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 »

Migrants with no status in the U.S. battle anxiety as they await Trump's next move
Many illegal migrants have been allowed to stay in the U.S. without official status, but indications from the Trump administration suggest that tolerance is disappearing.
10 sailors missing after U.S. warship collides with tanker near Singapore
At least 10 U.S. sailors are missing after the USS John S. McCain collided with a tanker early Monday east of Singapore, the second accident involving a ship from the Navy's 7th Fleet in two months.
New While millions watch the eclipse from Earth, NASA observes from the sky
While millions watch the eclipse from Earth, NASA will be watching from the sky. Data gleamed from the eclipse may help us understand and predict solar weather patterns.
more »

Canada »

New 'A remarkable battle that was largely forgotten': Hill 70 memorial set to open in France
A memorial park commemorating Canadian soldiers who died in a "remarkable" but not well known First World War battle opens next week in France.
New Amid Trans Mountain uncertainty, pro-pipeline Indigenous peoples make a pitch for development
Indigenous peoples who are decidedly pro-development want to stake their claim in the fractious pipeline debate.
International adoptions decline dramatically in Canada
The number of international adoptions has declined dramatically in Canada in the last five years due to tighter country controls, exorbitant costs and alternative routes to parenthood. Last year, there were only 793 international adoptions in Canada, according to data from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC.)
more »

Politics »

Migrants with no status in the U.S. battle anxiety as they await Trump's next move
Many illegal migrants have been allowed to stay in the U.S. without official status, but indications from the Trump administration suggest that tolerance is disappearing.
New Amid Trans Mountain uncertainty, pro-pipeline Indigenous peoples make a pitch for development
Indigenous peoples who are decidedly pro-development want to stake their claim in the fractious pipeline debate.
Trudeau to asylum seekers: Crossing border illegally won't fast track immigration
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has a message for asylum seekers: crossing illegally into the country doesn't offer an advantage when it comes to obtaining refugee status in Canada.
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»

'A genius comedian': Hollywood says goodbye to Jerry Lewis
Comedians in Hollywood are paying tribute to one of their own and a trailblazer in slapstick, Jerry Lewis.
Comedy legend Jerry Lewis dead at 91 video
Jerry Lewis, the rubber-faced comedian and director whose fundraising telethons became as famous as his hit movies, has died. He was 91.
Broadway ticket-buying now easier for fans, not re-sellers
A new online verification system aims to keep more tickets in the hands of fans rather than re-sellers who seemingly snap them up and put them on the market for higher prices.
more »

Technology & Science »

Solar eclipse transforms tiny Oregon town into red hot tourist destination
On Monday, the Oregon town of Madras — a two-hour drive from Portland — is expected to swell to about 100,000 people, as visitors jostle their way in to get a glimpse of the first total solar eclipse to sweep across the continental U.S. in 99 years.
INTERACTIVE Check how much of the solar eclipse you'll see from your city
Use this interactive tool to see what the solar eclipse on Aug. 21 will look like for you.
Solar eclipse myth-busting: Facts and fiction behind nature's stunning event
Do you think it's safe to look at a solar eclipse through sunglasses? Have you heard that an unborn child can be harmed during one? We bust some myths behind nature's spectacular event.
more »

Money »

First round of NAFTA talks wrap in Washington
Canada, the United States and Mexico wrapped up their first round of talks Sunday to revamp the NAFTA trade pact, vowing to keep up a blistering pace of negotiations that some involved in the process said may be too fast to bridge deep differences.
Canadian re-commerce company LXRandCo taking luxury vintage shopping into the future video
Step aside, cheap chic and fast fashion: Luxury vintage resale is one of the fastest growing segments in retail. And a Canadian company is one of the world's leaders.
Eclipse eye safety and airline phone scams: CBC's Marketplace consumer cheat sheet
Miss something this week? Here's the consumer news you need to know.
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]
Canadian Little Leaguers have a day to remember in Williamsport
All week, the Canadian players from White Rock, B.C., have described their experiences at the Little League World Series thus far as surreal, amazing and unbelievable. Sunday was all of those things — truly the ultimate baseball day.
Charles Hamelin qualifies for 4th Olympics at short track selections
Charles Hamelin qualified for his fourth Olympics on Sunday after finishing second overall at the Canadian short track team selections.
Live Watch Canadians compete at the Summer Universiade video
Watch live action from the 29th Summer Universiade in Taipei City, Taiwan.
more »

Diversions »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
more »