Update: Microsoft confirms Crackdown 3 releases in February 2019.
It looks like Sumo Digital's Crackdown 3 won't be releasing in 2018 as planned. This isn't the first time that the third Crackdown title has been delayed. It was originally set to release alongside the Xbox One X last year, but it was pushed to a 2018 release in August, just a few months before it was supposed to finally hit consoles.
It seems like developer Sumo Digital has ran into additional development setbacks, which will certainly hurt Microsoft's planned games lineup for the rest of the year. At the moment, Microsoft Studios has been slacking with regards to first-party exclusive games, so it's a wonder what Microsoft Studios has up their sleeves for E3 this year if Crackdown 3 is being delayed.
According to a report from Kotaku's Jason Schreier, the open-world action game Crackdown 3 has once again been pushed back, this time into 2019. This news comes just days before Microsoft's E3 2018 press conference, where it was expected that the sequel would play a major role. As to why the Microsoft exclusive was reportedly delayed again, it's said that Microsoft wants to give Sumo Digital the time they need to make the game great, as they can't afford to have it be a disappointment for the company.
The decision couldn't have been an easy move to make for Microsoft. Not only was Crackdown 3 the most highly anticipated game for the year that Microsoft currently has announced, but it was already pushed back a considerable amount in the past. Considering the company already released Sea of Thieves and State of Decay 2 this year, there's not much left on the docket.
Of course, Microsoft will look to rejuvenate their lineup at E3 2018, but they'll need to have some major announcements in their pocket in order to shift public perception about the Xbox One. It's rumored that there are three separate Gears of War games (with one allegedly being a Battle Royale title that could make some serious waves) in development, alongside a new Halo release (now rumored to be titled Halo Infinity), so these reveals could certainly soften the blow of Crackdown 3 not coming out later this year. Either way, it's clear that they need some major hitters to come out sooner rather than later or the company's reputation will continue to be dragged down by disappointing delays and cancellations.
Still, it's a major blow for Microsoft. The company has developed a reputation of announcing games and not delivering upon them. In recent years they've announced and then canceled several high-profile releases such as Fable Legends, a Phantom Dust reboot, and PlatinumGames' Scalebound. It's important that they deliver on Crackdown 3, rather than it joining the dustbin as yet another Xbox exclusive that could've been great.