Mitch Gitelman, former executive producer of Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge, joined IGN for an interview and lamented the fact that Crimson Skies never received a proper sequel.
“High Road to Revenge deserved a sequel,” said Gitelman. “That team deserved a sequel.”
Gitelman is not the sole wielder of that sentiment. High Road to Revenge was released for the Xbox in 2003. While technically a port of the PC game Crimson Skies, High Road to Revenge threw out almost every detail of its predecessor in favor of an almost entirely new experience. The game’s incredible mechanics, fascinating world in which airplanes rule over a re-imagined take on the 1930s, and general Indiana Jones vibes made it feel like a truly unique take on the action genre.
Unfortunately, it seems that the game’s rabid fanbase wasn’t quite large enough to make Crimson Skies a retail hit. It’s believed that the game sold less than a million copies. For the longest time, it was believed that Crimson Skies low sales figures were the reason that the game didn’t get a proper sequel. However, Gitelman says that the situation was more complicated than that.
“At the time, Microsoft decided, and Shane Kim specifically decided, that each studio would focus on just one game,” said Gitleman. “We were doing Shadowrun and Crimson Skies simultaneously, and still working on MechAssault and stuff and just collapsed it all down.”
A heavy workload may have been the culprit behind Crimson Skies‘ immediate downfall, but questions remain regarding why Microsoft has not returned to this series. Crimson Skies was even named dropped during E3 2017 when Microsoft was talking about original Xbox games coming to Xbox One. Despite it all, Microsoft hasn’t unveiled any plans to resurrect the series despite the fact that they are seemingly bleeding exclusive properties.