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Amazon's Crucible won't be coming back

So long, Crucible. Amazon’s free-to-play shooter hasn’t had the easiest ride, greeted by a release so underwhelming developers Relentless Studios chose to take it back to the shop for a bit of a tune-up. Three months later, the devs have decided that Crucible may just be beyond salvaging. Development on the beleaguered shooter has ceased, with servers set to shut off over the next few weeks.

Things were shakey from the start, of course. Crucible’s launch was a bit of a mess, lacking basic features like voice chat or a mini-map for the game’s sprawling maps. Things were looking grim one month later, with Relentless dropping two of the game’s three modes and delaying its first ranked season indefinitely.

Fairly sound, then, that Crucible would retreat back into closed beta – the idea being that the devs would take revised look at the game, plan substantial reworks, and try this whole release thing again sometime later. In the Crucible team’s Final Developer Update, however, the devs admit that the game won’t be making a surprise comeback.

“That evaluation led us to a difficult decision: we’ll be discontinuing development on Crucible. We very much appreciate the way that our fans have rallied around our efforts, and we’ve loved seeing your responses to the changes we’ve made over the last few months, but ultimately we didn’t see a healthy, sustainable future ahead of Crucible.”

Relentless will now be transitioning staff over to Amazon’s colonialist MMO, New World, along with “other upcoming projects” from the tech giant. Still, Crucible’s demise is just the latest notch in the Bezos company’s doomed efforts to get into games, with Amazon reportedly canned several games amid mass layoffs last year. Crucible is maybe the closest the trillion-dollar omnicompany has come to actually releasing a game – and, well, look how that turned out.

I’m not sure how many people will miss Crucible. Our Matt Cox (RPS in peace) reckoned it was an “interesting failure” at best in his Crucible review, one that suffered from trying to pull off too many things at once with shooting that felt absolutely rubbish. “In reality, I’d rather play any of the many games that grapple with just one of Crucible’s heads, and pulls it off far better.”

Crucible will be getting one final playtest and community celebration sometime in the next few weeks. After that, the matchmaking servers will shut down for good, with support for custom games ending on November 9. All players are being offered full refunds for any purchases made.

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Natalie Clayton

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