While not saying it has an offer to do Crackdown 2, Realtime Worlds says it is in "ongoing" discussions with Microsoft about the sequel. Rumors yesterday said startup studio Ruffian "may" be working on it.
In a statement to Videogaming247, Realtime Worlds boss Colin MacDonald said he "very much doubts that Microsoft would harm an otherwise fruitful existing development relationship by gambling on funding Crackdown 2 with a startup on [Realtime Worlds’] doorstep, for obvious reasons."
Furthermore, MacDonald said that while some staff had left to join/form Ruffian, the “vast majority of the Crackdown team remain at RTW," where they are at work on the Grand Theft Auto-style MMO APB and an “unannounced project that will cause quite a stir when unveiled.”
His full statement to Videogaming247:
I just wanted to correct the rumours today surrounding Crackdown. Although to date we haven’t had an offer from Microsoft for the Crackdown sequel rumoured, we continue to have ongoing discussions with them. In the unfortunate event that there isn’t an agreement with RTW reached, Dave said he would “be gutted not to be involved, but if it had to be that way, I would want to see it done justice – by an established, renowned developer that had the track record of delivering the quality gaming experience Crackdown players would demand.”
In any event, I also very much doubt that Microsoft would harm an otherwise fruitful existing development relationship by gambling on funding Crackdown 2 with a startup on RTW’s doorstep, for obvious reasons.
Regarding the rumoured RTW departures, we believe that maybe five or six ex-Realtime Worlds staff have been employed by Ruffian in recent weeks. Whilst we’re always sad to lose any member of the RTW family, fans should rest assured that the vast majority of the Crackdown team remain at RTW, and our 200+ talented individuals are working hard towards APB being one of the biggest launches of 2009, as well as on an unannounced project that will cause quite a stir when unveiled.
So, there you have it. Not confirmation that this is Realtime Worlds' project and not Ruffian's — more like a sense that it's nobody's project yet. Stay tuned.