Crackdown 3 has become a bit of a notorious project for Microsoft and its partners, Sumo Digital. Announced several years back, Crackdown 3 made headlines for its absolutely insane cloud-driven destruction physics, which we saw ourselves in motion at Gamescom 2015. Since then, the project has been relatively quiet.
Previews at E3 a couple of years ago were met with mixed responses, and there has been various rumors about the game being in a difficult place. A few weeks ago, Microsoft confirmed to us that Crackdown 3 would be delayed one final time to February 2019, sharing a launch window with stiff competition from Metro Exodus and EA's "Destiny killer" Anthem.
In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Sumo Digital's Managing Director Paul Porter outlined some of the challenges the company has faced while tasked with working on Crackdown 3, as it enters the final phase of development.
Discussing Sumo's position as lead developer, rather than contributing developer, Porter noted that Sumo isn't used to being in the spotlight. Porter also discussed how the delay(s) on Crackdown 3 have helped elevate the game's quality, and ensure it has the levels of polish expected of an Xbox core "AAA" franchise, stating "(Crackdown 3 has) been given the time it needs and warrants to meet the expectations of that franchise."
"Yes, we've been working with Turn 10 and Playground for a long time on the Forza franchise, doing lots of stuff in the background, but we don't need to be going around shouting about it. At the end of the day, it's their IP, it's their crown jewel. They can shout about it - we're just happy to have the opportunity to work on such well-received games."
"I think that's why we struggle sometimes when we are the lead developer, because we're not used to being the ones shouting about it. We're used to being the ones working quietly in the background."
Porter describes being a fan of the original Crackdown, but also his desire to avoid comparisons to Crackdown 3, which was poorly received by fans and critics. He goes on to state that Sumo aims to waylay criticisms by "making a good game," completing the title over and over to readdress feedback and make improvements. Indeed, we've heard from our own sources that new dialogue and additional polish for the game's coveted cloud-based destruction multiplayer is still finding its way into the game, even at this late stage.
Few are expecting Crackdown 3 to be an instant classic, but it will remain a lesson for Microsoft to manage expectations, particularly in regards to when a game is announced and previewed, to when it is released. Crackdown 3 has slipped out of the consciousness of many Xbox fans and the gaming world at large, but if Sumo Digital achieves its goals, perhaps it can earn some of that attention back and defy some of the naysayers out there. Be sure to read the full interview right over here.
Crackdown 3 launches on February 28, 2019, for Xbox One and Windows 10 PC.
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