It’s never a pleasant endeavor to speak about a game that has fallen short regarding audience retention or, at the least, matching expectations. These are titles that multiple individuals have banded together to commit years of their lives turning their passion and imagination into a reality, and the event of it falling short is a difficult one to handle.
Some developers look at their passion projects simply not going mainstream (or rejected outright) as a rejection of that developer’s psyche, or an unnoticed lack of competence in a core area, and it’s difficult to navigate that minefield of negative emotions.
After all, developers are humans too.
So it must be difficult at Amazon Game Studios right now, as they’ve announced they’re reneging on the full release of Crucible and bringing it back to, what they refer to as, a closed beta status. The title fell off sharply mere days after it released, in spite of Amazon doing the modern-day tactic of paying streamers to hype their title on Twitch.
We’re back with another developer update: we're taking Crucible into closed beta starting tomorrow. Read about the details and how you can participate in the beta here: https://t.co/ox5KG7Fr55
— Crucible (@PlayCrucible) June 30, 2020
The downloads came in quick, users gave it a shake, and found it lacking; Crucible hovers around 100 viewers per day on Twitch in the past week.
For precisely what reason Crucible failed to capture the imagination of users and (more importantly) their wallets, is up to debate. What matters, however, is that the new status of the closed beta seems far closer to what many would consider an open beta than anything else.
In a blog post on PlayCrucible.com, Amazon Studios states that players that are already playing the game can continue to do so, and they encourage players to schedule matches on their official Discord server.
Further, the roadmap that they’ve published previously will continue forward through this time, with a major caveat being that developers will be constantly playing with players and asking for feedback on precisely how the game feels to play.
The game will be accessible at all hours, and users that have it on the Steam platform can continue to use that platform to launch the game during the closed beta term, which is currently indefinite. Further, Amazon Studios is creating a Community Council formed of players that range from casual to fiercely competitive, and they will form the core of remodeling Crucible into whatever shape it may take in the future.
Further, users are still allowed to stream and create content from Crucible to share across social media mediums.
Precisely what this means at this moment for Crucible isn’t entirely clear: it’s obvious that Amazon is looking to make good on its initial investment into game development, and heading back to the drawing board to figure out where the title is lacking could bode well for fans. It could also morph into something entirely unrecognizable during this time, and lose what fans the title still has.