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Friday, December 9, 2022

New World ‘Has to Be Our Breakthrough,’ according to Amazon’s flagging games unit

In almost every sector into which it has ventured, from books and grocery shopping to cloud computing and movie streaming, Amazon has been a smashing success. As a result, many have been perplexed as to why the computer behemoth has been unable to achieve success in the lucrative video gaming industry.

Amazon tried again on Tuesday to produce its own video games, and this time it was successful. New World, an online multiplayer game in which players join factions and battle creatures as well as one another, was finally launched after more than a year of delays. The game takes place on a fictitious island in the Atlantic Ocean, and players may populate it.

As players played early versions of the $40 computer game over the last several months, it got overwhelmingly favorable feedback. The game’s release comes at a critical moment for the tech giant, which has had a difficult time with its gaming endeavors.

Despite spending hundreds of millions of dollars, according to some estimates, on the other two big-budget games that Amazon said it was developing in 2016 alongside New World, none of them is still in production today. Some of its most promising gaming employees have left the company over the years without releasing any noteworthy games. Another game was pulled from stores by the business last year after receiving a negative response.

Until now, Amazon’s most significant achievement in the game business has been the acquisition of Twitch, the livestreaming video site, which the firm purchased in 2014 for about $1 billion dollars. Amazon is also moving forward with a new gaming subscription service called Luna, as well as a new development facility in Montreal, which was just revealed.

Amazon, which launched its gaming studio in 2012, has had a tough time finding popularity with its own games, though. Mike Frazzini, a long-time executive at the business, took over as CEO and said that he hoped to create blockbusters like Minecraft. Instead, despite the fact that it has developed a small number of mobile games, Amazon has discontinued or terminated at least four major games over the course of many years.

Earlier this year, Amazon announced that it was discontinuing development of a sports game called Breakaway, stating that it “didn’t make the breakthrough that would have made the game what we all thought it might be.” Following criticism of Crucible as a “hollow and forgettable experience,” the company took the unprecedented step of cancelling a previously launched game in 2020, marking the first time this has happened. In April, it announced the cancellation of a planned Lord of the Rings video game due to a contract disagreement with the Chinese computer giant Tencent, with whom it was collaborating to develop the game.

The early versions of New World were described as being colorful and action-packed by gamers who had played them. Amazon did not provide sales statistics, but said that the game had more than one million players during a two-week test period over the summer, which was conducted by the company. During same time period, New World was also the most popular game on the Steam online game distribution platform.

Jonathan James
I serve as a Senior Executive Journalist of The National Era
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