Amazon Crucible: ‘Can games be as fun to watch as they are to play?’

Crucible characters

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Amazon Game Studio

Think about Amazon and the last minute deliveries, the sets of streaming boxes and the Kindles that come to mind, but not necessarily to make video games.

Now, the online giant wants it to change and is starting to develop the game with the new version, Crucible.

“We want to create games that resonate with a large audience of gamers,” Mike Games vice president of Amazon Games told Newsbeat.

“In the end, players will be able to decide whether or not we can.”

“We are happy with the feedback on the first game tests, but in the end we don’t know how good it is until it comes out.”

Crucible is a new free-to-play PC game and is a competitive shooting title that is a cross between Overwatch, Gears of War and League of Legends.

It is the first high-budget original game that Amazon Game Studios has released and the company hopes to compete with titles like Fortnite and Apex Legends.

“We can’t wait to get him out the door.”

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Amazon Game Studio

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Amazon Game Studios hopes that its titles, like Crucible, will resonate with the streamers on Twitch

This may be Amazon’s first major release, but it has been involved in the gaming industry for a long time – it already owns the Twitch streaming site.

The number of viewers on Twitch is clearly having an impact on the types of games the company wants to play now and in the future.

During development, Mike asked his team, “Can we make games as fun to watch as they have to play?”

“On Twitch you have a player, a spectator and a streamer all connected together in one live experience.

“We are really interested in exploring it, so we are generally biased towards games that we think can resonate on Twitch and basically be playable games.”

“It’s like writing a new book every week”

With Fortnite recently announcing it has over 350 million registered users, there is a great financial incentive to get more involved in game development.

But the gaming industry is competitive and success is not likely to come overnight, even if you are Amazon.

“Making a fun game that attracts and retains a large audience of players is extremely difficult,” says Mike.

“If the game isn’t fun, none of our long-term ideas make a difference.”

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Amazon Game Studio

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Crucible will try to compete with the popular Overwatch hero shooting game

He says it’s important to optimize, refine and add to players’ gaming experience because of how much time they spend playing.

“On average people play five to ten hours a week, that’s what it takes to read a book, so it’s like writing a new book every week.”

“Trying to get to something that attracts, engages and holds players is incredibly difficult.”

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Amazon Game Studio

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The Coronavirus pandemic had an impact on the release of Crucible and delayed another of the planned versions of Amazon Game Studios

Crucible’s early previews have been favorable but competing in the genre of shooter heroes, in which Overwatch has dominated, will be tough.

Games like Gigantic and Battleborn – which have also been reviewed positively and well supported – have failed to attract enough long-term audiences to survive.

Mike explains how he hopes Crucible is different: “Multiplayer in our games will include many social dynamics.

“This is what makes sport so fun while you play with others.

“I think that’s what helps create games that are playable and resonates well in Twitch too, so we’re trying to explore those frontiers.”

“Try to earn respect”

The coronavirus pandemic influenced how the study was able to promote Crucible and delayed another title it is working on: an online multiplayer game called New World.

But despite the difficulties and frustrations, there are some positive aspects.

“One of the reasons I’ve always loved games is not just a fun form of entertainment, it’s also a way to connect with others,” says Mike.

“There is a surge of interest in playing right now as a way to stay in touch safely.”

Amazon has set some ambitious goals for its games division and seems willing to be patient.

“This is the starting line, it is not the finishing line,” he adds.

“We are trying to gain respect from the players.”

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