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David Jones "miffed" at Microsoft's Ruffian decision

Wed 17 Jun 2009 9:38am GMT / 5:38am EDT / 2:38am PDT
Development

Realtime boss wishes Crackdown 2 team well, but regrets new competition for staff in Dundee

Realtime Worlds CEO, David Jones, has admitted to being "a bit miffed" with Microsoft over its decision to award production of the Crackdown sequel to Ruffian Games, a start-up in the same town that's already drawn away some of the company's staff.

Realtime, which is currently in full swing on production of APB for an "early 2010" release, has struggled slightly to fill its expanding workforce, and the effect of a new, potentially attractive developer on the doorstep is something that Jones is somewhat concerned about - even if he does wish the team success with the new title.

"The bottom line is that what we thought would happen is that a sequel would be done by a studio somewhere... maybe one of the internal studios, or others that they've worked with, and that would be the way it went forward," he explained.

"I think it was unfortunate that it had to be with a start-up in Dundee... it is challenging to get enough developers in one region as it is, so that was the only little big of negativity to the story.

"It's just one of those awkward moments. In terms of the franchise, as always - as with anything we've created - we're always keen to see it do great things. This is like a bump in the road... was there really no way it could have been done by one of the studios Microsoft shut down...?

"I was a bit miffed at Microsoft that it happened that way, but you live and learn," he added.

Jones also explained that Realtime had been all set to start work on Crackdown 2 in the months building up to the original game's release, but Microsoft dragged its feet on giving the project the green light, and so the developer had to set off in a new direction instead with APB.

"Well, obviously we created the original, and you want to be associated with success, so we want to see it go on and do great things," he said. "It has such a strong following now, but it was one of those products that came out of nowhere, and I think that was indicative of some of the problems in the industry before - Microsoft didn't quite know what it was, didn't quite know how to market it. It was one of those sandbox games, and I think the success caught Microsoft by surprise a little bit.

"We were always ready to start work on the sequel, and get cracking, but one of the big problems facing developers is that you have to know what you're working on about four or five months before your project ends - so at that point we tried to have a discussion, get things kicked off... but in the end we decided to plough ahead with APB."

The full interview with David Jones is available now.

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