Here’s a possible first: Amazon’s first videogame, the team-based shooter Crucible, is going back into closed beta after a steadily negative response to the game since its launch in May, according to developer Relentless Studios.
Those who already have the free-to-play game or download it before 12 p.m. ET Wednesday will automatically have access to the beta, and will keep all in-game items and currency. Relentless Studios isn’t committing to a new launch date or window, but states that the launch “will be based on your feedback and the metrics that we see in-game.”
Games that saw negative releases have been overhauled to ultimately create better experiences in the past, as was the case with Final Fantasy XIV and others, but this might be the first time a major game has completely retreated back from being released at all. It’s an odd move for any studio, especially for one backed by the multi-billion dollar empire that is Amazon.
This isn’t a scenario like Fallout 76, where the game launched with so many bugs and glitches that it looked unfit to ship. Rather, Crucible was mostly regarded by critics as a generic, dull, slog that wasn’t remarkable in any major way. That makes things more difficult for Relentless to turn things around, especially if it can’t find a large enough playerbase to sustain any momentum.
Amazon has another game in the works due Aug. 25, an open world MMO called New World. Hopefully the game will fare a bit better than its first attempt. Both games are planned to launch on PC.