TGO Daily | October 12, 2020 | Amazon Cancels Crucible

Hello! I hope you had a great weekend 🙂 How did you like the guest newsletter from Saturday?

The reason why I created The Gaming Observer is because I wanted to celebrate video games in my own way. It continues to be a motivating factor for many of the decisions I make and directions I take the brand.

Sometimes, celebrating video games means mourning its losses. Today, we’re doing that twice. I always hate to report on these stories, because it’s a reminder that someone’s passion project, and thousands of hours of work, is going down the drain.

It gives me the same sense of sadness of being in a bookstore, as weird as that sounds. I put a book in my hands, and decide in that instant whether a major project in someone’s life is going to actually be read by me or not. And I could do that thousands of times in one visit. I’m happy that authors get the chance to be in a bookstore, but sad that I can’t read them all.

Until tomorrow,

Adrian


In The News

Amazon Cancels Crucible

Five months after release, and four months after “un-releasing,” Amazon is officially closing the doors on Crucible.

If you’re unfamiliar, this was one of Amazon’s biggest releases since their entrance into the gaming industry. It was a free-to-play hero shooter with MOBA and battle royale elements, launching in May 2020. It got very few players and poor critical reception, leaving them to bring the game back into a closed beta just one month later.

The Crucible team will be re-deployed to other Amazon games, such as their upcoming MMO New World. Full refunds are being offered for any purchases made by players in-game, and servers will be fully closed by early November.

It’s been a rocky road for Amazon so far. We’ll see if they can turn things around with projects like their streaming service Luna.


Indivisible Confirmed Done

While we’re on the topic, here’s another story about a cancelled game.With the recent employee walkout of development company Lab Zero Games, publisher 505 Games have confirmed that Indivisible will not be getting any more content.

There was indeed some additional content that was promised from it’s original Kickstarter campaign, such as cross-over content from games like Shovel Knight. However as there is virtually nobody left at Lab Zero Games, who are the IP holders of the game, it won’t be possible to deliver more content. One final update will be released to the Nintendo Switch which was already in the approval process. It brings New Game+, couch co-op, and some new challenges. 505 Games answered many questions related to this on their website.

Many former employees of Lab Zero formed a company called Future Club. They could possibly return to working on Skullgirls, as that IP belongs to publisher Autumn Games. Otherwise, it’s safe to assume that work on both projects are complete.


Xbox Game Pass on iOS

For a long time, Xbox have been trying their hardest to get xCloud and Game Pass on iOS devices. They were ultimately unsuccessful in making it happen — Apple didn’t allow it because they wanted each game in the Game Pass to have individual apps on the App Store. xCloud ended up launching exclusively on Android devices.

Imagine Microsoft’s surprise when Amazon announced their streaming and subscription service, Luna, and it’s going to be available on iOS.

It turns out that the workaround that Amazon have found is that they are browser-based. They worked with Apple’s team to have Luna games work with Safari, rather than as an individual app. It’s unclear why this hasn’t also work for Google Stadia. Some have suggested that Apple is intentionally boxing out their competitors to Apple Arcade, which technically violates their own policies on games needing individual apps in the store.

All that being said, Xbox head Phil Spencer has now reaffirmed that they will be doing their best to get Game Pass/xCloud available on iOS devices through a browser-based system. It looks like they’re hoping to launch it next year.