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Crackdown creator Ruffian Games goes independent with Tribal Towers


The Xbox 360 has been the best-selling video game console in the United States month in and month out for more than two years. Despite that track record, though, Microsoft isn’t as well known as a game developer as it once was. Microsoft Studios and its myriad development houses used to pump out a plethora of original properties year in and year out, but in the past twelve months it’s turned out mostly sequels and spin-offs. One of the few original titles in its 2012 line up was the decidedly un-game-like Nike+ Kinect Training. By all accounts, the digital fitness trainer isn’t terrible, but it was a sad turn from the fine developer Ruffian Games whose pedigree on titles like Fable, Crackdown, APB, and Project Gotham Racing promised big things. With that title behind them, though, what’s Ruffian working on now?

“We’re not working on Crackdown 3!” reads an update from Ruffian’s Billy Thomson at the website for the studio’s new game, Tribal Towers, “Since Crackdown 2 was completed we’ve worked on a number of released titles, just as many prototypes and also some AAA projects that are yet to be released. The work we’ve done has seen us become a bit of an expert with Microsoft’s Kinect camera, we now know the impressive CryEngine intimately and we’ve also become a dab hand with the more than capable Unity.”

The aforementioned Nike+ game is the title that’s helped give Ruffian its Kinect experience. Ryse, an Xbox 360 exclusive originally announced at E3 2011 that’s never materialized since, is the CryEngine-based game in Ruffian’s repertoire. From Thomson’s comments, it sounds like its work on the game is finished as well.

Ryse may well be Ruffian’s last work that’s exclusively for Microsoft, though, since Tribal Towers is being funded by Ruffian itself. “At the moment we’re working on a really exciting top secret – I could tell you but then I’d need to kill you – project with a well-known publisher which we unfortunately can’t talk about at this stage – I mentioned the ‘killing you’ thing earlier – and even more excitingly, a few months ago we decided to take our destiny into our own hands and start working on our own self-funded project,” Thomson wrote.

Tribal Towers is entering a private testing phase soon. As for its secret project with a publisher, time will tell. Ruffian was allegedly working with Sega last year on a new Streets of Rage.

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