E3'09: Realtime Worlds said it would never happen. At E3, Microsoft showed it has.

Report: Ruffian saga over, dev announces Crackdown 2

Ruffian’s secret is finally out – the Dundee, Scotland based developer is working on Crackdown 2.

The announcement marks the end of six successive months of speculation surrounding the developer’s next project.

Ruffian Games found itself in a unique predicament during last few weeks of 2008. Even before the Scottish developer had the chance to officially say hello to the world, it was besieged by rumours linking it with Crackdown 2, as it was discovered that two of the developer’s co-founders – Billy Thomson and Gaz Liddon – had worked on the first Crackdown in some capacity.

Billy Thomson was, in fact, the lead designer for Crackdown when at Realtime Worlds. Yet his former company had spun the rumours down a different path, implying to VG247 that Ruffian was almost certainly not working on Crackdown 2.

“I just wanted to correct the rumours today surrounding Crackdown” read a company statement. “Although to date we haven’t had an offer from Microsoft for the Crackdown sequel rumoured, we continue to have ongoing discussions with them.”

RTW’s creative director went one step further, saying that he would be “gutted not to be involved [with Crackdown 2], but if it had to be that way, I would want to see it done justice – by an established, renowned developer that had the track record of delivering the quality gaming experience Crackdown players would demand.”

If that was a statement that didn’t look like it could possibly be more explicit, Jones found a way: “In any event, I also very much doubt that Microsoft would harm an otherwise fruitful existing development relationship by gambling on funding Crackdown 2 with a startup on RTW’s doorstep, for obvious reasons.”

Crackdown 2, developed by that very startup on RTW’s doorstep, is due for release in 2010.

True to Thomson’s opening statements when Ruffian officially formed (“we want to provide an online experience rivalling any other through co-operative and competitive multiplayer gaming. Online play is the future of gaming and we’re incredibly excited about where that is going to take us") Crackdown 2 will feature revamped cooperative and competitive multiplayer modes.

Image: Eurogamer.

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