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Amazon might be a behemoth in its own field of e-commerce, but it is facing a bad time with its game development studios – F2P multiplayer shooter Crucible has been quietly canceled. The game which launched in May this year was moved back to closed beta in July after a disastrous launch. According to Amazon, they had delisted Crucible from Steam in July in order to let the developers implement a robust roadmap of future updates and fixes. Although tagged as an action-MOBA, the game’s three available game modes had vastly different gameplay elements, and lots of features that are taken for granted in other games, were simply missing at launch. There were no text, voice or ping communication options, the big map did not suitably provide important information about teammates and objectives, and there were severe balancing issues regarding its characters across the gameplay modes.

On October 9, in a blogpost titled Final Crucible Developer Update on the official game website, the Crucible team said “We very much appreciate the way that our fans have rallied around our efforts, and we’ve loved seeing your responses to the changes we’ve made over the last few months, but ultimately we didn’t see a healthy, sustainable future ahead of Crucible”. Amazon is offering a full refund of all purchases, and further credit transactions have been disabled. Matchmaking is going to be disabled in the next few weeks after the last hurrah of final playtest and community celebrations, and on November 9, custom game servers will be taken down.

Crucible’s six-year-long development journey was reportedly affected by Amazon upper management’s insistence on using the roughly cobbled together Lumberyard rendering engine, and their rumored reluctance to launch the game back in 2018 with its original battle royale mode. This is not the first game to be canceled at Amazon – in 2018, they stopped development on the team-based multiplayer brawler, Breakaway. Amazon Games will be transitioning its staff from Crucible to their upcoming MMORPG New World, which got delayed to 2021. Check out the excellent long-form investigative piece titled Amazon Wants to ‘Win at Games.’ So Why Hasn’t It?  on Wired for a closer look into their attempts to break into the industry. Amazon has been betting big on the games industry, but their only win has been the acquisition of video live-streaming service Twitch. With the upcoming launch of their cloud gaming service Luna (a request only early access service currently available only for US residents), gamers around the world will be closely watching how Amazon fares.

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