Open world actioner True Crime: Hong Kong was cancelled because it just wasn't up to scratch, according to publisher Activision.

Following on from the announcement earlier today that the United Front-developed title had been scrapped, Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg explained that the publisher didn't believe it could compete in a crowded marketplace.

"Even our most optimistic internal projections show that continued investment was not going to lead to a title at, or near, the top of the competitive open world genre," he said.

"In an industry where only the best games in each category are flourishing, to be blunt, it just wasn't going to be good enough."

"The day I arrived at the company I said that I believed the best way to achieve commercial success was to provide gamers with highest possible creative quality," he added. "The decision to stop production on True Crime is based solely on that belief."

"These are tough decisions but we believe they are the right decision being made for the right reasons and they reflect our ongoing commitment to delivering the games that gamers want to play."

The future of Vancouver-based studio United Front Games, the same studio responsible for PlayStation 3/PSP effort ModNation Raceers, is unclear at present, though job losses would seem inevitable.

True Crime: Hong Kong was to be the first entry in Activision's open world action franchise since the dreary New York City iteration flopped back in 2005.

Eurogamer went hands-on with the title in June last year, and came away unimpressed.

"It's possible that the special ingredients are still secret at this stage, and, to be honest, open-world games are notoriously hard to demo effectively, but as the game nears release, True Crime is looking unambitious at best, and possibly irrelevant," wrote Christian Donlan.

"Not a bad game, necessarily, but one you might have played too many times before."

For those wishing to pay their final respects, take a look at the launch trailer below.

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Fred Dutton

Fred Dutton

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Fred Dutton is Eurogamer's US news editor, based in Washington DC.

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