Activision’s Head of Developer Relations, Dan Winters, recently sat down with GamesIndustry.biz to talk a little about the megapublisher’s developer culture and possibly refute some of that “evil empire” talk. He also touched on the recently canned True Crime: Hong Kong and revealed that Activision actually had great confidence in the quality of the title. Its cancellation appears to have been strictly business (specifically, it wouldn’t have done as much business as Red Dead Redemption):
We think that the game was tracking to be a very good game. The question was really the size of the prize based on how good it could be. We are confident that thing would of been eighty plus. Eighty five maybe. […] But…The challenges in the market place right now, when you’re talking about open-world games that are going to compete with titles like Red Dead Redemption, expectations for the consumer are really high.
Winters would go on to hint that Activision might be willing to offer the nearly complete game to another publisher: “[True Crime: Hong Kong] would have been, and still might end up being, a very successful mid-tier opportunity for someone.”
Who can say whether Activision is really the evil empire or not? But if they’re cancelling a nearly complete game that they think is worthy of some great review scores, I’d say that’s pretty frickin’ evil.