During their Xbox E3 2018 Briefing, Microsoft unleashed a new trailer Crackdown 3 trailer packed with swagger, explosions, and Terry Crews one-liners, but one of the most interesting moments came near the beginning, when only a single developer, Sumo Digital, was listed.
Previously, Crackdown 3 was being developed by a team of four studios, including Reagent Games (multiplayer design), Cloudgine (cloud tech), Ruffian Games (MP support), and Sumo Digital (single-player campaign), but the game underwent a major development shakeup last year, and it seems Sumo is the only dev left standing. Polygon asked Microsoft Studios head Matt Booty about the situation, and he confirmed the publisher is “just working with Sumo Digital right now.”
Both Reagent Games and Cloudgine were founded by Crackdown series creator and director David Jones, but Cloudgine was purchased by Fortnite-publisher Epic Games earlier this year. This led to the shutdown of Reagent as Jones opted to dedicate his full time to the Epic-owned Cloudgine. Jones/Reagent and Cloudgine were working on an innovative multiplayer mode for Crackdown 3, that was said to use cloud processing to track real-time, persistent explosions and destruction. So, is the cloud-powered multiplayer mode dead? Not necessarily says Booty…
“[Multiplayer] is still part of [Crackdown 3]. You know, we’re super lucky as part of Microsoft that we get to work so closely with the Xbox platform team, that the cloud shows up in all of our games in pretty exciting ways. […] We’ve got access to a great infrastructure, and the game’s got some great tech in it, and we’re going to put those two together in the way that makes the most sense.”
Sounds like multiplayer is still happening, but the cloud-powered stuff is now up in the air. Honestly, it was never entirely clear how the cloud-based destruction was supposed to work and, based on Crackdown 3’s long, tortured development cycle, it seems the makers of the game weren’t sure either.
Crackdown 3 leaps onto PC and Xbox One on February 22, 2019.