In context: Amazon is known for many things: fast shipping, a wide product selection, and its excellent cloud computing technology. However, the company also wants to be known in the realm of video games, and it hopes its ambitious upcoming MMO "New World" will make that happen.
Unfortunately, we're all going to have to wait a little longer to see if that gambit pans out. Amazon today revealed that New World will not make its planned May release date. By this point, you can probably guess why -- complications caused by the Covid-19 outbreak are the primary culprit.
As Amazon's game development workforce has shifted toward a work-from-home arrangement, numerous "challenges" have emerged. While Amazon did not specify what those challenges were, we suspect that communication issues have proven the most troublesome.
Not only are many workplace collaboration tools suffering outages due to newly-increased demand, but it can be hard to keep tabs on what your colleagues are doing when you can't just walk up to them and ask. That's especially true if remote work isn't something you're used to, which could be the case with New World's development team.
For those who don't know, New World promises to offer a compelling open-world MMO experience, with fast-paced (and skill-based) combat, survival elements, and a robust base-building system. The core gameplay loop will focus heavily on personal crafting skills, as well as the in-depth "Company" system.
Companies allow players to band together and form a cohesive hierarchy and command structure, which they can use to erect towns and cities, and fight opposing player factions for land and resources.
So, returning to delay-related news, let's talk specifics. According to Amazon, New World's official launch date has been pushed back to August 25, and the start of its closed beta has been moved to July. Though disappointing, we hope this delay helps Amazon's developers turn this game into a stable, entertaining, and high-quality product when it releases.