Crackdown creator David Jones on what his departure means for the franchise
"It was just the right thing to do at the right time," says Jones
Crackdown series creator David Jones has shed some light on what it means for the long-delayed third entry to the franchise following Epic Games' acquisition of Cloudgine.
Speculation abound following the news that Cloudgine, which provided cornerstone technology for the game's ambitious multiplayer destruction mode, had been sold and Jones would be leaving the Crackdown series along with it.
Rumours only worsened when Microsoft Studios head Matt Booty refused to confirm or deny the continued role of Cloudgine's tech in Crackdown 3.
"You know, I'm not going to get into the actual technical breakdown," he told Polygon during E3 this year. "Let's just say that we've got access to a great infrastructure, and the game's got some great tech in it, and we're going to put those two together in the way that makes the most sense."
However, speaking with GamesIndustry.biz at Gamelab Barcelona this week, Jones said the split means "not a lot basically".
Jones says that Cloudgine was there at the start to help build the cloud technology required to run the destruction physics but "now it's just the technology stack, it's pretty straightforward".
The status of Reagent Games -- founded by Jones and previously working on Crackdown 3 -- has also been gristle for the rumour mill.
Reagent went silent in January 2017, seemingly shuttered. Silence around a studio closure is not uncommon in the industry, with those responsible often stonewalling the issue in order to control the narrative. However, Jones claims that not the case with Reagent.
"I suppose it's because there just wasn't much to talk about... I don't think there's anything secretive there," he said. "Reagent was a very small number of people that came together to help out Crackdown, especially in the early days."
According to Jones, Reagent operated as a consultant company that was "there initially just to help get the project off the ground". He added that Sumo Digital has always been the main developer, that his role, and the role of Reagent, was to facilitate Sumo.
"Cloudgine was really there to help with technology and I was there really because I had been there for so long, so I was helping to find a direction for [Crackdown 3]."
Speaking of his decision to step away from Crackdown before the game went gold, Jones said it was "tough" but "was just the right thing to do at the right time".
"In an ideal world it could have been finished faster and I would have been able to see it through to the end," he said.
"But to be honest, I look back at other gaming franchises I've worked on and they've done really well without me being there as well, as long as the DNA is there and the right foundations are there."
GamesIndustry.biz is a media partners of the Gamelab conference. We have attended the show with the assistance of the organiser.