Activision severed ties with their long running True Crime franchise earlier this year; around the same time they announced they were done with the Guitar Hero line. The series was originally being developed by LuxoFlux. After the second installment’s basic flop, the third in the line was axed.

Then United Front Games stepped up and started work on rebooting the franchise for Activision with True Crime: Hong Kong. That was in 2010. The game was delayed until 2011. Then, go figure, Activision cancelled the project altogether.

Square Enix has stepped up and snagged the rights to publish True Crime: Hong Kong. Square will be keeping United Front Games on the project as the development studio, and the publisher will be able to pick up with the studio where Activision left off. Gamasutra revealed this bit of news along with a word from Square Enix London Studios GM Lee Singleton.

“When we met the team at United Front Games…it was a done deal in our eyes — we instantly recognized the huge potential in the game and the team. UFG is an incredibly talented team, who have individually worked on some of the biggest games in our industry, and this talent shines through from the moment you walk in the door.”

Interestingly enough, Activision also shared a level of excitement concerning the game’s new publisher. Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision Publishing, offered this:

“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.”

If gamers get to play such a great game, why wouldn’t Activision have stayed on with the project. According to Hirshberg, True Crime didn’t look good enough.

Since Square Enix did not pay for the rights to the brand of True Crime, the game will release under a new handle yet to be announced. As for timing and platforms? Square Enix isn’t ready to reveal that either.

[via Gamasutra]