When Amazon Game Studios announced last week that it was taking New World’s always-on alpha offline “to design major new features” that are “large in scope and create changes to the world that could be disruptive,” my gut reaction wasn’t “yay new features” – it was “wow, that sounds ominous.” As we noted in our writeup, that’s not usually how Western MMOs are developed, and those games that do go back to the drawing board mid-development often suffer delays and other problems, if they aren’t abandoned entirely.
In fact, that’s exactly what happened to Amazon’s multiplayer brawler Breakaway: It went on hiatus and then was canceled within a few months. I certainly don’t want to see that happen to one of the largest MMOs in production right now.
Then again, Amazon is still a relatively new player in the online games market, and it’s certainly not beholden to any rules when it comes to how it tests its games. It didn’t run this alpha like other games run their alphas, either, and from our own hands-on with the game and the many leaks along the way, the game definitely did need something big to really set it apart from existing survival MMO hybrids. So who knows what it’s up to?
Are you concerned about the future of Amazon’s New World? How do you see the whole thing playing out?