Let's face it, had any other game been met with the level of "meh" that Crucible did when it released a few weeks back, that game almost certainly wouldn't be given second chance to redeem itself. But Crucible isn't just any other game - it's Amazon's first foray into the gaming world, which the mega-conglomerate seems to be very much invested in at this point. As a result, the company is taking unprecedented measures to revive the ailing free-to-play shooter by effectively un-releasing it.
This isn't the first bold move that Amazon and developer Relentless Studios has taken in attempt to right the ship. Shortly after Crucible launched and its initial buzz subsided, the game struggled to find players - arguably the most important component to running a successful online competitive shooter. In an effort to unify a dwindling player base, two game types were actually removed so that Crucible's most popular mode - Heart of the Hives - could perhaps generate enough players to keep things going. However, it appears that wasn't even enough to sustain the game in its current state.
Now, thanks to Amazon's seemingly infinite wealth of resources, Crucible is getting another lease on life. Rather than facing the meat-grinder, the team at Relentless Studios is yanking Crucible from digital store shelves and reintroducing it as a closed beta. So what does that mean exactly? According to franchise lead Colin Johanson, not a whole lot for those who are already playing Crucible. That is, unless you want to take a more active role in the game's development.
"For the most part, your experience as a Crucible player will stay pretty much the same while we’re in beta." Johanson writes in a blog post. "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."
It would seem that the goal here is to engage more closely with what remains of Crucible's community, with the team going as far as establishing a "community council" made up of "beta participants of all playstyles from casual to highly competitive players."
Meanwhile, new players wanting to try Crucible for the first time will have to sign up for the closed beta.
Naturally, the biggest question is whether or not all this effort will pay off, or if Crucible's milk toast approach to the shooter genre simply isn't enough to entice its intended audience. Furthermore, it's questionable whether pandering to the community will somehow yield a more cohesive identity - something that Crucible desperately needs if it's to stand out amongst the competition.
As long as Amazon is willing to continue pumping money into the project, it might be quite some time before we know for sure.