Whore of the Orient, the spiritual successor to LA Noire, isn't going to happen

It's been about four years since we last heard anything from the startlingly-named Whore of the Orient, and so a refresher is probably in order. It was being developed by Team Bondi, the studio that created LA Noire for Rockstar, and looked to be structurally similar to that game, but set in and around 1936 Shanghai, “the most corrupt and decadent city on the planet.” I thought it sounded promising, if a little risky, but now it's come to light that the project has been canceled. 

“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,” Derek Proud, a producer at Team Bondi, said during a Gamehugs podcast (via Finder.com.au). “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.” 

Proud doesn't actually come right out and say that the game is canceled, but he does make it clear that, for reasons unspecified and despite the best efforts of studio management, it's not being worked on any longer. “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,” he said. “And I fought, too, it was something we were all passionate about. But in the end, that was the way it went.” 

It's a shame, but not at all surprising, given the deathly silence from Team Bondi over the past few years. About a minute of early Whore of the Orient gameplay footage leaked out of the studio back in 2013. Check it out below.