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 »

Updated Israel shoots down drone as rockets fired from Lebanon video
The Israeli military said it downed a drone launched by Hamas militants in Gaza on Monday, the first time it encountered an unmanned aircraft since the start of its offensive last week, as new Israeli airstrikes pushed the Palestinian death toll to at least 175.
Analysis Can Brazil's Dilma Rousseff avoid her own World Cup-like meltdown?
Often touted as one of the most powerful women in the world, Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff suddenly finds herself atop a souring economy and electorate with elections only months away. The dramatic way Brazil crashed out of the World Cup hasn't helped, Robert Muggah writes from Rio.
New Syria crisis: UN to vote on humanitarian aid for rebel-held areas audio
The UN Security Council is set to vote on a resolution that would authorize cross-border delivery of humanitarian aid to Syrians in rebel-held areas in desperate need of food and medicine, without government approval.
more »

Canada »

Exclusive Attack on British embassy in Iran put Canadians on alert
As protesters set fire to the U.K. embassy in Tehran in 2011, Canadian diplomats considered leaving Iran and debated what they could do for their British counterparts — including sheltering someone from the household of the U.K. ambassador.
'Tornadoes of fire' in N.W.T. linked to climate change
Climate change is responsible for more frequent and larger forest fires such as the ones currently plaguing the Northwest Territories, says a professor in Edmonton. One resident who battled a fire burning near his father’s cabin east of Yellowknife says, "There were literally tornadoes of fire in the treetops."
Analysis No 'cuts' but plenty of 'fiscal challenges' in Ontario budget
The Ontario Liberals know they raised expectations in the recent election campaign and must begin to deliver on those commitments. That includes infrastructure and transit spending and a "made in Ontario" pension plan.
more »

Politics »

Exclusive Attack on British embassy in Iran put Canadians on alert
As protesters set fire to the U.K. embassy in Tehran in 2011, Canadian diplomats considered leaving Iran and debated what they could do for their British counterparts — including sheltering someone from the household of the U.K. ambassador.
Stephen Harper accuses Hamas of using human shields
Terrorists are deliberately placing people in the path of an Israeli offensive aimed at stopping rocket attacks from Gaza, says Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Exclusive Navigation Protection Act: Government braces for court battles over waterways
The federal government is girding for yet more court battles, this time involving waterways used by boaters, cottagers and First Nations, according to a document obtained by CBC News.
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»

Nadine Gordimer, Nobel Prize-winning anti-apartheid author, dies at 90
The family of Nadine Gordimer says the Nobel Prize-winning author and powerful anti-apartheid voice has died in South Africa at age 90.
2014 CBC Creative Nonfiction Prize: finalists announced!
Canada Writes reveals the 5 finalists for the prestigious CBC Creative Nonfiction Prize
Archie Andrews to be shot saving gay friend in comic book
Iconic character Archie Andrews will meet his demise trying to protect Riverdale's first openly gay character Kevin Keller, Archie Comics reveals.
more »

Technology & Science »

Canadian LED research looks to grow strawberries on Mars
If the dreams of University of Guelph biologist Mike Dixon come to fruition, Canadian science will spawn the first strawberry or cherry tomato that sprouts on the moon or a planet in our solar system.
IPad tied to boy's nickel allergy
IPads are a potential source of nickel allergy reactions, say pediatricians who suggest parents choose a metal-free cover for the electronics.
'Tornadoes of fire' in N.W.T. linked to climate change
Climate change is responsible for more frequent and larger forest fires such as the ones currently plaguing the Northwest Territories, says a professor in Edmonton. One resident who battled a fire burning near his father’s cabin east of Yellowknife says, "There were literally tornadoes of fire in the treetops."
more »

Money »

New Sotheby's deal with eBay brings art auctions online
One of the biggest auctioneers of luxury goods is teaming up with one of the world's largest online sellers to bring art auctions to the digital masses around the world, including Canada.
CRTC's wireless cancellation policy boosts costs for basic plans: study
Changes allowing Canadian wireless phone customers to cancel their contracts without penalty after two years have increased the costs of basic plans, while the price of heavy-use plans continued to fall, a study to be released on Monday showed.
Citigroup to pay $7B in subprime mortgage settlement
Citigroup announced Monday that it will pay roughly $7 billion to settle a federal investigation into risky subprime mortgages, the type that helped bring on the financial crisis.
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]
Opinion CFL Power Rankings: Andrew Harris propels Lions
Once a week, CBCSports.ca football contributor Malcolm Kelly breaks down the balance of power in the Canadian Football League. Find out why the Lions jumped four spots and the Eskimos are still No. 1.
Blog World Cup immortality eludes Lionel Messi
After a heartbreaking 1-0 defeat to Germany in the World Cup final, Argentina star Lionel Messi leaves with a heavy heart in the knowledge his professional career resume may forever remain incomplete, writes CBC soccer analyst Nigel Reed.
Photos World Cup final in pictures
The World Cup final Germany win its fourth title after defeating Argentina 1-0 in extra time Sunday in Rio de Janeiro.
more »

Diversions »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
more »