Amazon has delayed its upcoming open-world MMO New World, one of two tentpole games from its burgeoning games studio, from August 25th to an undefined spring 2021 date. The announcement comes less than two weeks after Amazon brought its other tentpole game, the free-to-play shooter Crucible, back into closed beta following barely a month of wide availability. It sounds like Amazon may be taking a more cautious approach to game development after early feedback from testers that the games weren’t quite what they hoped.
The New World team wants to add “more features and content before we share it with a wider audience,” including “plenty of middle and endgame experiences,” studio director Rich Lawrence said in a blog post that was also shared on Twitter. “We want our players to feel completely immersed in the game, and know that our studio stands for quality and lasting gameplay you can trust — and that means added time to get things where we want them before we fully release.”
Though most of us will have to wait until next year to try New World, there’s still an early access opportunity: if you signed up for the beta on or before July 9th, already preordered the game, or are a current alpha tester “in good standing,” you’ll be able to participate in a “first-hand look at New World” beginning on the game’s previously scheduled launch date, August 25th, according to an FAQ on the New World website.
If you get access to that first look, you’ll be able to play the game “in its current state” and for “a limited period of time,” according to Lawrence.
New World’s delay (which is the game’s second) leaves Amazon Games with just one other title that might be releasing in the near term: Pac-Man Live Studio, a new version of Pac-Man that you’ll be able to play directly on Twitch, which is owned by Amazon. Bandai Namco and Amazon Games announced in May that the game would be available in June, but it’s still not out yet, and the game’s website now says that it’s “coming soon.”
And we’re also not sure when Crucible will be widely available again now that it has returned to closed beta. That game, which mixes pieces of mobile online battle arenas (MOBA) and hero shooters, originally launched in late May. But in early June, Amazon pulled two of the game’s three modes, leaving only its MOBA-inspired mode, and then returned the released game to closed beta on July 1st to make more improvements.
In June 2019, Amazon laid off “dozens” of developers from Amazon Games as part of a reorganization. And in 2018, it canceled fantasy sports game Breakaway, another tentpole title, which Amazon first announced in 2016 but took back to the drawing board in October 2017 before outright canceling it.