Before Cinema 4D R18, there were a few ways to create and simulate fractures for animations using some scripts or plugins. The famed (and free) Nitro4D Thrausi should immediately come to mind. Since then with the release of R18, there is a built-in new Voronoi Fracture Tool.
The Voronoi Fracture in R18 is pretty powerful and offers support for various point generators, including Point Generator, Object, Spline, Particles, MoGraph Matrix, and shader. So there are a lot of ways that you can define the fracture pattern that you are looking for.
If that all sounds a little complicated to you, and you are looking to get started using the Voronoi Fracture feature in C4D, Maxon UK has a bit of a quick-start guide to help. The short tutorial will walk you through how to shatter an object the easy way. This will have you creating great looking shatter effects in no time