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Whore of the Orient unlikely to come out

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After years of development, we'll probably never see it

whore of the orient

It’s been nearly three years since we’ve heard anything about Whore of the Orient, the spiritual successor to L.A. Noire in development by a team lead by the creator of that original Rockstar title, Brendan McNamara.

Today, it seems, maybe the last we hear of it. Derek Proud, producer on the game, said in an interview this week that he doesn’t believe the game will ever come out.

Whore of the Orient was announced in 2012 for Windows PC and then next-gen consoles. It was to be set during 1936 in Shanghai, described as the "Paris of the East." The title takes place in a China that had begun modernizing due to Western influence, until the Kuomintang political party started to roll back imperialist changes and viciously suppress Communism under Chiang Kai-shek. A group of Western cops, the International Police Force, is attempting to keep the peace in the meantime.

In early 2013, the development studio at Kennedy Miller Mitchell, a group formed by former Team Bondi members who previously worked on L.A. Noire, was hit with layoffs because they didn’t have a publisher. But KMM's Doug Mitchell said at the time that the game is still in development. The team later received $200,000 in funding from Screen NSW, a branch of the Australian government in New South Wales.

Then development on the game went quiet.

Speaking to Guy Blomberg during a recently episode of the GameHugs podcast, Proud, who is now director of Garoo Games, walked through what happened with Whore of the Orient.

Here’s what he had to say, as transcribed by Finder.Com.Au:

Proud: Well Whore of the Orient was the spiritual successor to L.A. Noire. We were going to use that tech and we were going to create a game set in the 1930s, maybe 1940s, of Shanghai. Shanghai was the only place in the world you could go to in the 1930s and 1940s if you didn’t have a passport. So everybody who was running from something went to Shanghai. The whole city was run by a gangster called Big-Eared Du and it’s just the most fascinating time, place and setting.

Blomberg: Which doesn’t feel like it has been explored before: not just in games, but even in movies…

Proud: Yeah, it’s amazing. And we were creating a game with all of that rich texture to it. And we fought for it. Brendan [McNamara – studio head], Alex Carlyle [design lead], Vicky Lord [general manager] and Naresh Hirani [project producer] all fought to keep that project alive. And I fought, too, it was something we were all passionate about. But in the end, that was the way it went.

Blomberg: So we will never see that game?

Proud: I don’t think so. That was one of the games and one of the studios I kind of left right at the bitter end. When we got wrapped-up.

You can check out some leaked footage from the apparently canceled game right here.