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Cloudgine is joining Epic Games, but where does that leave Crackdown 3?

Although some of the systems were developed by Microsoft Research and demonstrated back at Build 2014, Cloudgine's cloud-powered destruction physics were enlisted to power Crackdown 3's multiplayer components, which features full-scale non-scripted destruction physics, allowing players to destroy entire skyscrapers with unprecedented realism.

Cloudgine recently was purchased by Epic Games, however, leading some to wonder how this might impact Crackdown 3. For those concerned, thankfully, it seems Crackdown 3 won't be affected by Cloudgine's jump to Epic, owing to this confirmation we received from a Microsoft spokesperson.

We are excited to see gaming experiences get better with cloud-computing becoming part of UE4. Also, a sincere thanks for both studios' work done in partnership with MS Studios to build the cloud-powered technology in "Crackdown 3" from scratch.Work continues on "Crackdown 3" and is not impacted by this news. We look forward to sharing more on "Crackdown 3" and having fans get their hands on the game when it launches later this year.

In a blog post on Epic Games, the company hailed the acquisition of Cloudgine, noting a desire to bring the company's systems to Unreal Engine 4 itself, which powers many modern games.

Since its inception, Cloudgine's research and development has been based on Epic's Unreal Engine 4. Cloudgine's cloud computing and online technologies will enhance the UE4 feature set to help developers push the creative and technical limits of games, film, animation and visualization through advances in physics simulation and networking.

In Crackdown 3's multiplayer mode, you'll be able to destroy all of this.

In Crackdown 3's multiplayer mode, you'll be able to destroy all of this.

While Microsoft might have potentially lost a unique selling point with Crackdown 3 in the future, the prospect of cloud-powered physics making its way to more titles (including Epic Games' own Fortnite) in the future is an exciting one.

For those interested in the tech, all eyes will be on Crackdown 3 when it finally launches, to see how well this technology works in practice. We tried it out in closed conditions all the way back in 2015, and came away impressed, but will it work properly in your living room? Only time will tell.

We haven't seen much of Crackdown 3 following its delay into Spring 2018, but from conversations I've had with people familiar with the game's development, it sounds as though the game is coming along nicely. Until then, take a look at our Crackdown 3 campaign preview from last year's E3, and let us know your thoughts on this news in the comments.

Crackdown 3 is targeting a Spring 2018 launch for Xbox One and Windows 10, and you can pre-order it now for $59.99.

Hands-on with Crackdown 3

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Jez Corden is a Senior Editor for Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

12 Comments
  • The biggest criticism of Crackdown 3 was unfortunately the visuals. Here's hoping the One X version is going to look awesome, especially after the additional dev/polish time. Good on Cloudgine, hope they have a bright future!
  • the visuals are fine.  a cell shaded game is going to look like a cell shaded game.   Not photorealistic.  It's what Crackdown has always been and should be.    
  • Look, if you don't like cell shaded games then Crackdown isn't for you no amount of power will change that. Personally, I think most of the hatred towards Crackdown 3's visuals is coming from salty fanboys they just can't stand to see anything decent on Xbox it just kills them! 
  • If Cloudgine is set up to primarily use Azure as it's backend, this is only good for MS, as that being integrated into UE4 will greatly increase developer access/interest and funnel more devs toward Azure services.
  • seems like a missed opportunity for MS.  they should've had bought cloudengine and kept the "cloud" powered games exclusive to their platforms.
  • Cloudgine is powered by UE4 so either way it would have had outside dependencies.
  • still sounds like a better option for MS to buy CloudEngine and pay Epic for the unreal license and keep an advantage to their platform. Now, Epic can use any of MS competitor cloud platforms like AWS or Google and make a killing off CloudEngine by licensing it to Sony, Nintendo or other MS competitors.
  • But the backbone of the tech is still Havok + Azure right?
    The more enterprises use it (and it's irreplaceable + no 2nd option yet) / relay on the tech, the better for MS.
    Unreal uses Physx but I don't think Epic would have guts to replace Havok with Physx... it'd be a hard, long battle with unpredictable outcome. * Dunno about google but AWS has weak CPU...
    I'm no server side programmer so I dunno what grade of our machines are.
    But I've attended some meeting in the past, where we were dealing with outsourcing and overseas publishing. EXPENSIVE, is what I get from visitor's facial impression.
    However, we've gained more business partners and some of'em use AWS, to speed up the transition process... we tried AWS with some of our new projects... "CPU is weak" is what I get from our server guy.
  • I usually become extremely skeptical when a game's delayed like this (I'm definitely skeptical of We Happy Few even more now). I hope Crackdown 3 doesn't disappoint but I'll probably wait for reviews and not get it on launch day. 
  • Cuphead was sure worth the delays
  • Can't wait 😊
  • I really hope this game is good.