Square Enix’s US Boss Calls Activision ‘Crazy’ For Dumping True Crime: Hong Kong

Square Enix’s US Boss Calls Activision ‘Crazy’ For Dumping True Crime: Hong Kong

Publishing executives say complimentary stuff about their upcoming games all of the time. So what. But there’s an unusual history with Sleeping Dogs, which Square Enix will release Aug. 14 — it was formerly known as True Crime: Hong Kong until Activision washed its hands of the franchise in the Feb. 2011 bloodbath that killed off Guitar Hero.

“We really felt like we had found a diamond in the rough,” Mike Fischer, the boss of Square Enix’s US division, told VentureBeat. “Obviously the game was originally True Crime: Hong Kong from Activision. I can’t speak to why they let that go. I’m not going to speculate on their behalf. All I know is, they’ve gotta be crazy. Because this game is just fantastic.”

Maybe it is. There’s no question that True Crime was a troubled title. Its lone success — a moderate one at that — published in 2003. Two years later, it dropped a bug-filled stinkbomb. Activision canceled a planned True Crime 3 and then hooked up with United Front Games, still the developer of Sleeping Dogs, to put the True Crime label on the open-world game they were cooking up in 2008. Even though it was a completely different studio, the development costs and delays surrounding the project, and Activision’s belief that whatever would come out of it couldn’t meet expectations in the demanding open-world genre, led Activision to walk away.

So, yeah, maybe they are “crazy”, especially if this does turn out to be a good game. Who knows. Maybe this is a win for everyone though. Activision isn’t sinking money into a title whose name is mud with gamers; United Front’s finishing up an original open-world game and Square Enix has what it thinks is a contender. Maybe unshackling this from the True Crime name is really all it needed.

Square Enix’s Mike Fischer says Activision was “crazy” to abandon True Crime: Hong Kong (interview) [VentureBeat]


  • What I really like is that Activision said it wouldn’t meet their quality expections or sell the amount they wanted it to, but they published the Battleship and Men in Black games, as full retail products.

  • I liked True Crime, but right near the end zombies and ancient dragons showed up, and it was super super dumb. Also, I had to replay bits to get the gun upgrades, becuase it turned out the car and kung fu ones were useless, and if you didn’t have guns then the giant skull would kill you. I didn’t even finish it, I just rented it.

    • Agree completely. It had a cool “You crazy sons of bitches caused so much damage that the Commissioner’s gonna have my balls for breakfast! Get out of my office!” Cop vibe … But the supernatural stuff was lame.

      • It’d could have been cool if it was done better, it just came out of no-where and was handled poorly.

        • But the concept was cool and it makes me wonder why there aren’t any other ( to my knowledge ) GtA clones in a Riggs-Murtaugh/Tango & Cash, 80’s style, ‘One guy by the book, one a loose cannon’ buddy cop caper. Would be ace!

    • Well, it was a complete mess in every single respect. You play through a generic crime game in a generic badly done GTA style game AND OH MY GOD YOURE NOW SUDDENLY FIGHTING A DEMON DRAGON IN HELL SOMEWHERE NICK KANG!!!!! I mean wtf most random moment ever…

  • The other day I saw a vid of this where this female V.O. runs thru all the things you can do. All the while as I was watching that trailer I kept thinking the same thing – “Activision are chumps for letting this go!”

  • The original True Crime was fantastic, I loved it more than GTA Vice City and San Andreas.

    It just felt a lot different, I loved it. The second one though…not so much, felt really bland.

    So I have high hopes for this game, even if it is no longer under the True Crime name.

    • Yep, and unlike the ps2 GTA’s, it was mechanically sound. Melee combat felt great & shooting while driving was well done.

  • Looks like a good game but GTA5 is rumored to release in October which would rain on thier August parade a bit.
    Hopefully it useses the just cause engine as they are both open world games published by sqeenix.

    • Sleeping Dogs began development in 2008. 3 years before Square Enix got involved. Plus Just Cause 2 was developed by Avalanche Studios, published by Eidos, and distributed by Square Enix.

      Square had nothing to do with Just Cause 2, and have zero influence or attachment to Avalanche’s technology.

  • Awesome, a game franchise as cheesy as duke nukem enters development lingo.

    Pretty much made my day!

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