May 21, 2020 / 2:28 AM / 13 days ago

Amazon launches first big-budget game title, Crucible

Add “game developer” to Amazon’s list of operations alongside online retailer and video content streamer.

The Seattle-based conglomerate released a free-to-play online shooting game, Crucible, on Wednesday.

Crucible is the first big-budget released by the company’s eight-year-old Amazon Game Studios.

Multiple media reports compared the Windows 10-based game to Overwatch, League of Legends, Fortnite and Apex Legends.

Amazon already had an entry into the world of video games through its 2014 purchase of Twitch for $970 million. Twitch is the live-streaming platform of choice for many video-game enthusiasts.

Now Crucible sends Amazon into the big-money gaming world. Whether the move will wind up being profitable is open to debate.

David Cole, founder and CEO of research firm DFC Intelligence, told CNN regarding Amazon’s release of Crucible, “These companies are like huge oil tankers that cannot exactly turn on a dime. They make a decision, it takes years to execute, and by the time the product comes out, the market has totally changed direction. Both Crucible and (Amazon’s) upcoming New World, which got delayed again, are high-quality titles for three or four years ago.”

Doug Clinton of venture capital firm Loup Ventures told CNBC that the game could get a younger clientele into the Amazon tent.

“When you win the younger consumer, that’s a way to (permanently win) the whole household,” he said.

Michael Pachter, a video game and electronics analyst for Wedbush Securities, told CNBC he believes Amazon has a long-term commitment to the gaming market.

“Games is a hard business, so it makes sense that it takes a while to develop a hit and (it) makes sense that they will tweak their model and headcount as they evolve,” Pachter said. “If they can’t compete with Crucible, they’ll try with New World. If that doesn’t work, they’ll try again.”

—Field Level Media

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