Ahead of its big E3 2018 showcase this Sunday, Microsoft has confirmed a report from Kotaku that Crackdown 3 has been delayed to February of next year. The game, the third in the open-world crime-fighting franchise, has been stuck in a troubled development cycle for years, with rumors swirling of late that it may have been on track to be canceled or that it might linger in development hell for years to come. Back in August of last year, Microsoft put its release date as the second or third quarter of 2018, after two prior delays. The previous Crackdown game came out in 2010, and the new title is being made by British developers Reagent Games and Sumo Digital.
Yesterday, Kotaku reported that publisher Microsoft Studios had pushed the game to 2019. Microsoft has now confirmed the report with a statement issued to Windows Central:
Our fans’ response to the signature antics and explosive gameplay of Crackdown 3 has been incredible. To ensure we deliver the experience they deserve, Crackdown 3 will be launching in Feb 2019. We look forward to sharing more on Crackdown 3 this Sunday during the Xbox E3 2018 briefing.
We don’t know if Microsoft had planned to reveal Crackdown 3’s revised release date at its annual Xbox press conference on Sunday. But it’s likely the company was forced to issue a statement because of Kotaku’s reporting, which would have overshadowed any glossy press conference presentation of the game at E3. We’ll still likely get to see a hands-on demo and perhaps a new trailer, but now we all know that the game is going to stay cooking for just a little while longer.
Frankly, that’s good news. Microsoft is in desperate need of exclusive games to rival Sony’s impressive PlayStation 4 lineup. Right now, in addition to game-of-the-year contenders like Horizon Zero Dawn and the new God of War, the PS4 library looks like it will only continue to improve with the addition of Hideo Kojima’s new game Death Stranding, the new Spider-Man title from Insomniac, and a potential FromSoftware sequel to Bloodborne. But Microsoft won’t be doing itself any favors by rushing out a game like Crackdown 3. It’s one of the few titles that Xbox One owners can get excited about beyond the core Halo, Forza, and Gears franchises, and Microsoft wants it to be a testament to the Xbox One X’s superior performance benefits.