After effectively being shot execution-style, tossed in the back of Activision's Lincoln Towncar, and then dumped on some forgotten road on the outskirts of the city, United Front Games's True Crime: Hong Kong seemed all but lost. Then came Square Enix, continuing its ongoing campaign to own every series made by anyone, swooping down like some saving angel of grace to administer CPR, patch up the old boy, and nurse him back to health. Indeed, according to Gamasutra, "the game is still under development at Vancouver-based United Front; the project is being managed through Square Enix London Studios," after the gents across the pond got a hands-on with the title, developing a particular fondness for it. Activision's reaction has been one of enthusiasm (in that very robotic, corporate kind of way), with Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg saying:
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.
Hirshberg sounded a rather contradictory note about the reason for the game's cancellation, citing quality issues, so it's up in the air as to whether or not Square Enix can salvage the beleaguered title. While the company has the benefit of UFG's work, they have yet to acquire the IP, sowing doubt that the game will be an official True Crime title. Lee Singleton, general manager at Square Enix London Studios (previously owned by Eidos), states that the process should be "pretty straighforward." The Gamasutra article also notes that "the Square Enix branding team is already working on concepts."
What do you think, gamers? Were you looking forward to True Crime: Hong Kong before its cancellation? If so, does the acquisition by Square Enix excite, enrage, or inspire a rather tepid shrug of the shoulders? Sound off in the comments section!