A day shy of a week on from release, Amazon’s free-to-play team-based PvP action shooter, Crucible, is already a flop.
Slated as the retail giant’s first big push into the video game sphere with a genre-bending take on the Overwatch-style hero shooter, Crucible was expected to make quite a splash.
A hefty development budget and the expertise of top-tier EA and Microsoft alumni at developer Relentless Studios show Amazon means business. The reviews are respectable too, with gaming media outlets coining Crucible a refreshing take on the hero shooter thanks to unique gameplay.
It’s reasonable to say Amazon has a lot hinging on Crucible and it’s second big-budget release this year, New World. Money, critical acclaim, and millions of bored gamers stuck at home eager for something new – what could go wrong?
A lot, it seems.
We’re barely past the starting blocks, and Crucible’s impact already leaves a lot to be desired.
According to SteamDB, which aggregates data from Valve’s Steam digital storefront where people can play Crucible, a middling 25,145 players jumped in on launch day, May 21. Nearly a week later, that figure remains the all-time player peak.
The player count has consistently dwindled ever since. First down to 18,000 a day later, then 13,000 two days after release, then 9, 000 on day three, and so on. As of writing, Crucible can barely maintain above 2,000 concurrent players. The twenty-four-hour peak stands at a miserable 4,500.
At this point, it’s worth reiterating that Crucible is free-to-play. Even without lightening their wallets of a single dollar, players clearly aren’t taken with what Crucible has to offer.
Twitch viewership isn’t much better. Amazon’s streaming platform acts as a litmus test for newly released games. Mass interest on Twitch tends to signal corresponding mass appeal.
Much like player numbers, interest fell precipitously over the past week. On May 20, when streamers showcased the game as part of Amazon’s conservative pre-launch marketing push, viewer numbers feathered 130,000. Yesterday, Crucible drew in less than 12,000 viewers – a figure aggregated for total viewership throughout the day.
As of writing, streamers are playing Crucible to a measly audience of 600 viewers.
It’s still early days for Crucible, but there’s a sense that such a drop off less than a week after launch is highly unusual.
Amazon has the time and resources to chip away at the game’s formula. The question is whether it can morph the game into something that appeals to gamers.