Access was finally granted at around 3:00am this morning, a full 13 hours after the previously announced launch time.
"The team at Microsoft has been working on a software update which will resolve issues for people using Crackdown to enter the beta," Microsoft’s Major Nelson posted on a temporary version of his Xbox 360 blog, which itself was crippled by increased web traffic.
"We sincerely apologize for the delay. We know a lot of you have been waiting for the beta for months, and even took time off of work to start early today. We really appreciate your enthusiasm, and we hope the small delay won't damper your enjoyment of the game."
And to compensate for the unexpected delay, Microsoft has extended the beta period by four days, meaning it will now end on June 10th.