Recently, Xbox marketing manager Aaron Greenberg said open-world game Crackdown 3 is coming in 2017 because the company's holiday 2016 lineup was so stuffed with great games that it didn't need more. Now, another high-profile Microsoft executive has spoken about the Xbox One and PC game's delay, saying it's partially the result of the campaign not being ready.
"Development has been going incredibly well," Microsoft Studios general manager Shannon Loftis told Game Informer. "To be honest, because we obviously have this Crackdown online mode and then we also have the traditional Crackdown campaign, which has multiplayer online. But we want to launch our online beta so that it's not too far in advance of the complete campaign. It's actually the campaign that we're doubling down on now.
"We've got internal play sessions every week for Crackdown online. We're starting now to get the campaign in," she added. "Building these open world games is both challenging and a blast, because you have to build all of the systems that interact together. Before you get to the point where you can actually experience what the game feels like and can start building your missions and telling your stories."
Loftis went on to say that Crackdown 3's campaign will be worth the wait. It is the "most fully featured campaign we've ever done," she said. Of course, some of the those features involve big-time destruction.
"Depending on what you choose to destroy in the environment, there will be massive, big reactions all over the city," she said. "Gangs will get together against you. This is the first time we've ever had something like that."
While players may have to wait a while longer for Crackdown 3 (the game, or at least a part of it, was previously expected to launch in 2016), Loftis said she is "proud of giving developers the time they need."
Appearing on the TXR Podcast last week, Greenberg said Microsoft has so many other great games coming this year (not to mention third-party games) that he's happy to see the game land in 2017 rather than be "crammed" into 2016.
"We don't need the game this year," he said. "We've got ReCore, we've got Forza Horizon 3, we've got Gears of War 4, we've got Dead Rising 4 -- just on the stuff we're publishing before you get to all the great third-party titles. We have a great partnership with EA around Madden, around Battlefield."
"We've been more thoughtful about spreading out our titles over the next year; not cramming them all into [the holiday season]," Greenberg added. "Giving people time to play games; to have time and money to be able to go buy the next game. When we look at that [holiday 2016] window of time, we sure didn't need another big AAA game, and so we'd rather give the team time and bring that out sometime next year."
When the delay was announced in June, Reagent Games creative director Dave Jones said the team realized it couldn't deliver on the schedule it had previously set for itself.
"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," Jones said at the time. "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."
Crackdown 3's multiplayer component was expected to be out sometime in 2016. We'll now be waiting until 2017 for Crackdown 3, although it's unclear if we'll only be seeing the multiplayer component then or the full game.
It was confirmed at E3 that Crackdown 3 is coming to both Xbox One and PC. Additionally, a teaser site for the game popped up in June and seemed to suggest a beta was on the way, but there has been no official word on this.