The United Front Games developed sandbox title was getting mixed reception in the press, but many noted the game's promise despite its subsequent cancellation.

Turns out publisher Square Enix spotted that promise too, as its announced overnight that its picked up the rights to publish the game from Activision.

The news comes via Gamasutra, which points out that the game is still in development at UFG and is being handled by Square Enix London — the same group responsible for Batman: Arkham Asylum and Just Cause 2. Certainly good pedigree then.

Interestingly, the publisher has not purchased the rights to the "True Crime" brand, meaning the game will get a new name that's yet to be announced. Considering the poor connotations attached to the True Crime brand, that is probably a good thing.

"When we first saw and got our hands on the game we fell in love with it," said Square Enix London's gaffer Lee Singleton.

"When we met the team at United Front Games it was a done deal in our eyes - we instantly recognised 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.

"It's one of those games where you don't want to put the controller down; it's what we call 'sticky'."

Singleton had more praise for the game, noting the "incredible new game engine, rich new story with deep and complex characters, and gameplay features which have simply never been seen at this level in an open world game".

Even Activision was stoked about the resolution.

"Our team has worked very hard to find a solution where everybody wins," commented Activision's Eric Hirshberg.

"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."

Surpisingly level-headed for the typically ruthless company. Perhaps we're starting to see a shift in Activision's public attitude. We certainly hope so.

Square's currently in the process of re-staffing at United Front Games. The publisher hopes to pick up much of the talent that was forced to leave when Activision shuttered the project. Interestingly, it seems a small team had been beavering away on True Crime: Hong Kong before Square Enix picked it up. Smart move.

"During this time, the game has continued to be developed by a core team on a slower burn, but now that we've signed, we're ready to turn up the heat and get the team up to capacity," explained Singleton.

"We see this as a fantastic opportunity to create a new and unique franchise which gamers will come to know and love for years to come.”

UFG is of course working on ModNatation Racers for the PlayStation Vita too, so the studio is about to get really busy again. Which we imagine will be music to the ears of the Vancouver based developer's executives.