Square Enix seems to be shifting the corporate gears a bit. Once a titan of unique IP, these days, the publisher seems eager to acquire and distribute some pretty deftly chosen outside titles. First there was Batman: Arkham Asylum (in Japan), and now Square is picking up one of Activision’s recently discarded games. True Crime: Hong Kong, a reboot for the line of sprawling crime dramas – this one from United Front Games (Modnation Racers) – was canceled as part of a larger restructuring program at Activision that also reportedly claimed the Guitar Hero and DJ Hero franchises.
While Square Enix did purchase the rights to publish the game, the True Crime license still belongs with Activision. True Crime: Hong Kong was originally scheduled for release this November on PC, Playstation 3, and Xbox 360, but Square Enix has provided no updates on when the newly retitled game can be expected.
In an interview with Gamasutra, Lee Singleton, General Manager of Square Enix London, stated, “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’.”
“When we met the team at United Front Games,” Singleton continued, “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…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.”
Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing, said in a statement to Gamasutra, “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.”
Happy to hear True Crime: HK survived the initial cancellation? What changes could a Square Enix distribution mean for the game? Comment below!