Developer Reagant Games and series creator Dave Jones are no longer working on Crackdown 3, according to Microsoft Studios head Matt Booty.
Booty confirmed with Polygon during E3 2018 that Sumo Digital is the only developer that Microsoft Studios is working with on Crackdown 3‘s development following Fortnite developer Epic Games’ acquisition of Jones’ Cloudgine, the cloud-based system that was supposed to power Crackdown 3‘s multiplayer-focused environmental destruction, back in January.
Prior to the acquisition, Jones was acting creative director at Reagant Games, the studio he founded, which was working in conjunction with Sumo Digital in developing the next game in the series that Jones created.
While Booty stated that destruction is “still a part” of Crackdown 3‘s multiplayer, he didn’t say exactly how the game would be powering that destruction. When asked if the developers were still using Cloudgine technology, Booty refused to “get into the actual technical breakdown,” saying that the developers have “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.”
If Crackdown 3‘s E3 2018 trailer is any indication, the development team is pivoting its focus away from destructibility and back towards what made the original game so fun, which was superpowered cops leaping from building to building, picking up trucks, and causing a lot of explosions.
This could also explain the game’s most recent delay from 2018 to February 2019. Epic acquired Cloudgine back in January 2018, and it’s possible that Microsoft Studios and Sumo Digital have been trying to figure out how to transfer all its hard development work on Cloudgine to another cloud server network. As Polygon points out, Microsoft has Azure, its own powerful cloud-computing service, but how well and easily work done for Cloudgine translates to Azure is unclear.
Crackdown 3 is launching for the Xbox One and PC in February 2019.