Microsoft is delaying the release of Crackdown 3 from Nov. 7, 2017, to spring 2018, the company confirmed to Polygon today.
Shannon Loftis, Microsoft Studios Publishing general manager, said the company is delaying the Xbox One and Windows PC game to give development teams Reagent Games, Sumo Digital and Cloudgine extra time to ensure a quality experience.
“We’re very excited about Crackdown 3, and so are many fans, and so it’s a difficult call to move the release date,” Loftis said in an email interview with Polygon. “However, we want to make sure to deliver the right game, with the right quality, and at the right time. Crackdown 3 is a hugely ambitious game and we want to ensure we deliver the right experiences all the way through every part of the game, whether that’s campaign, co-op multiplayer or our competitive multiplayer mode, Wrecking Zone. Getting the balance right between the three modes is important, and we are going to take the extra development time to ensure that. Gamers can expect Crackdown 3 in Spring of 2018.”
Crackdown 3 was originally announced at E3 2014 and was, at one point, targeting a release in the second half of 2016. It’s clearly a complex project, one that has evolved since its unveiling, and Crackdown fans have learned to be patient waiting for it to come out.
“Crackdown 3 is an incredibly ambitious project that pushes the technological envelope with immersive true 4K gameplay, cloud-computing competitive multiplayer and a sprawling and futuristic open world,” Loftis said when asked about the challenges the development teams have faced over the years. “The team has been working extremely hard to deliver a great experience for fans and this extra time will help us do just that.”
One aspect of Crackdown 3 that’s getting some attention during the extra development time is the game’s visual presentation, which received some criticism after its showing at E3 2017 in June.
“What we showed at E3 was a preview of the game, and is a great indicator of the level of mayhem and vertical platforming action you can expect from Crackdown 3,” Loftis said. “Among other items, we are taking the extra time to focus on the visual polish so gamers can feel completely immersed in a living world. We want them to really feel the larger-than life enemies as they’re exploring the expansive open world, combatting crime and collecting orbs.”
Crackdown 3 was previously scheduled to launch the same day that Microsoft’s new console, Xbox One X, hits stores. I asked Loftis about the gap that Crackdown 3’s delay now leaves in the Xbox One X launch lineup, and she emphasized the long list of platform exclusives and titles that will be enhanced by the more powerful Xbox One hardware arriving later this year.
“The Xbox One X launch lineup will be one of the greatest lineups of games ever available with a major new console release,” Loftis said. “Not only are there several new Xbox exclusives such as Forza Motorsport 7, Cuphead, Super Lucky’s Tale, and the console launch exclusive PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, there is an incredible list of titles coming this holiday including Middle-earth: Shadow of War, Assassin’s Creed Origins, Call of Duty: WWII, Star Wars Battlefront II, Destiny 2, and more — with many of these titles enhanced to play better on Xbox One X. With so many great exclusives and new games to play, Crackdown 3 would have shipped into an incredibly crowded market.
“I’m proud of the progress and dedication the Crackdown 3 team has shown and their deep passion and love for this IP. We think it deserves the time we’re giving it, we think our partners deserve the extra time, to ensure we deliver the experience that Crackdown fans deserve. We hope they love it as much as we do.”