Might have ended up being a 'very successful mid-tier opportunity' for the publisher.
Cancelled open-world action title True Crime: Hong Kong could have gone on to achieve strong reviews and decent sales, Activision head of developer relations Dan Winters has told GamesIndustry.biz.
Back in January, Activision announced the cancellation of the game, stating: "In an industry where only the best games in each category are flourishing, to be blunt, it just wasn't going to be good enough."
However, Winters has stepped back from that statement and now claims the game would have ended up with a review average in the 80s.
"We think that the game was tracking to be a very good game," he said.
"The question was really the size of the prize based on how good it could be. We are confident that thing would of been 80 plus. 85 maybe. They're a really talented group at United Front.
"We were really confident that they were tracking towards a very good game. 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."
In the end, Activision's change in business model resulted in True Crime being an unfortunate casualty.
"That would have been, and still might end up being, a very successful mid-tier opportunity for someone," Winters added. "But, as I said, we changed our business model to where we were going to change our business model to focus disproportionately on three big, huge monsters. Those three monsters are the Bungie, Call of Duty and Spyro titles.
"So that left the True Crime title being a mid-tier opportunity which we felt was an opportunity cost against other things."