21 May 2020 04:33

Amazon Game Studios Amazon.com Crucible

Amazon took a big step into the gaming industry Wednesday with the launch of Crucible, a free-to-play online shooter and the company's first original big-budget game. The game, available for Windows 10, is a team-based shooter that lets players hunt down opponents. It's similar to other megahits such as Overwatch, Apex Legends, and Fortnite. It was initially announced in 2016. Crucible will be a litmus test of sorts for Amazon as it looks to dive deeper into the crowded $120 billion video game industry.

Amazon acquired Twitch in 2014 for nearly $1 billion and established Amazon Game Studios eight years ago, but hasn't launched many original titles and ran into several hiccups with canceled projects and layoffs. "This division could have been an industry juggernaut in terms of leveraging Amazon's cash reserves and tech-industry dominance," Ars Technica noted. "Instead, it has limped to its current May 2020 state." Crucible is developed by Relentless Studios, a Seattle-based development team of Amazon Games led by Louis Castle, co-founder of Westwood Studios. Early response to the game are mixed, with Ars Technica giving it a lukewarm review, The Verge noting that Crucible "will find an audience that's been itching for this particular mashup of design ideas and genres in an accessible package," and Engadget praising its "surprisingly solid gameplay foundation." Amazon plans to launch another game, New World, in August. Bloomberg reported that Crucible and New World could be part of Amazon's plan to launch a game-streaming service that would compete with offerings from Microsoft, Google, Sony, and others.

Amazon in 2016 unveiled Twitch Prime, a series of benefits for gamers that is included as part of an Amazon Prime or Prime Video membership. UPDATE 9PM – Well this is a little disappointing, since the release was officially stated for 8PM, but Crucible's release is staggering across the globe, currently live in North America and soon in other regions. Crucible is now available to North American players. Players across the world will be able to play soon. We'll keep you updated! — Crucible (@PlayCrucible) May 20, 2020 UPDATE 8:05PM – It looks as though there's been a wobble and Crucible hasn't gone live as planned – it's moved to 'Coming Soon' on Steam. Stay tuned as we find out more! One of Amazon's first meaningful steps into video games, their free-to-play shooter Crucible is out right now for PC. To go with the game's release, they've dropped a launch trailer that I'm sure will kill a minute or two while you wait for it to download. Want to give the game a try? Head here for the download link: Crucible is currently only out for PC, with no word on a potential console port. It would be a perfect candidate though to arrive on PS5 and Xbox Series X at launch, and we'll be waiting with baited breath for more on that. The game is a team-based action shooter, boldly claiming that it's driven by your choices, which probably just means deciding which enemy to shoot first. Players can choose from ten different hunter types, each of which boasts an array of unique abilities. Before a game starts, players then choose which upgrades that character will work through in the course of a match, giving a world of variation to how each character plays. Wait, maybe those are the choices they're talking about? You'll also have a choice of different game modes: Heart of the Hives, Harvester Command, and Alpha Hunters. Heart of the Hives is the smallest of the modes, with two teams of four battling against Hives that spawn throughout the world. Your goal is to defeat Hives and capture the Heart within, with the first to three captures taking the win. Alpha Hunters seems to be much more straightforward, as a sprawling elimination mode in which eight pairs of players fight to be the last team standing. Finally, Harvest Command sets two teams of eight against each other to capture and hold Harvesters around teh map and control them as they draw Essence from the planet. The first team to gain 100 points from harvesting or defeating opponents wins. Starting out life as a 12 player battle royale-style last man/alien standing affair when it started development in 2016, the game's development shifted as PUBG, Fortnite et al clogged up the battle royale genre with far higher player numbers than Crucible was targeting. Instead they've shifted towards third-person viewpoint MOBA stylings, bringing memories of Epic's Paragon and Motiga's Gigantic, both of which were fantastic games that never found an audience. Amazon will be hoping for better from Crucible. We'll be going hands on as soon as it downloads! Source: press release