Report: Multiple publishers were interested in 'Sleeping Dogs'

When Activision canceled True Crime: Hong Kong the project was left for dead until Square Enix rolled around and bought up the IP.

However, according to an article over at EDGE, the IP drew interest from several publishers, or so says United Front Games' Stephen Van Der Mescht.
“There were a few other people who’d spoken to us. We know a lot of people, obviously – we’ve all worked with a bunch of different publishers, and there were a few people who came around and looked at the game and the team,” he said.
United Front worked on the game for nearly four years but the only part of the game that the developer actually owned was the engine that game was built on. So finding a publisher willing to release the game was going to be difficult.
“At one point, we looked into just taking the engine code and doing something else. We only owned the engine, we didn’t own any of the content, so to get a deal in place where the game was going to move forward, Activision had to be involved in the process. They had to license those assets,” Van Der Mescht said.

“So putting a new deal in place was incredibly complex. It wasn’t only a two-part deal between ourselves and a publisher, it was ourselves, a new publisher and Activision. The contracts had to go back and forth between all three parties to get the game back up and running. It was easily one of the most complex development negotiations I’ve ever been part of.”
Activision and Square Enix agreed to a deal and the rest is history.
“They were great in the whole process, I’m personally very appreciative of the role they played in getting a deal signed,” Van Der Mescht said.
Sleeping Dogs was released last year.

Via VG247