The Xbox One X will be a tough sell this holiday, as Crackdown 3 was going to be its biggest game.
Long-awaited sequel Crackdown 3 was scheduled to launch alongside the new Xbox One X console on November 7, but the game appears to need more time in the oven. On Wednesday, Microsoft announced it delayed the open-world action game into spring 2018, making its exclusives library look particularly thin this year.
“We want to make sure to deliver the right game, with the right quality, and at the right time,” Microsoft Studios Publishing general manager Shannon Loftis told Polygon. “Crackdown 3 is a hugely ambitious game and we want to ensure we deliver the right experiences all the way through every part of the game, whether that’s campaign, co-op multiplayer or our competitive multiplayer mode, Wrecking Zone.”
Crackdown 3 is currently being developed by several different studios, with each handling a different part of the game. Sumo Digital, a studio known for Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed and LittleBigPlanet 3, is handling the campaign portion of the game, while Reagent Games and Cloudgine are responsible for the multiplayer mode. The latter two studios were founded by original Crackdown director David Jones.
Loftis added that Crackdown 3 “pushes the technological envelope with immersive true 4K gameplay, cloud-computing competitive multiplayer, and a sprawling and futuristic open world.”
The game’s environmental destruction has been its main selling point thus far. In the open-world multiplayer modes, you are free to annihilate just about any building or structure you come across, and individual bullet holes are left in walls after you fire your weapon. This is made possible through cloud computing, but the same features are not present in the game’s campaign, apparently to keep the difficulty balanced during missions.
With Crackdown 3 delayed, Microsoft is only left with one big exclusive this holiday, Forza Motorsport 7. Long-delayed indie game Cuphead will also arrive later this year, but it will be challenging for the company to demonstrate the value of the Xbox One X with so few first-party games to play on the console. Thus far in 2017, the biggest exclusive for Microsoft platforms is Halo Wars 2, a real-time strategy game developed by Creative Assembly. While its campaign mode helped to push the series’ complex story forward, it was quite short and lacked the depth of other real-time strategy games.