Why ‘Crackdown 3’ Isn’t At E3 And Won’t Be Launching On Xbox One This Year

Crackdown 3 was showcased during last year’s Gamescom convention and was expected to be playable this summer for the Xbox One. The game, unfortunately, stood out on the missing list from Microsoft’s E3 2016 media briefing on Monday, leading to many questions. Creative Director Dave Jones provided an explanation via a post on the game’s official website.

Jones revealed the original plan to release a multiplayer Crackdown 3 demo to the Xbox One this summer has been scrapped. It will instead launch in 2017 for both the console and Windows 10 PC as part of Microsoft’s “Play Anywhere” program. This is the company’s new cross-platform initiative that will allow games to be purchased once and played on both platforms, with cross-platform play support.

It’s unclear if making Crackdown 3 a “Play Anywhere” title helped lead to its delay to 2017, Jones’ statement on the matter suggests there is quite a bit more work to do on the destructible open-world multiplayer game.

Crackdown 3 (Xbox One)
[Image via Crackdown]

Crackdown 3 is a game built for the future with a multiplayer experience that will redefine what it feels like to play games, and as we continue to work on this, it has become clear that our original timeline of delivering multiplayer to fans this summer, while maintaining the size, scope and quality of the game, would be challenging. Our top priority is to give gamers an experience they have never seen before at a scale never thought possible, and sticking to our original timeline would have compromised that goal,” Jones wrote.

“We know that many are looking forward to becoming Agents in Crackdown 3 and we are committed to delivering the best experience in 2017. This decision was made with our fans and their gaming experience in mind. While we won’t be at E3, we cannot wait to show you the future of Crackdown 3 soon,” the creative director concluded.

There is no indication yet if Crackdown 3 will be shown at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany, this August, but its absence and delay was noticeable during Microsoft’s E3 2016 presentation. The game is meant to be a showcase for utilizing cloud servers to help power in-game graphics and physics.

[Image via Crackdown]
[Image via Crackdown]

As explained last year, every building and object in Crackdown 3 has a physical structure that can be destroyed. Unlike most games that treat buildings as little more than backdrops, the Crackdown 3 buildings are designed with a steel superstructure, rooms, and even gas mains that can cause explosions.

Since everything has a physical presence, players can use guns to shoot holes through walls. This, in turn, creates small pieces of physical debris that fall to the ground. Players can pick up these pieces, according to Jones, presumably to use offensively or perhaps defensively depending on their size.

Normally, the level of destruction shown in Crackdown 3 would severely tax a console’s memory and compute power. Cloudgine has tapped into the Azure servers to add power as it is needed. You can see the destruction in different parts of the city being handled by different servers in the demonstration. The more destruction that happens, the more compute power and memory are drawn in dynamically from the cloud.

Last year’s demonstration during Gamescom was impressive, but it was little more than a technical demo for the destruction in Crackdown 3. There were no specific game mechanics, quests, or other plot implemented at the time. It will take some time to develop the content necessary to flesh out a full retail release, and thus the delay.

Crackdown 3 joins a growing list of Xbox One titles pushed to 2017, which includes Halo Wars 2.

What do you think of the delay of Crackdown 3? Sound off in the comments below.

[Image via Xbox]

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