Amazon enters the crowded games industry in full force on May 20, 2020, with its release of Crucible. Crucible is the first big-budget PC game introduced by the Amazon Game Studios (AGS). Crucible is the creation of Relentless Studios, which is a Seattle-based subsidiary of Amazon Games. There is a technicality to be taken care of, though, Amazon has released some minor titles games in the past.
As far back in 2010, Amazon introduces video games like Airport Mania, First Flight, which was developed by a defunct Amazon-owned studio called Reflexive Entertainment.
Crucible is free to play
The company is already embracing the increasingly popular liberal to play model. Such games are, of course, free to play (provided we’ve something to play them on). They make money in a variety of ways.
One way is to use a free to play segment of the video game as a teaser while offering the full version for a price. This is (in part) how Epic Games mega-hit Fortnite works. The popular title exploded in the year 2017 when Epic created a free-to-play “Battle Royale” mode modeled on the one offered by successful competitor Player Unknown: Battlegrounds. The enormous success of Fortnite‘s free-to-play Battle Royale mode helped to establish the free-to-play model as a more mainstream option for many game companies.
Crucible is a team multiplayer shooter
Amazon’s opening in video games is sure to shake up the industry, but the company doesn’t seem to aim on shaking up any game design norms.
Crucible is pretty simple to characterize by comparing the game with other established popular games. It’s an online shooter, alike to Fortnite and Call of Duty. Like Activision Blizzard’s Overwatch, players are on teams, and the game attributes a roster of unique playable characters (or “heroes”).
This isn’t to say the game is out of conception, though. There are a few unique elements also, the Battle Royale style mode is smaller in scale than the typical 100- to 150-player norm, and it allows players to form new alliances if their team gets wasted.
The Harvester Command mode allows players to waste the resources when they’re defending their heroes to level up, reminiscent of the multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) genre. That’s a bit unfamiliar for a shooter, but even this blend is not a novel idea. Games like Battleborn, which was published by Take Two‘s 2K Games, the shooter have a mixed element and MOBA genres before.
Crucible is a familiar means, frequently noted by critics, some of whom see the game’s elements as derivative. But while being called things like ‘accessible’ may be anvaddition to the blessing in critical reviews, it meshes with what Amazon’s strategy appears to have been, that is, making a safe bet on its first major release.