Crackdown 3 won't allow you to play with friends in Wrecking Zone multiplayer (update)

Microsoft's next in-house Xbox exclusive, Crackdown 3, is soon headed to Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs. With its slated February 15 release fast approaching, its debut marks the end of a lengthy development, tied to its ambitious cloud-backed action-adventure gameplay.

The highlight of Crackdown 3 is its "Wrecking Zone," hosting five-versus-five multiplayer battles, with physics backed by Microsoft's cloud technologies. However, new details have surfaced via the game's official Discord, now a cause of concern among its community.

As spotted on the Crackdown 3 Discord channel (via Reddit), Microsoft's official "MSFT Crackdown" account has provided further insight into its multiplayer mode. With players unable to play with friends during its pre-release tests, it has confirmed Crackdown 3 will also not support friend parties at launch.

No. Wrecking Zone does not support parties and will not at launch.

MSFT Crackdown later stated it has no information on if or when parties will be implemented.

Parties are not supported in Wrecking Zone. I don't have any info on if/when they might be implemented.

For a title heavily dependent on its multiplayer ambitions, a lack of multiplayer parties proves controversial in 2019. It's a common multiplayer feature for Xbox One titles, bound to cause confusion and frustration on launch day. In the meantime, players will have to seemingly rely on the game's randomized matchmaking or two-player campaign.

Updated February 11, 2019: Microsoft Studios Senior Creative Director, Joe Staten, has confirmed a lack of friend support at launch, recommending players "stay tuned" for post-launch plans. Thanks for the tip, @woelfel.

Updated February 12, 2019: Crackdown 3's official Twitter account confirmed that party lobbies will arrive in a "post launch" title update, although no time frame was offered.

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It's unclear why Microsoft overlooked multiplayer parties in Crackdown 3 when already struggling to gain traction ahead of release. Speculatively, latency issues may sprout with cloud-backed physics over distance, limiting players geographically as a result. Alternatively, this could be a simple oversight amid numerous delays since 2014.

For more thoughts on Crackdown 3, don't miss our hands-on preview from early February. Crackdown 3 is now available for preorder ahead of its February 15, 2019 release. While priced at $60 (opens in new tab), Xbox Game Pass members can play on launch day for $10 per month (opens in new tab).

Crackdown 3 preview: Early impressions of Microsoft's next Xbox exclusive

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Matt Brown is Windows Central's Senior Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.

  • Probably Result of the big split with Cloudgine as well. The team had to focus on avoiding another delay so much and wanted wrecking zone to be finished. I hate to see any kind of development impacted like that.
  • Just one word. Pathetic!
  • Its only pathetic when u don't understand how much work goes into working with Azure. First game that works with separate region connections next to XBL, so nobody has done it before. Next to all the delays and Cloudgine splitting.. The remaining team has every reason to not have it at launch and time to figure it out.
  • You're an apologist, stop excusing the lack of basic features. Imagine if a Halo game launched like this?
  • You're missing the point of this tech by a landslide. If the tech does not work with players whom span great distances then the ability to party play with a friend thousands of miles is not an option. This isn't a "basic feature" when it comes down to cloud computing.
  • Then maybe they shouldn't be using cloud computing, if they haven't managed to work it out in five years, maybe, just maybe, it's not the right avenue to take and they should go back to tech that works.
  • We'd never innovate with that kind of logic. At some point you have to try to make it work and start somewhere.
  • Or get someone with more experience to do it instead.
  • @Real
    Well, maybe they shouldn't have hyped this tech 5-6 years back if they were not ready. It just a way to mislead people into buying the early XB1.
    You remember 2013? How they hyped kinect 2.0 and the power of the CLOUD to sell the console? When we look back it just looks ridiculous and they were clearly misleading people by feeding us with bs.
  • No, I'm not as evidenced by the fact this feature is coming post launch.
  • I get the feeling the people who complained about this probably weren't even going to get the game in the first place.
  • I get the feeling the people who defend this are just MS/XB "fans" who will defend the company they worship no matter what.
    And they only defend this because it's made by MS/XB.
  • I don't necessarily see this as a huge issue, as long as they add it sometime in the near future. This isn't a deal breaker for me, because I don't play in parties often. However, having the ability to remain in a randomly created party would be nice. Sometimes, you end up with pretty good teammates and want to play through a few rounds with them. Most multi-player games seem to focus on random parties, despite having the option to party up with friends or other players. So, I don't think this will be that jarring to players, if the game play is engaging and fun.
  • I can understand the backlash on this one but it's not a dealbreaker for me.
  • This is a deal-breaker for me. Being able to play with friends and family is really the only reason why I continue to play team-vs-team games. With the drought MS is in regarding exclusives I would think they would include everything possible to gain traction and save face. This will be picked up by other sites and the game community will laugh in unison. Embarrassing.
  • I am with you on this one. I am still very much looking forward to Crackdown, as I don't play much in parties. But being able to play with your friends in MP is standard now and something that there is no excuse having in 2019. Well hopefully MS will get their act together and get this in the game asap. Well the fan boys will have fun with this one today and really no way to defend this decision.
  • Glad it will be included in Gamepass, 15 hours of campaign, and then ignored.. oh well
  • OK, do they have split screen for local multiplayer (even if the game is cloud based multiplayer? I don't know, but not likely since most Microsoft Studio Games have not done so in the last couple of years. So, now even purchasing 2 consoles and TV's will not allow me and my son to play Crackdown 3 together? What are they trying to do, make people not play with people they know? Is that a goal?
  • sony thinks gamers don't like playing old games
    Microsoft thinks gamers don't like playing with old friends
    it's all about new experiences and letting go of the past
  • Rmark666, The Crackdown games have never supported split screen multiplayer, they have only had system link, and online. So unfortunately you're going to have to get yourself a 2nd console if you wish to play with your son.
  • Nah, won't be split screen.
  • Doing something new like Azure intigration is bound to cause unforseen issue. I'm OK with them fixing it post-launch. I want to go Orb hunting ASAP.
  • It's not like they haven't had nearly five years to get this game out or anything. Given the excessive delays, and now releasing missing expected features, it makes me wonder whether Azure integration is even worth it.
  • Without Azure integration the destruction physics wouldnt be possible.
  • What are they doing? This is supposed to be a first party game, shouldn't this be a part of the Xbox SDK for easy implementation? Whatever the reason, this is inexcusable. A big part of multiplayer games is the ability to play with friends.
  • Crackdown sucks, that's the bottom line
  • This game will get a 7/10
  • Yeah, I'm expecting it to be around a 6-7.
  • Regardless of the reason, good or not, it just looks bad, especially for a game that's been hyped this much but it still appears to be a glorified tech demo.
  • I played the Wrecking Zone tech demo over the weekend. It was a lot of fun. Much more fun than I had anticipated in fact. The development team is taking a lot of heat over not having day one friend invites. They get a pass from me for 3 reason. 1) I had zero interest in multi-player to begin with until I actually tried it. It's fun. 2) This cloud power thing is unchartered territory. They actually made good on their promise. 3) I loved the first Crackdown, and this game looks like the game that I wanted the sequal to be. I'm over the moon that Microsoft didn't give up on the game.
  • THIS is the day it's coming out, no more push backs, still have something pending? Get it out later, we can't wait, play the damn thing already! Here we are, The LONE Rangers..?
  • I think this was just a HUGE oversight on the lead's fault. This shows the lack of direction the game had during its development. Talk about an oops moment.
  • This is ridiculous. MS's communication for me has been really bad and misleading.
    This game was announced in 2014 and for years Crackdown used to be in the list of FP games coming soon. Since 2015, whenever I have a discussion with a XB/MS fan about exclusives, Crackdown 3 almost always gets mentioned. Even MS people like Greenberg used to constantly hype Crackdown 3. 2015
    2018 They showed off some tech demo in 2015 and talked of 100% fully destructible city but at the end we get a very restricted map. The destruction is laughable and looks nothing like what they showed in 2015.
    5v5 and it won't support a basic feature like friend parties at launch.
    And that's not even talking about the obvious downgrade.
  • They should have delayed this until it was upto par, smells like an fiscal decision to regain some ROI sooner than later.