After launching in May this year, Crucible, Amazon Games’ first large-scale shooter title for PC, will stop receiving matchmaking updates and support on November 9, the studio announced on Friday (exactly at the weekend time that bad gaming news is usually sent to the pasture). The company is taking the extreme measure of offering a “full refund” for any purchases made during the duration of the free-to-play game and is directing customers to make refund requests via Steam Support or the contact form. of Amazon, depending on where purchases were originally made.
This followed the formal cancellation of the game from Steam in July, which followed a painfully low concurrent player count (up to 200) which made it difficult for players to successfully match each other. While the game launched with considerable attention, including a promotional blitz on Amazon’s own game streaming platform Twitch, it only briefly maintained a player population of more than 10,000 users.
Not the ping we were looking for
According to Amazon, the game’s July delisting was intended to allow developers to test and implement a “roadmap” of future content and fixes, and this included features that were sadly missing since its retail launch. Like an “action-MOBA” game (think League of Legends or Dota 2, mixed with shooter mechanics), Crucible failed to clarify key information to players in terms of where they could find teammates and objectives on the massive map, and was launched without nothing in terms of player communication options (meaning, no text or voice chat, no visual “pinging” system).
In addition to these issues, the game launched with three significantly different game modes, which extended the character balance problem all over. One of Amazon Games’ first big changes prior to Steam’s delisting was to focus its matchmaking on a single game mode, but the damage had already been done.
In a post on Friday titled “Finale Crucible Developer Update, “The game’s developers blamed it on two factors:” the feedback we received from you, coupled with the data we collected. “But the letter does not explain what that data explained, which was likely little data. , collected from any tiny player base left over from Steam’s removal CrucibleSteam updates and have seen the developers continue to post detailed patch notes, which we thought could be paid for by an official “relaunch” at a later date.
Oddly, Amazon Games has promised to do so Go on patch and tweak the game in its 30-day EOL period before stopping development and “transfer” its staff to the upcoming MMORPG New world (which has received its own delay from this fall to 2021) and “other upcoming projects”. Once the game’s matchmaking service closes on November 9, its client will continue to support “custom” peer-to-peer matchmaking, which we seriously appreciate at Ars, instead of killing a game with its servers, and the staff will host a last-minute matchmaking frenzy with fans before that November 9th date.
Friday’s news follows this week’s Amazon Games report on Wired (full disclosure: Conde Nast is the parent company of Wired and Ars Technica), in which writer Cecilia D’Anastasio follows the ups and downs of nearly a decade of game development within the company, based on internal accounts. This included the story of Crucibleof the sizable six-year development path (reportedly hampered by Amazon management’s insistence on using its hacked Lumberyard rendering engine), along with claims that the game almost launched in 2018. Although the developers wanted to launch it while battle royale fever was peaking, executives would have feared launching anything other than a “billion dollar product.”