VG247 has is on good authority that Microsoft is funding Scottish start-up Ruffian Games specifically to develop Crackdown 2.
We've been told this morning that a significantly-sized group of people resigned from Realtime Worlds approximately two weeks ago to form the new company.
Realtime Worlds has steadfastly refused this morning to give any information on the individuals that left.
A spokesperson told us on the phone that doing so would be "against the data protection act," and declined to comment in any way.
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.
Why Microsoft has decided to go it alone on the sequel is unknown.
The news is no real surprise. Microsoft dropped a heavy hint recently that something was moving forward with a much-wanted sequel, with Xbox Live’s director of programming, Larry Hryb telling MGS boss Phil Spencer in a podcast, “I’m here to tell you on behalf of the community, I want - we need - another Crackdown.
“That’s all I’m going to say, so you don’t have to confirm for deny anything. I’m just saying we want it.”
Spencer replied: “Yes, Crackdown’s one of my favourites. I’ll leave it at that.”
Microsoft UK was unavailable for comment at the time of writing.
Crackdown 2! We are, quite literally, living the dream.