In this era of constant updates, games leave closed beta on a regular basis. They don’t often re-enter it. However, like a groundhog emerging to un-see its own shadow, Amazon’s team-based shooter Crucible is no longer a fully released video game.
Crucible’s post-release beta comes on the heels of a rocky launch, which consisted of both a ho-hum critical response and a hollow thud of a landing on platforms like Steam and Amazon’s own Twitch. In a developer update posted today, Crucible franchise lead Colin Johanson said that the game is entering closed beta tomorrow, but it will continue to follow the development road map that’d been previously laid out.
The main goal of this unprecedented un-release is to more closely evolve the game in line with community feedback. “We’re setting up a community council, made up of beta participants of all playstyles from casual to highly competitive players, who we’ll be working especially closely with,” said Johanson. “One of the biggest changes you’ll see is that we’re going to schedule dedicated time each week when we as devs will be playing with the community and soliciting feedback.”
This means that if you’re not a Crucible player already, you’ll soon have to sign up through the game’s website in hopes of gaining access. If you’re already a Crucible player, Johanson said, the game will “stay pretty much the same while we’re in beta.”
All of this makes sense, to an extent. I don’t think there’s a game developer alive who wouldn’t try to give their flatlining game a second lease on life if they had Amazon’s resources to fall back on. But it’s still wild that a game released by one of the biggest companies on Earth ever found itself in this position in the first place. In the year 2020, you can’t just launch a middle-of-the-road multiplayer game and expect players to abandon hundreds of comparable options and deliver themselves straight to your doorstep—even if you’re Amazon.