Crackdown developer Realtime Worlds has said it's in "ongoing discussions" with Microsoft following reports that Crackdown 2 is being developed by a new studio, Ruffian, formed by ex-RTW staffers.
"Although to date we haven't had an offer from Microsoft for the Crackdown sequel rumoured, we continue to have ongoing discussions with them," studio chief Colin MacDonald told videogaming247.
"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."
Realtime Worlds boss and Grand Theft Auto creator Dave Jones added that he would be "gutted not to be involved", and said if Microsoft did go elsewhere, he hoped the team picked would be more established and capable of offering "the quality gaming experience Crackdown players would demand".
MacDonald explained that "maybe five or six" former employees had been snapped up by Ruffian, but said "the vast majority of the Crackdown team remain at RTW".
Realtime Worlds currently has its hands full with urban MMO APB, which is expected to launch sometime next year. There's also, added MacDonald, "an unannounced project that will cause quite a stir when unveiled". Perhaps it's Crackdown 2! [Droll - Ed].
Crackdown, an Xbox 360 exclusive, launched in early 2007 and offered up a cel-shaded openworld where super-powered agents were tasked with wiping the city of various crime lords and factions.
Among the chief attractions were online jump-in co-op, plus various exaggerated explosions and rooftop acrobatics. Very good, said we.