Amazon says it’s still ‘working hard’ on its MMORPG New World

    
35

Back in May, Amazon Game Studios raised eyebrows when it announced it was taking in-development MMORPG New World’s always-on alpha offline. According to the studio, the game would go offline so Amazon could “design major new features” that were “large in scope and create changes to the world that could be disruptive.” Even at the time, it sounded ominous; as we pointed out, 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. Indeed, that’s pretty much what Amazon did with Breakaway, which it ultimately canceled.

In June, the servers went offline as promised, as Amazon reiterated that development was continuing with a weirdly contradictory message that stated the studio “liked what it saw” in the alpha but still needed to close down this “phase” of the alpha to integrate the “content and features” testers asked for.

Then in July, Amazon announced it was working on a special collaboration with Leyou Technologies: a new free-to-play Lord of the Rings MMO. Curiously, Amazon revealed that “development is being led by the same Amazon Game Studios team behind New World, and a new team being assembled for this project will utilize resources from across AGS locations in Seattle, Irvine and San Diego.” The LOTR press release also referred to New World‘s progress specifically: “Amazon Game Studios recently wrapped a successful alpha test of New World, and looks forward to sharing updates on that game in the future.”

Suffice it to say, we haven’t heard any such updates since; Amazon’s social media has been quiet since the LOTR announcement, while the game’s Twitter account has posted exactly three replies since server-down: two promising the team is still hard at work on the game and will share updates when possible, and one referring to the game’s alpha forums, which quietly went offline in the last couple of weeks.

“Don’t worry, we are just upgrading our forums. Everything is going great,” the official account says.

Over on Reddit, concern has been mounting over both the missing forums and the fact that the company has apparently wiped all the official videos from New World’s YouTube page. It’s certainly possible, of course, that the truth lies with cautious voices on Reddit suggesting that the game’s sweeping changes require a fresh start for both the forums and the video base. That’s not stopping speculation over the game’s fate, however.

Further reading:

Source: Twitter, Reddit, forums. Thanks, Squid!
Advertisement

No posts to display

newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
Zola_Rose
Reader
Zola_Rose

I’d been holding out hope for New World, especially liking the work of many of the devs they picked up from other studios – but I played the Alpha and was so, so disappointed. I wasn’t expecting a fully finished game, by any means, but the general direction of the game was disappointing to me. I feel like AGS is committing the very common, very major mistake of trend humping, rather than blazing their own trail. Survival games are popular? We’ll make a survival game. MOBAs are popular? We’ll make a MOBA. And both are struggling because those genres are no longer new and novel, and AGS isn’t offering anything to really differentiate themselves.

The setting and backdrop of The New World has so much potential, and it’s fucking wasted on yet another survival title. It makes me sad that MMOs are falling out of favor, and that devs are preferring games with shorter play sessions as opposed to the type of content you can sink your teeth into over the long term.

Reader
JakkuTV

For anyone wondering. This article leaves out vital information seems from the actual players of the game. In the offical discord we received confirmation that the game is still being worked on by devs. Aswell if you take a look on the forums they also verify by message that the game is in alpha testing. Therefore showing us that the game is not dead and we need to be patient a little longer.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Patreon Donor
Loyal Patron
Ashfyn Ninegold

This is way too neat to be an abandoned workplace. Once you’ve seen the tornado effect of people running for the exits, you never forget it. Plants, coats, shoes, cups, company memorabilia, papers, pens, pencils, books, folders. If it’s possible for a human being to touch it, it will be strewn on the floor and across desks. It’s not the absence of people, it’s the determined disdain for the once-treasured.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
squid

So in other words, they’re dumping the New World concept and retooling what they’re already built into an LotR game.

Reader
Loopy

Survival LOTR game. You play as Gollum and have to scavenge for fish while the rest of the story unfolds around you.

deekay_plus
Reader
Patreon Donor
deekay_plus

through twitch stream embeds with unskippable ads ;)

Reader
McGuffn

Alexa, make Gollum scavenge for fish.

Reader
ElderNotleh

@nbrianna thank you for the update.

deekay_plus
Reader
Patreon Donor
deekay_plus

if anyone hasn’t tried it yet – it is/was a bog standard survival builder game like any other with mmo style central authorization and game server hosting.

i heard they were completely redoing it from what was available to play test tho.

it also didn’t have any of that star citizen big map w/e they call it star engine tech – pretty standard cryengine/bog standard survival game map sizes.

Reader
Does not check email

I hope it becomes interesting and good luck. I did not reload after my new computer. I just found myself repeating menial tasks and mentally getting distracted by anything else but the screen in front of me.

Reader
Arktouros

Some of the tech on display was pretty cool actually compared to other games.

deekay_plus
Reader
Patreon Donor
deekay_plus

i must’ve missed that. anything stand out to you?

Reader
Arktouros

One of the zones came down but the rest of the server was up. Except the “zones” don’t really have like zone lines or zone access points like you’d expect. Instead that area just got a fogged border. That implies some sort of technology where the zones can be dynamically turned on/off. It’d be like someone just turning off The Barrens in WOW, but all the other surrounding regions were still accessible.

deekay_plus
Reader
Patreon Donor
deekay_plus

sounds exactly how like atlas’s server stuff works except atlas doesn’t have the fog.

Reader
Arktouros

Or a game population LOL

deekay_plus
Reader
Patreon Donor
deekay_plus

to be fair neither really did much of the new world player testing.

>>

(i actually have a friend of a friend that still plays atlas i guess. occasionally he posts wild pvp vids involving fleets of ships and shit. the combat/ship controls look absolutely terrible but there are a few people playing enough to have some interesting battles i guess at least, but definitely agreed atlas is probably dead in the water due to too soon early access wipe and the initial ea launch issues and bugs etc that drove the vast majority of those interested away as quickly as snail could manage it :D).

Reader
James Velasquez

Its had the Goon Squad, last bit of alpha they came in and it was basically KOS DayZ all over again.

They wanted the trading system to be like eve but got the goons instead; They needed to add a way for companies to change zone security if they really wanted new world to be some anyone outside of zero sec / DayZ would play..

Reader
mmo game

Xept amazon works with the amazon cloud, no loading screens, can hold more players.

deekay_plus
Reader
Patreon Donor
deekay_plus

almost every mmorpg and online game in existence is running on aws or equivalent cloud hosting service.

and those arent really features of cloud hosting like aws.

Reader
laelgon

I was impressed with the server performance, but maybe that’s because I’ve become used to a lot of newer MMOs having garbage server stability. The benefit of having Amazon’s resources I suppose.

Interested to see what they come back with. The game map was big and varied, but the gameplay was pretty standard survival. Join a group to build a base and knock down someone else’s, which is basically all that Atlas had but with worse servers. Hopefully they find a good hook to flesh out the game.

Reader
styopa

Thank you – This is pretty much spot on. I was running an older gaming laptop that even in potato-mode was choking and gagging on the non-optimized alpha test runs. Now that I have a *much* better computer I was disappointed to see that the test is no longer open.
But yeah, what I saw at about 2-3 fps wasn’t knocking my socks off either.

I do still think the choice of setting/context is pretty damned daring. On that basis alone, they have my curiosity.

On that tangent, I’m wondering why none of the MMO devs all looking to make (wow 2.0 but with our spin on it) haven’t considered the host of interesting worlds/settings in SW/South-Asia that have been more or less entirely ignored by developers? Sort of like RQG is doing in the tabletop FRP space, a bronze-age or later (up to maybe 500AD) game set in/around Baghdad, Persia, etc has gobs and gobs of fascinating architecture, mysterious religions (that are disconnected enough from mainstream modern ones that you wouldn’t have too much worry about offending people), layer on layer of historical stratification so lots of opportunity for forgotten tombs, magical mysteries, and a fair bit of aesthetic variation say, from the Fertile Crescent to the precursor-maritime Chola Empire in the east.

deekay_plus
Reader
Patreon Donor
deekay_plus

i like the setting/lore premise. but as their leadership talent hires indicate, the result in the end has so far (not just with this one but AGS stuff in general thusfar) has been… uninspired and dubious.

the problem with mmorpg dev lead talents is they all have no creativity to speak of and spend 90 minute long kickstarter project update streams talking about that time they designed that one obvious but popular on social media mechanic 20 billion years ago as if they’re answering questions from fans while the actual questions backers are actually asking in the stream chat and game discussion venues go ignored or patronized and condescended to.

and that’s exactly the sort of principle lead talent that AGS has sought out to head it’s projects.

anyways i’ve long given up expecting creativity in the bandwagon developers of mmorpg/survival sandbox/wow clones/mobas/brs and more or less just look for some nice pleasant refinements of past formulas i personally enjoy in lieu of lack of genuine and sincere creativity from the people who can make such things happen in the industry.

Reader
Bhagpuss Bhagpuss

I played NW on my five year old PC that was barely mid-range when I bought it and hasn’t been upgraded since. The game looked stunningly beaurtiful and ran without a hitch. Performance was never an issue and neither was the gameplay, which was excellent.

I think perhaps we should remember that Amazon is not a games development specialist but a far bigger and more diverse company than that. They will have procedures very different from a games specialist so it’s probably unwise to draw the same conclusions from their decisions that we might from a mainstream games developer. Companies like Amazon are far more likely to scrap projects or change them radically than a games developer reliant on their next – and possibly only – project.

Short of Blizzard, most MMO development houses seem determined to release whatever they’ve made, whatever state it’s in, as soon as they think they can siphon some money out of the audience by doing so. We should be celebrating Amazon’s willingness to hold back or cancel projects that aren’t working, not seeing it as a negative. That said, I thought New World was working very well indeed but that’s not to say it couldn’t be better!

deekay_plus
Reader
Patreon Donor
deekay_plus

Short of Blizzard, most MMO development houses seem determined to release whatever they’ve made

tbh every wow expack since cata has been largely an excercise in this (quoted without further context intentionally :P)

amazon game studios exists to move more clients into their AWS ecosphere via lumberyard. i don’t think they actually care much about making actual games as a priority – LY development would be the focus.

the games they are developing are meant to be presentations of that to attract real game developers to the platform. which is hand in hand with their overall business model as a corporate entity.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Patreon Donor
Loyal Patron
Ashfyn Ninegold

If true, then they’ve probably accomplished what they set out to do and NW is not coming back.

deekay_plus
Reader
Patreon Donor
deekay_plus

i guess we’ll find out eventually. launched games usually make better tech showcases than unreleased canceled ones. :P

Reader
Barantor

Ironically Vanguard had those styles of architecture but like Vanguard the beta I experienced in New World was not promising.

I guess if you like survival games enough you’d like it? But it definitely wasn’t doing anything new compared to any of the non MMO survival games or even the Life is Feudal MMO really.

I hope they reassess, because it definitely wasn’t blowing me away with… anything?

Reader
mmo game

Im sure thats some of the feedback they got from testers, they didnt want just another survival game with more players. Also dont forget the alpha is that an alpha, game will change alot till release as all alphas do, it might have felt like a fleshed out survival game but it was in alpha with new mechanics being brought in.

Theryl
Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Patreon Donor
Loyal Patron
Theryl

A Glorantha based MMO would definitely be a “Shut up and take my money” for me.