Amazon.com Inc. ended development of its first big-budget video game Crucible, highlighting the online retailer’s continued struggle to make headway in the industry.
“We didn’t see a healthy, sustainable future ahead of Crucible,” the company said in a blog post on Friday. The team working on the project will be moved to other upcoming games and customers will get refunds, it added.
Crucible was seen as a key test for Amazon’s games division, which was formed in 2012. The game’s launch in May was a disaster, with negative reviews. A month later, Amazon made the game an invite-only closed beta. Before releasing Crucible, the company had already canceled a previously announced game and cut some jobs in the games unit.
“This has been a labor of love, and we’re grateful for the time we got to spend on planet Crucible with you,” Amazon wrote in the blog.
The Crucible development team will now focus on another original game called New World. Amazon earlier this year said it would release New World in August, but later pushed back the release to spring 2021.
Developing original games is one piece of Amazon’s strategy to break into video games. The company bought Twitch, the live-streaming service dominated by gamers, in 2014. In September, Amazon unveiled Luna, a subscription video game streaming service that will allow gamers to play without expensive hardware like consoles.