Square Enix Thinks Activision ‘Crazy’ For Giving Up Sleeping Dogs
Square Enix’s upcoming John Woo meets GTA game, United Front Games’ Sleeping Dogs, originally began life as True Crime: Hong Kong, which would have been the third installment in the troubled True Crime series. (Quick recap: True Crime: Streets of LA and True Crime: New York City.) The true crime series was published by Activision, and after TCNYC flopped and they handed the series over to United Front. Unfortunately, the game took forever to develop and what was shown as work in progress in early 2011 convinced the behemoth that it would never end up being a successful game. “To be blunt,” Activision said, “it just wasn’t going to be good enough.” Ouch.
Well, united Front took it to Square Enix, who flipped for it. The result is a game that by all accounts – including our own Ben Richardson’s – is pretty great. Obviously, Square Enix is thrilled, but one can’t help wondering why, if it’s so good, did Activision ditch it? What did Square Enix see that Activision didn’t? The answer, according to Square Enix’s Mike Fischer, is that they’re a little cray cray. “I can’t speak to why they let that go, he said. “I’m not going to speculate on their behalf. All I know is, they’ve gotta be crazy. The scale and scope of the game really encompasses all of everything you’d want to do in Hong Kong. The acting, the story, the characters are very deep. The minute they showed it to us, we really felt like we had found a diamond in the rough.”
Personally, I think Activision’s decision to pass might have been a good thing. The previous True Crime games were a study in diminishing returns; freeing what would become Sleeping Dogs from the brand might have been the kick needed for it to become good. Then again, I haven’t played it yet. I suppose we’ll find out at E3 whether Activision was right all along. Either way, I can’t wait to have the Chow Yun Fat experience on my Xbox.