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I think this may be the first time. I remember that the game released had many problems and patches, and some major shortcomings needed to be alleviated. I even remember cases like Arkham Knight, where one version had so many bugs that it temporarily stopped selling. I still remember games that dropped shortly after release, such as APB: All Points Bulletin. I can also release an Early Access game as Early Access and then keep it in this state indefinitely.
I can't think of when a big company's game will be first closed, then released, and then back to the closed beta state.
But here, Amazon broke new ground by mishandling video game releases. They are making mistakes and making misjudgments in new and innovative ways, so I will at least give them a little credit.
Crucible is a free online shooting game launched by Amazon game studio Relentless Studios. The house Bezos has built over the years has tried various methods to participate more directly in the world of game development, and this is the last one. We saw that their Android-based Fire TV devices allowed Amazon to develop and publish games like Sev Zero and ToFu Fury, and then they gave up this effort and filled their app store with third-party games. After
was initially released on May 20 with an overwhelmingly tepid response, Amazon made a strange decision to release Crucible and wind the watch before the release. The game has been under development in some form since 2014, so it’s not clear what positive changes might be made by staying in the oven for a while, but I’m sure it’s not a rash decision.
What they apparently did not do is to get players to refund the money they have spent on the game so far, which seems to be a good way to make up for the failure of this game in its current state.
When Amazon's gaming ambitions have not yet been fully launched, it is difficult to reconcile Amazon's dominant position in online retail and commercial network services. They can easily become one of the largest game retailers on the planet, but for whatever reason, they can't figure out how to successfully launch their own games.
This is a double irony, because we have seen other companies use Amazon's own Twitch streaming platform with great success. Free shooter games like Apex Legends and Valorant have shown that by using Twitch wisely and building relationships with content creators there, you can attract a large number of players to your game. How could Amazon be smart enough to buy Twitch, but have no strategy to use it to support its game launch? Twitch is your platform. Except for Amazon, the potential for synergy between its game studios and live game streaming services is obvious to everyone.
So what's the next plan? Crucible may receive some updates, hoping to resonate with current players. I like the redemption arc, but I don't see how they can completely change the situation, at least without generating an excellent reputation for attracting new players. They will post updates on Reddit, Discord, and social media. They have an official Twitch account for the game, but it looks like this:
Maybe the game will succeed in some incarnation in the future, and this may also be part of the bumpy road to success. But maybe not, maybe the people who make decisions about these games at Amazon don't really know what they are doing. At present, as part of Amazon's entire operations, at least very little money is spent on developing these games. They may be happy to continue to roll the dice without spending time learning the rules of the game, but this is a bad aspect that does not inspire confidence.
These decisions seem to have a certain degree of arrogance. Of course, Amazon can activate the funding hose and provide funding for any game development projects they want. But if there is no clear vision behind these decisions and no real understanding of the reasons for the success of the game, we are likely to see this pattern repeat itself. To be sure, Amazon has a lot of talents involved in its game development projects, but when the full capabilities of Amazon’s machines fail to successfully launch video games, something is clearly missing.
Crucible may be fighting an uphill battle with indifference. Amazon has spent all time and money developing a game, and in the end people just don't care about enough numbers to maintain it. All eyes will be on your next project to see if this is an isolated incident or a trend. At least here, this is not the property of any onboard fanbase that they have wasted. It will be very interesting to see how they deal with the upcoming Lord of the Rings MMO, which is slated to launch alongside their Lord of the Rings TV show. We haven't seen anything about this MMO, but with a popular and successful franchise like The Lord of the Rings, the stakes will be much higher.