Amazon has had trouble getting its game division off the ground. Today, its hero shooter Crucible announced it would be stepping back from fully released game to closed beta, in order to work on improvements.
In a developer update, the Crucible team details why this is happening and what it entails. Franchise lead Colin Johanson writes that while the studio will continue to follow its roadmap, it will also be moving into a closed beta to work on map, combat, and system changes alongside other improvements, based on community feedback and what it thinks is needed in order for Crucible to "thrive."
While he assures that the experience for players will stay "pretty much the same" while it's in closed beta, the devs will also be scheduling times each week to play alongside the community and solicit feedback. Crucible will still be available 24/7, though Johanson recommends joining the Discord to find players to queue against. If you purchase Crucible now, you'll be in the closed beta; otherwise, interested players will be able to sign up through the game's website to gain entry "in the near future."
Though it had some enjoyable qualities, there's no denying that Crucible launched into a crowded genre, and the response seems to have been felt immediately by Amazon. It feels reminiscent of Electronic Arts and BioWare's Anthem, only at least with Anthem, the live game has stayed open even as the dev team behind it goes back to the drawing board. Crucible is cutting itself off from the outside, just a month after launch.
It has to be tough on the devs and devoted players, and it also doesn't bode well for Amazon's future game prospects. Its upcoming MMO New World is still set to launch in August, and more eyes will be on that game's successes and failures now.