When news broke that developer United Front Games had officially closed its doors late last month, those lingering hopes for a Sleeping Dogs 2 were effectively dashed.
But at one point, UFG had seriously considered a sequel to the open-world crime caper, and Waypoint recently unearthed scores of documents detailing just how ambitious those initial plans were. Welcoming the return of Wei Shen, in 2013, Sleeping Dogs 2 was pitched as a “massively single-player” experience that would have incorporated co-op elements and a companion app to boot.
Set in China’s Pearl River Megacity, Waypoint’s report goes on to reveal that United Front Games planned to use “the cloud saves of all players to determine the global neighborhood crime levels across all games, and then map that crime to the difficulty level in policing those neighborhoods in the individual’s games.”
Exactly how this would have panned out is up for question, and it’s worth keeping in mind that these details were weaned from pre-production documents obtained by Waypoint. Had Sleeping Dogs 2 received the green light, we assume United Front Games would have fine-tuned this proposed vision but ultimately, the open-world sequel never entered active development and was subsequently scrapped in late 2013.
“Several of our best programmers decided to move on and there was some creative turnover, as well,” one source told Waypoint. “It took several years of hell to ship Sleeping Dogs and many members of the team weren’t willing to go through it all again. I was one of the few that stuck around, but even in my case, it took a large toll on my personal life and mental health. Studio culture is a fragile thing and even the loss of a few key people can change the entire dynamic of the workplace.”
Alas, unless a different studio swoops in to obtain the IP, Sleeping Dogs 2 is all but sleeping with the fishes. In more positive news, the Definitive Edition of United Front Games’ original crime caper is among the lineup for December’s Games With Gold.