Ever since it was first announced that Crackdown would contain an invite to the coveted Halo 3 multiplayer beta, comments have been flying around the intertubes. Some have said that the beta was added in order to push an otherwise lackluster product. That theory, more or less, has been quashed now that the Crackdown demo has won the hearts and minds of the people. Others have expressed outrage at being "forced" to buy Crackdown in order to get into the beta. Frankly, this argument doesn't really hold water, as a beta test is just that, a beta test. In a recent Reuters article, Microsoft's Craig Evans defends the choice. In response to the claim that Crackdown was virtually off the radar before the Halo 3 beta was announced, Evans says, "I can understand why people might think that, but the bottom line is that Crackdown is a game that stands on its own." Referring to the common joke that people are buying the Halo 3 beta and not Crackdown (see image), Evans notes, "People are definitely saying 'I'm getting a free beta with Crackdown', not the other way around," adding, "The Halo 3 beta isn't going to push the game's sales into the millions. Crackdown is going to push its sales into the millions."
We certainly won't argue that Crackdown is a good game on its own merits, but it would be foolish to assume that the inclusion of the Halo 3 beta had nothing to do with its quick rise into the spotlight. In the end, it was a slick way for Microsoft to promote a good original game with no franchise history to exploit. Grand Theft Auto, for example, practically markets itself. Crackdown didn't have an obvious marketing hook. The beta put Crackdown in the public eye, and now that we've had a taste, we want more. Halo 3 beta or not, we're picking Crackdown up next week. Anyone want to take bets on how long it takes to become a million seller?
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.