Well, this is some strange news. Amazon Games is ‘un-releasing’ the previously released Crucible, taking it all the way back to closed beta. The free-to-play hero shooter wasn’t all that well received at launch, which happens sometimes. However, the usual response by developers is to fix any issues with a series of patches or updates, eventually leading it to a hopefully better state. But this is probably the first time I heard of a game getting ‘un-launched’ due to poor reception. Amazon will likely re-relaunch the game at a later date.
Crucible has seen sweeping changes in a short amount of time. The game launched in late May, and within weeks Amazon went at it with a scalpel. Coming with three different modes, most players ignored two of them to favor the third. Amazon responded by taking away the unused modes in order to work on the one players actually liked. Tomorrow, nearly a month later, Amazon is taking Crucible back to the drawing board.
“Starting tomorrow, Crucible is moving to closed beta,” reads the developer update. “We’ll continue following the roadmap we laid out previously and working on map, combat, and system changes to improve the Heart of the Hives experience as well as implementing other improvements based on your feedback and what we think the game needs in order to thrive.”
But it’s not like we didn’t see major changes coming — though not quite like this. In our assessment of the game, we felt Crucible, though rich with visual personality, was flawed. Our own Kurt Perry said: “It has too many fundamental oversights and technical issues to justify playing it over the array of better alternatives in its genre.”
Other players must have agreed, as the game’s population tanked shortly after launch. According to Steam Charts, Crucible launched with 10,600 players — which isn’t staggering, especially with a free game. Even before the start of June, the player count dropped dramatically. As of today, only around 150 people are still playing Crucible.
Crucible returns to closed beta starting tomorrow at noon EST. The developer is asking for feedback in order to make the game better. Hopefully Amazon games and the Crucible team can figure out just how to make the game work for its second official launch.