Crackdown 3 Was Delayed Multiple Times to “Meet the Expectations of That Franchise”

Crackdown 3 has been Microsoft’s white whale over these past few years. It was announced in 2014 then booted from of its original 2016 release date, then delayed out of 2017, and then finally pushed from of 2018. It currently is set to arrive in February 2019 (and is allegedly the final date) for the Xbox One and PC. Developer Sumo Digital is obviously aware of the optics on these endless delays and has gone into more detail of why it needed that extra time.

Speaking with GamesIndustry.biz, Managing Director at Sumo Digital Paul Porter detailed the stresses of making Crackdown 3 and the mystery surrounding it. It wasn’t at E3 2018, which was alarming given that it’s one of Microsoft’s big franchises. Porter explained that it was “because it’s been given the time it needs and warrants to meet the expectations of that franchise.”

“Franchise” probably points more to the original Crackdown over Crackdown 2. Crackdown 2 was widely considered a disappointment, whereas the first entry was a surprisingly good game that also happened to include a Halo 3 multiplayer beta code. Porter agrees with this sentiment, given his harsh words for the second game.

“I played the first one to death – played it in co-op, collected all the orbs,” he said. “After a couple of hours of playing Crackdown 2, I wanted to throw my controller at the TV, and I was really quite sad. That’s definitely not the route that’s been taken with Crackdown 3.”

Porter goes on to say that the best way to develop is to finish the game over and over again, which is what they are doing with Crackdown 3. The delays allow them to make a better game through experimenting with what works and the extra time gives them the polish to make those parts better. It’s simple, but worth iterating when your game has been in development almost a whole console cycle.

While we have to wait until February (or beyond) to see if Crackdown 3 will have noticeably benefited from these delays, it gives us an insight on how Sumo Digital might also be handling Dead Island 2. The Dead Island Twitter account confirmed in July 2018 it was still in development but its silence might also be part of their strategy of iterating until they feel it can live up to the franchise’s past. It’s worth noting that Sumo Digital is also currently working on Team Sonic Racing and helping IO Interactive with Hitman 2.