Exclusive: Realtime Worlds confirms “ongoing” Crackdown 2 discussions with Microsoft

By Patrick Garratt, Friday, 19 December 2008 21:21 GMT

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In a statement issued exclusively to VG247, Realtime Worlds studio head Colin MacDonald has confirmed the developer is in “ongoing” discussions with Microsoft regarding Crackdown 2.

His comments came after it was rumoured today that Microsoft was funding Ruffian Games – a new, Dundee-based firm partially formed of ex-members of Realtime Worlds – specifically to develop a Crackdown sequel.

MacDonald added that while an offer to develop a second game hadn’t been made to Realtime Worlds, he “very much” doubts “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.”

Realtime Worlds boss and GTA creator Dave Jones told us that he’d be “gutted” not be involved with Crackdown 2’s development, “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.”

MacDonald also confirmed that “five or six” staff had left to join Ruffian, as was rumoured this morning, but that the “vast majority of the Crackdown team remain at RTW” working on APB and an “unannounced project that will cause quite a stir when unveiled.”

The existence of Ruffian came to light this morning after this Flickr set emerged of members of the fledgling firm look at office space in Dundee.

Crackdown lead designer Billy Thomson is involved with Ruffian, as is Xen Group long-timer, Gaz Liddon. Xen provided physics, art and other resources for the original game.

The full statement, emailed from MacDonald, is published below.

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.

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