United Front Games is no more — but before the developer closed its doors for the final time late last month, early plans for Sleeping Dogs 2 were kicking about and boy, were they ambitious!
Reports of UFG mapping out ideas for a sequel are nothing new, of course, however Waypoint has unearthed a series of documents that offer unprecedented insight into the open world follow-up that never came to be. Citing two sources close to United Front Games, Waypoint’s exhaustive report reveals that Sleeping Dogs 2 began life in 2013 as a hugely ambitious sequel, one which would have incorporated co-op elements and even a companion app.
Wei Shen was set to return, with much of the action taking place within China’s Pearl River Megacity. Beyond that, UFG set about using “the cloud saves of all players to determine the global neighborhood crime levels across all games, and then mapping that crime to the difficulty level in policing those neighborhoods in the individual’s games.”
Sleeping Dogs 2 never entered active development, and those pre-production plans are effectively a time capsule, indicating that UFG would have fine-tuned this most ambitious pitch had the project been given the go-ahead. Sadly, it was scrapped in late 2013.
As one source told Waypoint, “there was a lot of work, such as schedule planning and proof of concept tech, that went into the Sleeping Dogs 2 pitch.”
“Several of our best programmers decided to move on and there was some creative turnover, as well,” said the same source. “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.”
What do our readers make of these revelations? Indeed are you disappointed to learn of what could have been?