Despite a new trailer at the Xbox E3 2018 event and a steadily approaching release date, Crackdown 3 remains a puzzlement after years of delays. Another wrinkle was added today: Reagent Games and series creator Dave Jones are no longer working on the project, and the former seems to have gone silent entirely.
In an interview with Polygon, Microsoft Studios head Matt Booty confirmed that Microsoft is no longer partnering with either, and is instead working only with Sumo Digital.
A studio leaving a project with multiple developers isn't especially shocking, particularly for a game that's had as many bumps in the road as Crackdown 3. What's weird is that Reagent Games seems to have shuttered entirely. The company's Twitter account hasn't posted since January 2017, the official website is gone, and the company has only three employees listed on LinkedIn, two of whom recently listed new jobs on top of Reagent. A search for past employees reveals that the studio saw multiple departures toward the end of last year. Several followed Reagent founder and studio director Dave Jones to Epic Games (where he currently works as director of cloud strategy) as it acquired his other company, Cloudgine, this past January.
Speaking of Cloudgine, Booty refused to confirm or deny the status of its involvement in Crackdown 3. Cloudgine technology was originally a major selling point for Crackdown 3's multiplayer mode, allowing for precise, dramatic destruction physics.
As of the Epic Games acquisition in January, Cloudgine had stated it was still working on Crackdown 3, and the company website still lists the game. But when asked directly what Jones' departure meant for Cloudgine, Booty told Polygon he didn't want to "get into the actual technical breakdown."
It's possible that Microsoft could use its own cloud tools for ths Destruction Mode, though the E3 2018 trailer for the game was notably light on demolition of any kind. What any of this means for the end result of the oft-delayed Crackdown 3 is still a mystery, especially as the game seemed to be conspicuously absent from the actual Xbox E3 exhibition floor at the Microsoft Theater.