There is hope that we still get the chance to hear The Neptunes produced OST of True Crime: Hong Kong! Square Enix picks up the game but not the IP, meaning it won’t be called True Crime. Besides announcing that the Guitar Hero franchise was being shelved for now, Activision announced back in February that it was canceling open-world action game True Crime: Hong Kong. But in what seemed like an inevitable move for a game that had so many years poured into it, it has been picked up by another publisher — Square Enix — and will carry a different name. The cancellation was surprising at the time; Hong Kong had been getting a new PR push just prior to the announcement. Activision claimed it was due to the game’s quality — or lack thereof.
It said both the Hong Kong and Guitar Hero moves were due to “the desire to focus on the greatest opportunities that the company currently has to create the world’s best interactive entertainment experiences.” This was reiterated in a recent interview with CEO Bobby Kotick, who said the company’s focus on fewer titles is about a “commitment to excellence.” He also described the goal with Hong Kong as being the creation of a less violent Grand Theft Auto game. “And we recognized that after giving it a good college try for three years we didn’t have the skills at the company to do that type of game, so we canceled it,” he explained.
“And I think that it was a demonstration to the organization that focus is going to get rewarded, and that if you can’t after a sustained period of time get to that level of excellence, then we’re going to have to make a change.” Square Enix obviously feels it can do the game justice. Speaking with Gamasutra, Square Enix London Studios GM Lee Singleton said, “When we first saw and got our hands on the game we fell in love with it.” Hong Kong will still be handled by United Front Games, which has previously developed ModNation Racers. The deal doesn’t include the True Crime IP, meaning Hong Kong will have to undergo a name change. (There have been two True Crime games released prior to Hong Kong, both published by Activision.)
The new name for HK, its platforms, and release date all haven’t been made public yet. It had been planned for a 2010 release on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC, but was delayed until 2011 before being canceled. Prior to being adapted into a True Crime game, it was known as Black Lotus and featured a female protagonist. This isn’t the first time a game Activision has been set to publish ended up in the hands of another publisher. Brutal Legend, along with games like Ghostbusters and others, were dropped by Activision Blizzard following the Vivendi Games merger.
Brutal Legend ended up being picked up by Electronic Arts, although Activision later sued developer Double Fine over the game’s rights. The matter ended up being resolved and Brutal Legend was released on October 13, 2009. Hopefully the path to release for True Crime: Hong Kong proves to be less complicated. Square clearly has a lot of faith in both United Front Games and the game itself. Singleton said, “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.”
Jealous Lover – My Motorcycle (Live) (10′)