footage however, was a little meh. But either way, it's great to see that a lot of people's jobs are still on :)

Edited by Abs_B

Not so good game franchise plus really bad console game developer gaining publishing rights.................... yeah, wake me when Square-Enix finally make a decent console game!!!!! 

Posted by RoyCampbell

Awesome. I was waiting for news like this.

Posted by Artie

Consider this: Activision paid for development, Square Enix just needs to distribute it and it basically makes instant profit. 
 
i'm interested in playing it regardless, hell if it ends up being a hit it means Actvision will probably pick up the franchise again, which would be good.

Posted by RecSpec

Fuck you for making me think this was Altered Beast related, Klepek

Posted by buft

thats good news for me, even though they werent the best games i always enjoyed them

Posted by ItBeStefYo
@TheDudeOfGaming: Streets of LA blew my mind. How can you call yourself a DUDE!?
Posted by FoxMulder

@Resident4t said:

@FoxMulder said:

....ugh why? Far better games have been cancelled I'm sure, why bring this series back fro mthe dead?

Answer to your questions
1. "When we first saw and got our hands on the game we fell in love with it," said Square Enix London
2. picked up the development rights to True Crime: Hong Kong--but NOT the franchise itself." Those were both in the article :3 On Topic : I for one am excited, I liked the little footage that was shown of the game.

Thank you for answering my rhetorical questions!

Posted by Jeffk38uk

Having played True Crime NYC, and being pretty disappointed when this was cancelled, glad to see it will come back in some form really.

Posted by dragonzord

@FoxMulder said:

@Resident4t said:

@FoxMulder said:

....ugh why? Far better games have been cancelled I'm sure, why bring this series back fro mthe dead?

Answer to your questions
1. "When we first saw and got our hands on the game we fell in love with it," said Square Enix London
2. picked up the development rights to True Crime: Hong Kong--but NOT the franchise itself." Those were both in the article :3 On Topic : I for one am excited, I liked the little footage that was shown of the game.

Thank you for answering my rhetorical questions!

You kind of asked for it with your uppity 'ugh! Why do people like stuff I dont!'

Posted by Creamypies

Well most of the work has been done, I'd imagine. It looked pretty far along when Ryan last previewed it. So no huge expenditure on Square-Enix' end.

Edited by Abs_B

Also shame they couldn't do the same for that other title "Gun Loco" which, pardon the pun, bit the bullet!! I don't mean to sound bitter but apart from their PSP titles and striking gold with "Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light" Square-Enix just cannot keep up with modern development or make their games  entertaining, I remember a time in the late 90's when Squaresoft put out multiple PSOne games and they were mostly, pretty much, all solid titles, with "Chocobo Racing" and maybe "Ehrgeiz" being the exceptions, then they made "Spirits Within" followed by the PS2's release and it all went wrong!!

Posted by Veektarius
@GreggD: I can't say that's true of modern day SquareEnix/Eidos. They've been backing  a wide variety of western-oriented (and mostly poorly received) games.  I remember thinking when FFXIII came out that its profits had a lot of flops to cover for.  Moreso with XIV being totally DOA.
Posted by spartan1017

I thought this looked interesting and was sad when it died. I'll be interested to see what happens with this.

Posted by buzz_killington

Yeah, I hope Square got a good deal because the game was close to completion from the sounds of it.

Posted by Video_Game_King

Is it still gonna be True Crime by the time Square Enix's done with it? Or does the name change extend to fucking everything about the name?

Online
Posted by Seraphim84

I'd play True Crime: Altered Beast

Posted by TheMailToad

Hey Square Enix? Good job.

Posted by PhatSeeJay

Activision sues in 3. 2. 1.

Posted by HS21
@zoner said:

@FoxMulder said:

@Resident4t said:

@FoxMulder said:

....ugh why? Far better games have been cancelled I'm sure, why bring this series back fro mthe dead?

Answer to your questions
1. "When we first saw and got our hands on the game we fell in love with it," said Square Enix London
2. picked up the development rights to True Crime: Hong Kong--but NOT the franchise itself." Those were both in the article :3 On Topic : I for one am excited, I liked the little footage that was shown of the game.

Thank you for answering my rhetorical questions!

You kind of asked for it with your uppity 'ugh! Why do people like stuff I dont!'

UNGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. Excited for this game. 
Posted by blacklab

Cool. I enjoyed True Crime LA.

Posted by 234r2we232

They should bring Tim Schafer onboard while they're at it.

Posted by MachoFantastico

Square Enix have been all rather odd in the games they've chosen to distribute. Hasn't been a massive success as it.

This seems a risk to.

Posted by MachoFantastico

@Artie said:

Consider this: Activision paid for development, Square Enix just needs to distribute it and it basically makes instant profit. i'm interested in playing it regardless, hell if it ends up being a hit it means Actvision will probably pick up the franchise again, which would be good.

Good point, maybe not such a risky move after all. That said is the game technically finished? Surely some development cash will need to be spent by Square Enix so not entirely a win-win for them.

Posted by Mr_Skeleton

It's good that Square Enix doesn't care about the qaulity of their games.

Posted by HubrisRanger

Surely Activision has some legal standing they can make before a game that they more or less paid the development for is released by someone else? Or will Square quietly slip them some money to buy the rights to the code but not the title itself?

Posted by President_Barackbar

Oh yeah, True Crime AND Square Enix, two names I immediately associate with quality /eyeroll

Posted by Cornman89

Did not see that coming at all.

Posted by blurienh

I'm just glad to see that the work put into this will go towards something and not just thrown away. I don't want to make a judgement on who is right and who is wrong because I don't know the budget or quality involved but from an artistic view this is good news, it must be horrible to see years of your creative hardwork chucked away. Hopefully this has a happy ending and a good game gets shipped and turns a profit.

Posted by SkullcrusherMountain

Activision filing a law suit to stop its release a la Brutal Legend in 3...2...1...

Posted by Soap

As one of about 3 people who thought this might actually be a good game I'm really happy to see this back.

Sure it might not be great, but at least I will now have a chance to make that judgement for myself.

Posted by swomar

@President_Barackbar said:

Oh yeah, True Crime AND Square Enix, two names I immediately associate with quality /eyeroll

I know that it's cool nowadays to shit on Square Enix, but their games are generally of high quality whether you're into them or not. Of course they've had a couple of flops, especially recently, but every publisher has some of these. And they're the exception not the rule.

Posted by YukoAsho
You know, with the other money SE's been spending, why not?  This makes about as much sense as anything else.
 
At least SE's western development teams know how to make a game in less than five years.
 
@SkullcrusherMountain said:

Activision filing a law suit to stop its release a la Brutal Legend in 3...2...1...

I doubt it.  If there's anything Square Enix is good at, it's lawyer battles.
Posted by BabyChooChoo

I saw the headline and just began to laugh uncontrollably. This is going to be great.
 
Not the game, mind you, I mean the spectacle of this game tanking and Square coming up with some excuse as to why this game failed.

Online
Edited by whatisdelicious

It's so weird to think that this game is from the guys who brought you ModNation Racers. Like... what?

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