Amazon has now launched their first AAA title as they continue to grow their influence in the gaming space. From selling consoles and games through its ecommerce platform, to acquiring Twitch for $970M in 2014, to building out Lumberyard (its own game engine), Amazon has finally released a AAA title: Crucible.
Crucible (watch the trailer) is a third-person team shooter that takes place on a large jungle-like planet in a sci-fi future. As one of a diverse cast of heroes called “hunters,” players mine resources from reptilian monsters and go head to head to capture points in their choice of three competitive modes. This isn’t the first game Amazon has been tied to, yet it is their first AAA game that has been built and launched using Lumberyard (hence the attention it’s getting). Their second AAA title, New World, is to be released this fall.
In 2017, Amazon Studios abandoned its plans for the multiplayer brawler, Breakway, and last year laid off dozens of employees while also canceling several unannounced games. The most surprising aspect of Amazon’s launch is that they put very little marketing behind it (unlike recent launches like Apex, Warzone, etc). They didn’t even leverage Twitch (an asset they own). No top streamers were streaming it and on the day it was released it was ranked the #26 live game.
While this launch of Crucible has not been a huge hit, there is a very strong path forward for Amazon to become one of the biggest players in the gaming ecosystem.
This week we saw a massive shakeup in media and entertainment as Kevin Mayer, former Head of Streaming at Disney, will take over as CEO of TikTok. He will also have the role of COO of ByteDance, the Chinese conglomerate which owns TikTok. TikTok has become one of the most popular mobile apps and has taken the world by storm with its viral dances and memes. Songs are being released through TikTok and are being promoted via dance challenges that have sprung multiple songs to the Billboard’s Top 100 charts.
What we see as most interesting in this hire is that Kevin Mayer’s background at Disney lends itself to TikTok’s expansion into various other verticals of media and entertainment. Kevin Mayer, while leading Disney’s streaming department, was instrumental in acquiring BAMTech, which powers Disney’s streaming services. TikTok has also mentioned it is moving into streaming, specifically game streaming (i.e. Twitch, YouTube competitor), so the hire of Kevin Mayer continues to make sense as they become even more influential in other forms of media.