Square-Enix' president and chief executive for the U.S. branch of the Square-Enix enterprise talked a lot about the direction of the Japanese company and how they're trying to fit in with westernizing a lot of their properties. When explaining how they added Sleeping Dogs to their publishing cache, he basically says Activision was crazy for letting it go.
Speaking with Dean Takahashi from VentureBeat, chief executive Mike Fischer had a lot of praise to pour over United Front Games' upcoming open-world crime drama, Sleeping Dogs, saying...
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.
We recently posted up a new trailer for the game, and it does look like it provides a lot of guilty-pleasure fun. I mean, it's not like we're looking at a game that's going to shift 20 million SKUs, but it does look like a really enjoyable, mid-tiered open-world action title, something that has been sorely lacking this gen.
As for why Activision abandoned the game...they explained that it was taking too long and costing them too much. I was a little perplexed at it all considering that the game is due out this August and Activision couldn't have waited just one more year to get it out? Really?
It's also funny because Activision was behind the recent Battleship movie-game tie-in, which according to Forbes, absolutely flopped in retail alongside the big-budget disaster piece playing in theatres.
Fischer went on to say that the game still needs a strong marketing and word-of-mouth campaign, hence why it's releasing in August instead of the crowded holiday crunch...
The thrill that I love in bringing out a game like Sleeping Dogs is when nobody sees it coming. And then, boom, it’s the surprise of the holiday. The game’s coming out early in the year, so it has time to find its audience. We’re in a world where everything’s about social media, word of mouth. And yet you still see marketing presentations that are built around how big your TV campaign is. And again, it’s not an either/or. You have to have both components.
There is a ton of useful info in the entire interview, including how Square approaches content releases, not necessarily relying on safe-as-a-chastity-belt rehashes or game-outings, but aiming to provide good products to consumers at the end of the day. We'll see how well that all comes together with Sleeping Dogs this August and Hitman: Absolution to follow shortly thereafter.
You can check out more on what Mike had to say in the complete GamesBeat interview.