When Microsoft finally unveiled last week that a new Crackdown is in the works, you may have noticed it was never referred to as Crackdown 3. That's due in part to Microsoft Studios boss Ken Lobb disliking that naming convention, and partially because of what the new Crackdown is.
"You can blame me for 20 percent of that," Lobb told Eurogamer regarding the new game not being called Crackdown 3. "I don't like X game number seven. It's a good idea sometimes to have a game with a subtitle. But some games, and Crackdown is a perfect example, is it really 3? It is the future. This is a different place, long after the original game. But is it 2? Is it a different universe than 2? Yeah, it's kind of a sequel to 1. It's Crackdown."
When it was released in 2007, Crackdown made a splash thanks to its incredibly entertaining, superhero-esque take on open-world action games (and it didn't hurt that it was bundled with access to the Halo 3 beta). Crackdown 2 followed in 2010, but whereas Realtime Worlds had created the first game, the sequel was developed by Ruffian Games. Despite being quite similar to its predecessor, it was not as well-received, and the series hadn't been seen since--although we have been getting hints that a new Crackdown could be released for some time now.
"Crackdown is my favorite game of all time," Lobb said. "I absolutely love Crackdown 1. I just love it. I've known Dave [Jones, director of Crackdown] forever. I worked with him when I was at Nintendo. When I first came to Microsoft they'd already signed Crackdown. I was like, perfect, I know Dave. So, we took a while and made Crackdown 1. Crackdown 2 we kinda rushed. Sorry. I liked it. It wasn't Crackdown 1."
Jones (with Realtime Worlds) went on to develop APB after the first Crackdown, but Lobb says the two stayed in touch. "We've always wanted to redo it, and he finally got together with these guys and we were like, okay, great, awesome. Then Phil [Spencer, Xbox boss] started Tweeting and wearing T-shirts," Lobb said.
Little is known about the new Crackdown at this point, save for the fact that it will offer a co-op campaign, online multiplayer, and destructible environments. We may have already unknowingly gotten a look at the latter, as a tech demo Microsoft used to show off its Azure cloud servers reportedly shows some of the technology that will be put to use in the new open-world game.