Amazon Game Studios Announce Three Games

Amazon have announced three PC games being made by their own games studio: a multiplayer sandbox world, a MOBA-ish 4v4 mythological murdersport, and some sort of class-based Battle Royale ’em up. That sandbox ’em up sounds like it might be interesting, at least. As Amazon also owns Twitch, all three games have bits to entertain livestream viewers or let them fiddle with what’s going on. Let’s look at New World, Breakaway [official site], and Crucible in decreasing order of interestingness.

Details on New World are a bit vague, which may be why it sounds promising. It’s a “massively multiplayer, open-ended sandbox game” set in a supernatural take on 17th century Colonial America, with all sorts of nasties lurking in the worlds. Weather and seasons will come and go, changing the world and its challenges too. Players can build settlements, or go and fight monsters, or murder each other. It sounds like it could be anything between the starkness of Wurm Online or Ultima Online and just another Ark-ish, Rust-y survival sandbox. No idea at this point. Ah, possibilities!

As for Twitch stuff, Amazon say it’ll have “broadcaster-led events, achievements, and rewards.”

Crucible is a 12-player, class-based last man standing game. Unlike, say, The Culling, it’s supposedly set in a world so dangerous players will need to band together at times. Which could lead to interesting fleeting alliances and dastardly betrayals as players get closer to being the sole winner.

It’ll also have a Twitch-friendly thirteenth player who sounds a bit like Left 4 Dead’s director, triggering events and letting viewers interact with bits too.

Then there’s Breakway, a 4v4 arena-based brawl-o-sport. Both teams are fighting for control of a ball to get it to the opponents’ goal, stopping them with shootyzaps and deploying structures. Each class/character has their own buildings, from ballistae and spike traps to trampolines and healing auras.

It’ll have Twitch guff like polls and whatnot, along with ways to win and use the new ‘Stream+’ imaginary currency. Players will get to “wager loyalty points that are redeemable for in-game rewards” which… well, I’m sure they’ve thought about how to avoid this sort of mess.

I am slightly put off by Twitch tying into gameguts. Games design with Twitch or YouTube viewers in mind can lead to good performances for broadcasters but be a bit bland to play by yourself. But hey, I don’t really stream – this isn’t for me. Though I do hope New World is on the more interesting end of its spectrum of possibility.

From this site

34 Comments

  1. SMGreer says:

    New World sounds the most promising by far but I really hope you can play as a Native American, since playing as an invasive, colonial helmet doesn’t hold all that much appeal on its own.

    • Deviija says:

      That is what I am hoping for as well. To be able to play as a Native American (or even other folks) and not the colonial helmet. I really don’t want colonialism garbage running amok.

  2. Zankman says:

    So New World is like Salem, haha.

  3. Czrly says:

    Innovation! It lives!… if you count innovation in the areas of making real money out of selling fake money, disguised and almost-certainly-not-quite-legal gambling, and inventing ways for people to watch games instead of actually playing them like we used to in ages past.

    Innovation in game design is clearly dead outside of the Indie world. (proper indie, not “indie because we wrote that on our Kickstarter page”)

    • Drib says:

      “indie because we wrote that on our Kickstarter page”

      I’m still waiting for EA to start a kickstarter and refer to their next Madden as an indie NFL game.

    • Thurgret says:

      That’s just an altogether false statement.

  4. thelastpointer says:

    The “Dungeon Master” idea in Crucible, while not exactly new, is a splendid one, I’m surprised why aren’t there more games with this mechanic. Especially with Twitch integration! Seems like a very fun thing to play or watch.

  5. smisk says:

    Maybe I’m old and out of touch, but I kinda dislike the idea of games being built so heavily around Twitch integration, esports etc. I guess it’s just because these things aren’t that important to me and my fear is that they’ll come at the expense of good game design.
    Survival games, MOBA-likes, and class-based shooters usually fail to excite me these days but maybe I’ll be wrong.

    • frightlever says:

      Maybe you don’t like games anymore. Have you tried gardening?

      • smisk says:

        I know I sound overly negative. I’m actually excited for Dishonored 2, I promise!

        • Premium User Badge

          cockpisspartridge says:

          Games are getting empirically worse. Just like everything else. Except my lawn. That’s great.

    • Darth Gangrel says:

      Looking at these games I’m feeling split. I don’t care about esports or multiplayer, so none these interest me, which makes me sigh and go “great, nothing to see here”. Then I look at my backlog and all the great games I’ve yet to play and with relief say to myself “great, nothing to see here”.

  6. lglethal says:

    Sorry, but I guess I’m not the target market, because none of these games sound even remotely interesting or inventive.

    NEXT!

  7. Eight Rooks says:

    It’s a shame they’re all multiplayer-focused (or indeed multiplayer-only) since Amazon’s games have been relatively strong so far, their mobile titles in particular (‘Til Morning’s Light and Lost Within are both well worth picking up). I’ll probably keep an eye open for further news about these to see how they turn out… I just doubt I’ll ever actually play them.

  8. theBU3NO says:

    Better make it 4 games and add a TCG to the list.

  9. Sound says:

    I think the sandbox trend has me jaded.

    New World’s concept has got my attention, but the fact that it’s a sandbox prompts an automatic “yeah, right” response in me. Another instance of developers promising something that they probably don’t know how to deliver. There are so, so few sandbox games that live up to the devs’ hype, and the only way to actually achieve a satisfying sandbox seems to be through lots of iteration(read:time), and usually also by bargaining away the instant-fun-factor.

    And then there’s a mega-corp looking over the dev’s shoulders, likely pushing them to fit some kind of market-proven mold. The fact that the other games are MOBA’s only reinforce that impression.

    I want to see a sandbox really live up to it’s hype, but other than Eve Online, I am skeptical I’ll see it happen any time soon. Which is a bummer.

  10. tigerfort says:

    New World sounds potentially really astonishingly offensive to me. The impression I get from the trailer is that the game will basically be “relive European colonisation of North America, except that the indigenous people will all be evil tentacle monsters, so it’s totes OK to kill them and steal their land!”

    I hope I’m wrong, I really do. But it doesn’t look promising.

    • Nackertash says:

      This is going to sound rude, but, why do you care? The art looks cool and native americans/cthulhu is a cool idea in my opinion. Are you afraid that seeing tentacle monsters in headdresses is going to offend someone? I just really fail to see a situation where someone could justify being offended by this. Did RE4 offend you because it was set in Africa?

      • Guy Montag says:

        Why do you care if Nackertash is offended? Beyond that, it’s pretty general consensus at this point that colonialism was… bad. But RE5 (I know, RPS and editing posts) was just set in Africa (just Africa, since the country was made up), and didn’t include much reference to colonialism one way or the other. It was just… in Africa.

        Meanwhile (at least for this first trailer, no judgment on final products) the New World trailer paints a pretty clear through-line through NA natives to mysticism/witchcraft, justifying practices that already happened in real life without the need for such a thing as proof, and were wildly barbaric.

        If you want comparison to RE5 there, the first trailer for that was pretty iffy, and it was another year before the second trailer dropped. That is a pretty long for an opinion to fester. Maybe the next New World trailer will come out a bit sooner, and the game will look a bit better.

      • Premium User Badge

        DelrueOfDetroit says:

        The difference is that there is still arguably an ongoing genocide towards Aboriginal peoples in NA. Their treaties have never been honoured. They are the most likely to be the victims of violent crime. Have you heard of Robert Pickton before? Have you heard of residential schools? Have you heard of Sisters in Spirit?

        • Premium User Badge

          DelrueOfDetroit says:

          Do you know where the term redskin comes from? Back in the 18th and 19th century there are bounties on Aboriginal people. You could literally hunt them for sport. If order to collect your bounty you needed a scalp. A ‘redskin’.

          There is a fucking football team named after a racial slur literally telling a group of people the only value they have is what you can get for murdering them.

      • PancakeWizard says:

        RE4 wasn’toffensive for being in Africa because it was set in Spain!

        • Alberto says:

          Oh, don’t worry, we’re pretty used to be down there. Or below Mexico, depending who you ask.

    • wengart says:

      Eh, I don’t see how it can be “astonishingly offensive” unless you can extrapolate out an entire games mechanics from a little more than 60 seconds of video.

  11. wykydtronik says:

    Amazon is gobbling up all the top notch game devs… Inb4 they forget to hire talented writers for said AAA title games…

    I wonder which game will be the cream of the crop…

  12. Don Reba says:

    New World concept feels extremely uninspired. Colonial America… but with monsters. Ok. If that’s the elevator pitch, I don’t think it’s worth attention.

  13. Psychomorph says:

    Money.

  14. Alonso says:

    Breakaway looks a lot like Sendokai Champions : video

  15. thedeathofirony says:

    FYI one of the heads of Amazon’s gaming division was the brains behind L4D and L4D2, Thief and many other games

    • Scott says:

      Indeed, and quite a few of the MMO developers are former ArenaNet (of Guild Wars 1/2) staff. I’m optimistic.