The drama over the developer in charge of the upcoming sequel to the open-world Crackdown 2 has been going on for some time now. While its easy to criticize the two developers and yell at them to stop arguing and start making more games, its also easy to see that each company has a good point.
On one hand, the original Crackdown developer, Realtime Worlds did a lot of the work. They created a new successful IP that, while somewhat lacking in story and artificial intelligence, was awesomely entertaining enough to get the thumbs up from most critics. Meanwhile, Ruffian is a recently founded studio that happens to be co-founded by the lead designer of Crackdown, Billy Thompson.
Recently, Microsoft’s Phil Spencer explained his reasons for choosing Ruffian over Realtime Worlds to work on the anticipated sequel, “Now, there will always be a bit of tension in that kind of situation, but I’ve since spoken to Dave [Jones, CEO of Realtime Worlds and creative director of Crackdown] and Ruffian have turned themselves into a fully-staffed self-sustained studio. And they have the same design and technical people that worked on Crackdown – with that team in place it meant the time was right for Crackdown 2.”
In other words, Ruffian is a legit studio and a bunch of their guys made Crackdown successful, ‘so sorry Dave, but we’re going to make a change.’ Spencer had a tough decision to make and he went with the guy who he trusted would do a better job. Dave Jones will be understandably upset for a little while, but we all hope he gets over it and produces another great game.