First planned for November 2017, then delayed to 2018, the long-troubled open-world action game Crackdown 3 will now be out in 2019, according to two people familiar with the game’s release plans. It’s an unusual move and another blow to Xbox’s already weak first-party lineup for the rest of 2018.
The third Crackdown game, developed by the British studio Sumo Digital among other companies, was first announced at E3 in 2014. Last year, Microsoft said Crackdown 3 would come out alongside the Xbox One X on November 7, 2017. A polarizing showing at E3 2017 and some severe development struggles led Microsoft to delay the game, first to a vague “spring 2018" window, and now to next year, said those two sources, speaking anonymously so as to protect their careers.
Xbox’s first-party slate has been spotty in recent years, with the company announcing several games that never came to fruition, including Scalebound, Fable Legends, and a remake of Phantom Dust. With Crackdown 3, sources said, the publisher hopes to give the development team the time it needs to avoid yet another disaster. Plus, there’s that lil’ old Western this fall that every other video game publisher wants to stay as far away from as possible.
Although the Xbox One did get two big first-party games in 2018—Sea of Thieves and State of Decay 2—Microsoft’s lineup for the rest of the year is thin. Fans had been hoping for something like Crackdown 3 to round out the second half of 2018. We’ll have to wait for the company’s E3 press conference this Sunday to see what else Xbox One owners can expect this year.
Microsoft did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
[Update - 5:55pm 6/7/18]: A spokesperson for Microsoft confirmed Crackdown 3 is now planned to release in February of next year, passing along the following statement:
“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.”