The newest game in Microsoft's open-world crime series, Crackdown, has been in development for about a year, Xbox chief Phil Spencer told me during an interview here at E3.
It's early, but Spencer didn't want to have to keep quiet about it any longer. "Certain people say, 'Why do you announce it? It's not a game that you put a date on or anything?" Spencer said. "Some of it is around leaks and other things...I just hate this kind of sitting and hoping somebody isn't going to see and make a post [about it]. And Crackdown is one of those franchises that's been around Xbox for a while that people ask me about and I hate being evasive on the question. I figured it was time."
Spencer didn't have many details to share about the game yet, because, as he said, it's early.
He did explain that the game came about through conversations he had with original Crackdown creator Dave Jones (who'd previously been one of the lead creators on the earliest Grand Theft Auto games).
"Dave and I have know each other since Car Wars, the codename for the original Crackdown. We've stayed in touch since he went through APB and did that... His idea was that Crackdown was just a great game to ingest the cloud work he was doing in Cloudgine and he knew I wanted to do it."
Cloud-computing is the technique of using remote computers to calculate complex functions, sparing the local computer that you're using from having to do the heavy lifting.
Spencer: "[Jones'] idea was that Crackdown was just a great game to ingest the cloud work he was doing..."
Microsoft has been talking about cloud-computing as a technique to enhance Xbox One games since the console was first launched. What does that mean for Crackdown? Well, Spencer talked about a demo of some cloud-computed destruction that was shown at a recent Microsoft conference called Build. That demo, Spencer revealed, was really for Crackdown.