Square – Activison’s “gotta be crazy,” for giving up True Crime: Hong Kong

Friday, 25th May 2012 19:28 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Mike Fischer, president and chief executive of Square Enix US, said Activision was “crazy,” for cancelling United Front’s True Crime: Hong Kong.

Speaking with VentureBeat, Activision’s loss is Square’s gain as far as it is concerned, as it was announced the firm had picked up the game last summer and will release it under its new name, Sleeping Dogs.

“The game was, in a sense, discovered. I’m making air quotes: ‘discovered’ by the folks in Wimbledon,” said Fischer. “The minute they showed it to us, we really felt like we had found a diamond in the rough.

“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.

“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.

“There’s clearly a lot of inspiration from [the movies] The Departed and Infernal Affairs. You play an undercover cop who starts to feel mixed loyalties. But the open world feels like Arkham City, the combat feels as good as a fighting game, the driving is as good as a Need for Speed, and the story is every bit as rich as compelling as a Mass Effect. All in one game.

“In a sense it reminds me a little bit of Dead Island, which Square Enix America did the sales and distribution for. Nobody had heard of that game coming into E3, and in the U.S. alone it sold over 2 million units. It’s great to have a sleeper.’

Game’s out in August.



  1. Erthazus

    Activision IS Crazy.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. ManuOtaku

    Crazy is not the proper word i will use in order to describe activision.
    p.s i will pick this game regardless of the reviews, i dont know but it reminds me a lot of strangehold, which i love

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Pytox

    I’m interested in sleeping dogs, I’ll hold off till reviews :-)

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Seda

    This game has definitely peaked my interest.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. Erthazus

    I will buy this game without reviews just to support the publisher that cares for it’s audience and cares about developers of such a project.

    Activision is nuts and they can F off from the industry. I hope so that they will be in trouble next gen, i really hope.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. DSB

    There’s no doubt that Activision won’t support anything unless they’re 100% certain that it’ll line their pockets, but I don’t see this as any kind of slam dunk. I predict a 7′ish out of 10 sort of deal.

    Even if it ends up being the best of the True Crime games, it’s still a True Crime game. It’s not like it’s a proud heritage :P

    Good for Square that they get some PR out of it though.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. K-V-C

    @6 yeah exactly they did say they cancelled it because it wouldnt make money as if call of duty hasnt made them the richest company in the world gaming wise their still money hungry thats all activsion care about easy money

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Lewis247

    I like what they are doing with this, I’m looking forward to seeing reviews and more gameplay down the line. Maybe activison just thought ohhh true crime, that’s like gta so it’s gotta sell a lot right? Then thought.. maybe not..

    I’m sure square seen the gaming potentional rather than the sales potentional that activision had in mind.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. DSB

    @7 Well, that’s what any company cares about. A public company isn’t supposed to lose money, because technically that company belongs to the shareholders. You can be damn sure that if anyone’s listed on the stockmarket, they have no objective other than making money. And if they do make a lot of money, they’re going to want to make more, and their owners will punish them even if they merely make less than expected.

    Same thing goes for Square Enix.

    I guess what makes Activision stand out is that they obviously don’t “just” want a profit, they want a big profit. Every time. And I’m guessing that’s why Hong Kong got the boot.

    It’s a very conservative way of running your business, and it obviously makes them look very cynical, but I don’t see how that makes them bigger cunts than anyone else. All publishers are doing nasty stuff to make a buck. Square Enix is a public company as well. They didn’t sign this game to be nice to anyone.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. pukem0n

    the only move that wasnt on profit by activision in the last time was prototype 2, which wont make any significant amount of money even though it is a great game

    #10 3 years ago
  11. The_Red

    Activision is being too conservative and that worries me because it’s actually working for them. While all publishers and big suits are conservative to some degree, none them comes even close to the level of Acti. If all publishers were like this, we wouldn’t have BioShock, Vanquish, Bayonetta, Assassin’s Creed (Originals), Rayman Origins, DarkSiders, Dark / Demon’s Souls and many other great and important AAA games.
    Even the very existence of those titles proves that at least not every publisher is as harmful and stupid as Acti.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. NeoSquall

    Creazy is really a kind word to describe Activision and its top management.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. Lord Gremlin

    1. Activision IS crazy.
    2. They rely on CoD. Everything else is an afterthought and gets canceled the moment any uncertainty crops up.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. DSB

    @11 I agree 100%, but betting on few horses only really works when all of those horses are indeed winning.

    Once these franchises run their course, they will have to come up with something else, and that’s probably not easy for a company with their reputation and culture.

    Killing a studio once you mass produce it into the ground, instead of pursueing the ones that are actually good at creating something special, is not sustainable to my mind.

    I think evolution is going to be the judge of that model, and I think the fact that Activision have enjoyed success with it, could well be down to a certain degree of luck. They’ll need more than that I reckon.

    #14 3 years ago
  15. loveaya

    If activision is crazy, then SquareEnix should be insane. Give me FFV13 ASAP!

    #15 3 years ago
  16. The_Red

    Hopefully when their current cash cows run dry (WOW and COD), the evolution process destroys them. I agree that they had luck on their side but they also made some smart decisions and if they keep their winning streak while being so conservative, more and more publishers will start to become like them.

    Even games like Rage, Brink, Mirror’s Edge, Shadows of the Damned and many other big budget games that didn’t live up to the expectations are necessary for our industry. If every other publishers becomes like Acti, we won’t even have those games, let along truly big budget AND well made titles like Withcer, Batman Arkham Asylum, Demon’s Souls and such.

    #16 3 years ago
  17. DSB

    @16 I really wouldn’t worry about that.

    For one thing there are only so many blockbuster franchises out there, so it’s not like everyone can just up and be Activision.

    Secondly, EAs model pretty much throughout their existence has been “BUY, BUY, BUY” when times are good, and then “RAPE, BURN, DESTROY” as soon as things take a downturn, or investors start to worry about their spending.

    They buy studios all over, and then they kill them as soon as they become too fat to survive.

    That, and buying sports leagues is the whole key to their success, and they aren’t doing terribly, even though they took a far worse hit in the financial crash than Activision, for having that model.

    As for the others, I think they need to be smart, and really build and support what they have, instead of simply chasing blockbusters.

    The irony of THQs failure is that they had a number of studios that could really bang out new IPs, so it wasn’t a bad place for a small publisher to be. Of course sadly they’ve failed to use any of that to their advantage, by serializing everything, and trying to be a publisher like EA and Activision. It just doesn’t work that way.

    #17 3 years ago
  18. poketrainer

    If you think thats crazy Square Enix you’ll think the Halo 4 leak is even crazier

    #18 3 years ago

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