Facepalm: It’s fair to say that Crucible, the free-to-play team-based shooter from Amazon Games, hasn’t been a success. In fact, the game has been so underwhelming that it’s being un-released—going back into closed beta testing as the devs try to improve the experience.
The full version of Crucible launched on Steam back on May 21. You’d be forgiven for not realizing; there was very little fanfare or marketing, and most reviews were far from positive. While concurrent player numbers reached a peak of 10,600 at launch, that has fallen to 183. At one point on Monday, just 49 people were playing it.
Just two weeks after launch, developer Relentless Studios (part of Amazon Studios) decided to give the game a major overhaul, improving some elements while retiring two of Crucible’s three game modes—Alpha Hunters and Harvester Command—“for the foreseeable future.”
You can still download Crucible from Steam until 9 am Pacific / 12 am Eastern today. After that point, new players will need to sign up for the closed beta on the game’s website. Existing players will keep all their progress and customization items earned so far.
"For the most part, your experience as a Crucible player will stay pretty much the same while we're in beta," wrote franchise lead Colin 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. The game will be accessible 24/7 so you can continue to self-organize matches with other players—we recommend joining our Discord server to find players to queue against."
Reviewers have called Crucible “extremely boring” and a “misguided effort” that’s been plagued by bugs, lacking key features, and suffering from matchmaking issues. It remains to be seen whether moving to a closed beta will fix these problems, or if Crucible will join the Fire Phone as one of Amazon's biggest failures.