Update: Microsoft has confirmed that fans of Crackdown 3's "signature antics and explosive gameplay" will have to wait until 2019 to experience both.
In a statement issued to Windows Central, the company described the fan response to the news of the delay as "incredible", and set February 2019 as Crackdown 3's latest launch period - "to ensure we deliver the experience they deserve." It also confirmed that the game would be included in the Xbox E3 Showcase on Sunday.
Original Story: Microsoft has reportedly pushed back Crackdown 3 into 2019, which would leave its first-party line-up for the remainder of the year looking thin.
The delay to Crackdown 3 was first revealed by Kotaku, but sources have since confirmed the delay to our sister site Eurogamer. The game was supposed to launch this year at an unspecified date, which was in turn a delay from an expected November 2017 launch.
In a statement in August last year, Xbox publishing GM Shannon Loftis said the delay into 2018 was taken to, "make sure to deliver the right game, with the right quality, and at the right time... Gamers can expect Crackdown 3 in Spring of 2018."
Crackdown 3 was announced at E3 back in 2014, when it was slated for 2016, and at least three studios have worked on it over the years: Ruffian Games, Reagent Games and Sumo Digital, which is making its campaign mode.
The delay leaves a significant hole in Microsoft first-party line-up for Xbox in 2018, which wasn't exactly generously stocked in the first place. When the GamesIndustry.biz team discussed E3 in a recent podcast, the need for Microsoft to prove that it remains a committed first-party publisher was one of the major talking points.
This year, Microsoft has published Sea of Thieves and State of Decay 2, neither of which was greeted by rapturous reviews.