Amazon Game Studios isn’t new. In fact, it was founded in 2012. However, despite releasing some smaller titles it was Crucible that was marketed as their first, major AAA title. Released on May 20th, Crucible released to a meager audience that has since disappeared almost entirely.
Seeing that, the development team is doing something that’s nearly unheard of in the industry; they are pulling a game back from full release. As of today, the game is moving back to a closed beta state. Colin Johanson, AAA, issued the following statement earlier today.
A few weeks ago, I told you about the steps we were taking to change and improve Crucible in response to your feedback. That plan is still the same, but we’re taking a new step that will help us focus on providing the best possible experience for our players as we continue to make the game better. Starting tomorrow, Crucible is moving to closed beta. We’ll continue following the roadmap we laid out previously and working on map, combat, and system changes to improve the Heart of the Hives experience as well as implementing other improvements based on your feedback and what we think the game needs in order to thrive.
For the most part, your experience as a Crucible player will stay pretty much the same while we’re in beta. One of the biggest changes you’ll see is that we’re going to schedule dedicated time each week when we as devs will be playing with the community and soliciting feedback. The game will be accessible 24/7 so you can continue to self-organize matches with other players—we recommend joining our Discord server to find players to queue against. You’ll still launch Crucible through Steam (you don’t even need a new download), you’ll keep all the progress and customization items you’ve already earned, and the battle pass, reward tracks, and in-game store will continue to be supported.
We’re setting up a community council, made up of beta participants of all playstyles from casual to highly competitive players, who we’ll be working especially closely with. We’ll have more information on that council, as well as our weekly play schedule, soon.
Even though Crucible will be in closed beta, nothing is changing about the way you can engage with the game: you’re still welcome to stream, to share screenshots and clips, and to talk about what you experience in the beta.
This is rather bizarre. Save for Final Fantasy 14, we were having trouble coming up with any other game that released and then was pulled back from full release. But given the state of Crucible and how few players were logging in every day, it makes sense for AGS to take it back to the drawing board. Hopefully they can bring it around and turn it into an enjoyable game for a larger audience.