Do you still remember Crucible, the hero shooter game made by Amazon that was released to the public before finally retreating to the closed beta phase not long after? What I was afraid of actually happened; the game that was worked on by Amazon’s internal studio will soon be over.
Through an official announcement, the developer reluctantly decided to stop developing Crucible in the near future, just after they released the custom game feature. The reason is simple: they do not see a “sustainable future” for the Crucible.
Then why must there be a new feature released if the game is not going to be continued? Well, maybe so it’s not too surprising for those who join the closed beta program and really enjoy playing it. The custom game feature is basically prepared so that loyal Crucible fans can still play even though the matchmaking feature will be removed soon.
But all of that will not be prolonged either, because the Crucible server for custom games will only operate until November 9, 2020, and after that this game is truly history. Of course, this contrasts with the original plan, where the Crucible was pushed back to the closed beta stage so that it could be perfected by considering the input of a small group that was actively playing it, before finally being released back to the public when it was completely ripe.
The plan has clearly been canceled, and Amazon will also offer a full refund for players who have bought in-game content on Crucible. Relentless Studios, the team responsible for Crucible work, will be transferred to the next Amazon Games project, including an MMORPG titled New World which will be released next year – supposedly this year but eventually postponed.
Why did the Crucible fail?
In my opinion, the failure of Crucible proves that big capital is not enough in the video game industry. Rumor has it that the game spent about $ 300 million and over four years of development time. Too long a time for a game that is just a moment has become a memory.
In a recent Wired report, it was stated that the Crucible was actually ready to be released in 2018, and the timing at that time was clearly very fitting, coinciding with the booming battle royale category thanks to PUBG and Fortnite. However, since Crucible is projected to become one of the flagship titles of Amazon Game Studios (AGS) in making its debut, the development of Crucible continues until it is truly perfect.
However, things did not go as expected. Crucible was released without the promised Twitch integration, and the game doesn’t even have a built-in voice chat feature despite being a competitive multiplayer game. At this point, the hype surrounding the battle royale game is no longer as big as in 2018, plus the launch of Crucible almost coincides with Valorant made by Riot Games.
Another factor that may also affect the failure of the Crucible is the engine used. As we know, Crucible is worked on using Lumberyard, Amazon’s own engine which actually has the same base as CryEngine. To Wired, a former AGS employee explained that the Lumberyard engine was extremely difficult to use and was a major bottleneck in the development process.
But AGS insisted on sticking with Lumberyard. One of his top brass, Mike Frazzini, once said that AGS had to do everything on their own because money wasn’t a problem at all, and they didn’t hesitate to spend around $ 50- $ 70 million to get a CryEngine license from Crytek, then perfect it to Lumberyard.
In the end, AGS had to work on the Lumberyard engine and a number of games simultaneously, and that was definitely not an easy job. Imagine if a developer needed to rely on certain functionality to make a feature in game happen, but the engine didn’t have that functionality yet, and the team working on the engine had to be able to provide it as soon as time was running.
I don’t think it would be wrong for most of us to conclude that Amazon is too ambitious. But on the other hand, their ambition is definitely based on their initial success in the gaming arena, namely acquiring Twitch in 2014. Well, providing a live streaming platform based on a proven reliable cloud infrastructure (AWS) is clearly different from developing video games. using an engine that is still in disarray.