Amazon finally showed its hand during TwitchCon, announcing a trio of new games that their studios have been developing over the past few years. A couple of them sound pretty damn cool.
Concept art from Crucible
For example, there’s New World, an open-world game about colonising a supernatural version of 17th-century North America:
New World is a massively multiplayer, open-ended sandbox game that allows players to carve out their own destiny with other players in a living, cursed land. Players decide how to play, what to do, and whom to work with — or against — in an evolving world that transforms with seasons, weather, and time of day. Players can band together to reclaim monster-haunted wilds and build thriving civilizations, or strike out alone, surviving in the face of supernatural terrors and murderous player bandits. With emergent gameplay and rich social features, including deep Twitch integration with broadcaster-led events, achievements, and rewards, the only limit in the New World is a player’s ambition.
That “deep Twitch integration” is interesting. As you might remember, Amazon owns Twitch, which makes it a lot simpler for Amazon to integrate streaming and broadcasting tools into the games they’re making. In practice, the idea of Twitch broadcasters interacting directly with a game could be really cool — or really terrible.
The second game, Crucible, also sounds promising:
Crucible is a battle to the last survivor on a hostile, alien world. Players choose and customise heroes, making alliances and betraying allies on their path to victory. An additional player heightens the drama by triggering events, live-streaming the battles, and interacting with viewers.
Imagine a big team deathmatch that’s influenced by a third-party observer who’s streaming on Twitch and screwing with players as they battle. Interesting idea, right?
The third game, Breakaway, is a MOBA-like “sport brawler” and doesn’t seem as interesting as the other two, although your mileage may vary.
Industry observers have been wondering what Amazon has been up to for the past few years, since they A) Spent big bucks to buy Twitch, B) spent big bucks to licence Crytek’s engine (which they then turned into their own free engine) and C) spent big bucks on a couple of big-name studios and designers. Now we’re finally starting to see how all of those elements will ultimately interact.