“I want to see another Crackdown”: Ruffian producer reflects on sequel’s legacy

By Dave Cook
24 February 2014 11:24 GMT

Crackdown 3 may or may not be a thing that’s launching in 2016, but the second game’s producer James Cope has reflected on how the title’s legacy has stuck with the team since it launched, and has allegedly clouded the studio’s most-recent project Game of Glens.


Game of Glens appeared in the first wave of Square Enix Collective projects, a platform that sees the public voting for games they want to see supported and released alongside the publisher. The other two games; World War Machine and Moon Hunters both received up votes of 90% and 83% respectively, while Game of Glens received 39%.

Now, speaking with Eurogamer, Cope has suggested that the studio’s tenure with Crackdown is part of the problem.

Cope explained that Game of Glens received backlash because it simply wasn’t Crackdown, a game many people are still shouting our for.

“Yes, there was a backlash to begin with,” he began, “and we struggled to get over that backlash, but fair enough. That’s what fans are like. In some ways I agree with them. I want to see another Crackdown as well. I really do.”

When asked to comment on Crackdown 2’s difficult development, with it’s harsh deadlines and mounting expectations from the fan base, Cope replied, “It was a real shame with Crackdown 2. It was such a mixed reception. It was a hard development for us, but we’re really proud of it. I can’t describe how much we put into that game and how hard we worked for it.

“The fact it came out at all was a miracle. When you see a team working to get something done like that, it really is the best thing about games, even though it’s unbelievably hard work and pretty much damaging to your health and sanity. Do we wish it would have been better? Yeah, of course we do. We’d happily do more to make that game a bigger success….”

Since Crackdown 2 launched, the team has been chipping in with a range of projects, but producing little of its own. It’s a way of keeping the company afloat, and is similar to how Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition team 4J Studios operates. It has several ports under its belt but little in the way of new IP. Just as many studios do, Cope is keen to see Ruffian escape Crackdown 2’s shadow on its own terms.

“Honestly,” he stressed, “the only way we can break free from that legacy is to make more better games. Let’s be clear about this: I don’t think Game of Glens is the one that’s going to shed our legacy. It’s a different game. It’s something we’re intentionally trying that’s a bit different. It’s an experiment for us. It’s a game we really believe in. It’s a fun game. The prototype is multiplayer and we have a lot of fun with it to the point of shouting at each other across the office and calling each other names.

“It’s that sort of tense game. It’s a lot of strategic fun and you can have a lot of lunch-time gaming fun with it. But it’s not the game that’s going to transform the legacy of the studio. I’m being brutally honest here. As much as I like it, it doesn’t appeal to the same market. It’s not the same audience of gamers that are going to play that game that play Crackdown.”

What do you make of Crackdown 2’s legacy? Let us know below.

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