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Quick Take: Amazon’s pull-back of Crucible is a setback, but don’t sign it off just yet

Cover image for Quick Take: Amazon’s pull-back of Crucible is a setback, but don’t sign it off just yet
Photo of Karol Severin
by Karol Severin

Amazon has decided to pull the release of its game, Crucible, back to beta following feedback from early users. Much of the games community is taking jabs at Amazon about its lack of gaming DNA and deeming this a failure. However, I would advise against hasty conclusions here.

Yes, Amazon needed to take a step back, but it is part of a valuable learning curve for the company – one that it can afford to undergo. Having moved the plans to launch its Project Tempo games streaming service to 2021 also give it more time to tweak its games.

While the announcement to pull a game back never looks great, it does carry certain positives for Amazon in this case. For one, the game was in circulation for nearly two months, so it likely gathered a larger sample of users to collect feedback from, than it would with a standard beta announcement. These users will now be migrated back into the beta and become a part of Crucible’s (and perhaps other games’) quality control and testing infrastructure.

It enhances Amazon’s ability to address the right issues in the way that works with its addressable audiences. While the original reviews were not exactly positive, most of the negative feedback revolved around issues that are fixable, e.g. long/illogical re-spawning process, character depth etc.  The ethos of the game and the core ideas behind it seemed to have been well received. Crucible took popular aspects from a number of games and brought them together, while attempting to address issues it observed in those genres. However, the mix of hit features came with a new set of its own challenges, which are always hard to foretell, when creating something new.

While Amazon probably hoped for a better start of its big foray into gaming, don’t assume this a lost cause just yet.

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