Story Tools: PRINT | Text Size: S M L XL | REPORT TYPO | SEND YOUR FEEDBACK

Crackdown battles Halo 3 as freebies excite, raise eyebrows

by Saleem Khan, CBC News Online

When I spoke with the producer and lead designer of Crackdown, the save-the-city third-person perspective science-fiction shooter for the Xbox 360 video game console that launched today, I had little inkling of the buzz and anticipation that would accompany its arrival — or that the attention would not be on Crackdown, but on a Microsoft Game Studios title: Halo 3.

The possibility that Crackdown would arrive with a free pass to try a test, or beta, version of Halo 3 — the third instalment in the series of the save-the-universe first-person perspective science-fiction shooter whose first two chapters Microsoft says sold 14.7 million units — has been floating around the internet since video game blog Kotaku highlighted a forum post pointing to an ad in December 2006. That was followed by a missive on the Crackdown website, a Feb. 13 note on the Halo 3 website and a Feb. 16 blog post by Halo 3 developer Bungie Studios that outlined access to the beta with a purchase of Realtime Worlds' new game.

Bundling the beta has raised a brouhaha and skepticism among gamers and industry observers alike, prompting reactions like these that Reuters news service reported:

"(Crackdown) was not highly anticipated," said Garnett Lee, managing editor of video game network 1UP. "Millions might pick (Crackdown) up now."

Microsoft defended its strategy.

"I can understand why people might think that," said Craig Davidson, Microsoft's director of marketing. "But the bottom line is that Crackdown is a game that stands on its own."

Evans said more than 600,000 people downloaded a free demo of Crackdown over the Xbox Live online service in just a couple of weeks, demonstrating its worth as a game.

"That was really clever," Michael Pachter, managing director of research at Los Angeles, Calif.-based, Wedbush Morgan Securities told me in an interview. "Microsoft is experimenting with ways to exploit their competitive advantage. Competitive advantage No. 1 is Xbox Live and No. 2 is Halo.

"Crackdown looks like a great game but they're going to sell a lot more [with the Halo 3 beta included]."

I contacted Crackdown producer Phil Wilson to get his perspective but haven't heard back from him yet.

The other Crackdown freebie, which Xbox Live's Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb points to on his blog, is a downloadable four-pack of Agent skins available everywhere but Germany. (Okay, so maybe only one of the freebies mentioned in the title is exciting.)

The country is excluded because Crackdown has been slapped with a de facto ban after Germany's Unterhaltungssoftware Selbskontrolle (USK) ratings board refused to give it a classification.

So German gamers will not only be deprived of suiting up as a genetically engineered superhuman in Crackdown, they'll also have to wait to strap on their armour as a genetically engineered supersoldier in Halo 3. They may as well put that time to good use by reading a book or something.

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

This discussion is now Open. Submit your Comment.

Comments

Andrew Burtt

I am a mature gamer, I have a degree in Business Administration and a Family, but most importantly, I am open minded and know enough to fully research a topic before I print an opinion. I am hard pressed to accept the focus of this article with anything but a grain of salt. While spouting some numbers and some quotes from a couple people, only one of which had anything to do with gaming itself, you manage to miss the entire point of the Halo 3 Beta and Crackdown Combo. The Halo 3 Beta with the Crackdown (limited) game is the last of 3 vehicles used to offer the Beta testing opportunity to the public. The first vehicle being a strict selection process employed to sift through applicants by demographics, the second was the "RULE OF THREE" where gamers were to play 3 hours of Halo 2 online the first weekend of February and then be in the first 13,333 to apply online at Halo3.com, and the third is the Disc based delivery via Crackdown. Crackdown is an M Rated game and as thus, helps to limit (hopefully) the age demographic that will be involved in the Halo3 beta. Through these three vehicles, Bungie and Microsoft are able to gradually grow the population of players to better finalize Halo 3 before release. Crackdown was the game of choice because of its 'M' rating, its release date, and that it is not a 3rd Party Game. If the Beta was the only reason to buy the game, 600,000 people would not have downloaded the demo. Crackdown as a game, is probably one of the most fun games on any console (that I have played), it is very free form and open ended, it is truly a game where anyone with an imagination can spend hours doing silly stuff and laughing all the while. Factor in the Co-op option and the possibilities are endless. It allows gamers to think outside the box; very few games (if any) do this. Mr Khan ,play the game! Opinion should be based on experience, go get some!

Posted February 23, 2007 11:17 AM

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

Post a Comment

Disclaimer:

Note: By submitting your comments you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that due to the volume of e-mails we receive, not all comments will be published, and those that are published will not be edited. But all will be carefully read, considered and appreciated.

Note: Due to volume there will be a delay before your comment is processed. Your comment will go through even if you leave this page immediately afterwards.

Privacy Policy | Submissions Policy

Story Tools: PRINT | Text Size: S M L XL | REPORT TYPO | SEND YOUR FEEDBACK

World »

WATCH Freed hostage Joshua Boyle on why he went to Afghanistan and what his kidnappers wanted video
In an interview with CBC News, Joshua Boyle describes his kidnappers’ apparent motives, the conditions of his confinement with his family and the final moments of their rescue on Wednesday, five years after being taken hostage in Afghanistan by a Taliban-linked militant group.
'People turned into charcoal': Somali-Canadians recount horror of Mogadishu attack
Harrowing stories are emerging of Canadians and their friends on the ground in Mogadishu, following Saturday's bombing attack that killed at least 300 people.
Catalan independence leaders jailed in Spain video
Spain moved closer on Monday to imposing direct rule over Catalonia to thwart its independence push as Madrid's High Court signalled a hardening line by jailing the leaders of two of the largest separatist organizations.
more »

Canada »

WATCH Freed hostage Joshua Boyle on why he went to Afghanistan and what his kidnappers wanted video
In an interview with CBC News, Joshua Boyle describes his kidnappers’ apparent motives, the conditions of his confinement with his family and the final moments of their rescue on Wednesday, five years after being taken hostage in Afghanistan by a Taliban-linked militant group.
Bombardier to partner with Airbus on CSeries program
Bombardier Inc. has announced it has sold a majority stake in its CSeries passenger jet business to European aerospace giant Airbus for no cost.
Nenshi re-elected as Calgary's mayor as at least 9 incumbent councillors keep their seats
Naheed Nenshi has been re-elected for a third term as Calgary's mayor and all but one incumbent councillor have secured their seats as of 12:30 a.m. MT on Tuesday following an election day marred by long voter lineups, ballot shortages and technical difficulties.
more »

Politics »

Bombardier to partner with Airbus on CSeries program
Bombardier Inc. has announced it has sold a majority stake in its CSeries passenger jet business to European aerospace giant Airbus for no cost.
NYC terror case records unsealed after Canadian man's plea for help from Omar Khadr's lawyer
Court records for the case of a 19-year-old Canadian man who pleaded guilty to terrorism charges were unsealed after he asked a judge, in a handwritten letter, to fire his lawyer and appoint the former counsel for Omar Khadr.
U.S. makes 'aggressive' demands to access Canadian dairy market, wants end to supply management video
The United States is asking Canada to open up its protected dairy market and wants the system of supply management that protects Canada's industry terminated within a decade.
more »

Health »

Sorry - we can't find that page
 
CBC.ca

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Arts & Entertainment»

Women identify as assault, harassment victims using #metoo hashtag
Thousands of women are responding to actress Alyssa Milano's call to share #metoo on social media to raise awareness of sexual harassment and assault following the recent revelation of decades of alleged sexual misconduct by movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.
John Dunsworth, Mr. Lahey on Trailer Park Boys, dead at 71 video audio
John Dunsworth, a Nova Scotia actor best known as the irreverent trailer park supervisor Jim Lahey, has died at the age of 71.
WWE signs first woman wrestler from Arab world in global push
World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. signed its first female performer from the Arab world on Sunday, smashing cultural taboos as the U.S.-based pageant seeks to piledrive its way into lucrative foreign markets.
more »

Technology & Science »

Astronomers see source of gravitational waves for 1st time
A never-before-seen explosion from the merger of two dense astral bodies known as neutron stars has been viewed with telescopes for the first time.
Flaw lets hackers read data over secure Wi-Fi
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security warns of cyber risks associated with a widely used system for securing Wi-Fi communications after Belgian researchers discovered a flaw that could allow hackers to read information thought to be encrypted, or infect websites with malware.
Blog Hydrothermal vents found on Mars raise hope in search for life
​Evidence of ancient hydrothermal vents, similar to those found in the depths of the Earth's oceans have been spotted on the surface of Mars. Quirks & Quarks host Bob McDonald explores what that means for the search for life.
more »

Money »

Bombardier to partner with Airbus on CSeries program
Bombardier Inc. has announced it has sold a majority stake in its CSeries passenger jet business to European aerospace giant Airbus for no cost.
Securities regulator sets out rules for Canadian marijuana stocks with U.S. interests
The Canadian Securities Administrators set out "specific disclosure expectations" for marijuana industry firms with investments in the U.S., offering much-anticipated clarity for companies that operate on both sides of the border.
Liberals pledge to cut small business tax rate to 9% amid backlash over proposed tax reforms video
Ottawa announced its plans today to cut the small business tax rate from 10.5 per cent to nine per cent by 2019, as it attempts to quell a backlash to proposed tax reforms that have stung the Trudeau government.
more »

Consumer Life »

Sorry - we can't find that page
 
CBC.ca

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Sports »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Recap Judge's bat comes to life as Yankees slash ALCS deficit to 2-1 video
Aaron Judge hit a three-run homer and a made pair of sparkling catches, leading CC Sabathia and the Yankees over the Houston Astros 8-1 Monday night and cutting New York's deficit to 2-1 in the best-of-seven AL Championship Series.
Colin Kaepernick will have a tough time proving collusion
To prove collusion, Kaepernick will need hard evidence that owners worked together — rather than decided individually — to keep him out of the league.
Video Hip Check: Nikita Kucherov lights the lamp, joins history books video
Tampa Bay forward becomes fourth player in 30 years to score a goal in each of his team's first 6 games
more »

Diversions »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
more »