New World’s Amazon Games has major ambitions for the gaming industry

    
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So New World appears to be Amazon Games’ first success after two major stumbles. Is it going to be its last? Amazon CEO Andy Jassy hopes not. At the GeekWire Summit earlier this week, he argued that games could become the largest entertainment business within the sprawling company – not an insignificant ask, given the billions of dollars it’s pumped into film and TV, not to mention music.

“There were a lot of articles written, people saying things like ‘Amazon knows how to build everything but games, why can’t they build games?'” he said. “It takes a few before you find a hit, or several, but they didn’t lose their resolve.” For Amazon, that’d include Crucible and Breakaway, former of which was pulled back into beta and then canceled after launch, and the second of which was killed off before it launched at all.

“You’re going to have some games fail spectacularly,” Jassy acknowledged.

New World doesn’t appear to be one of them, though it’s too soon to predict whether it’ll break into the top echelons of the MMORPG hierarchy; it just saw a peak concurrency over 900,000 players during its first post-launch weekend, with a couple million active players per day.

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air2522

It has so many players at launch because Amazon is really good at marketing. I can see New World’s advertisement everywhere, everybody is talking about it. If you like it, that’s good for you because you’ve already paid $40 for it. I’ve play almost every MMO and I can say New World feels like a low budget mmo developed by an indy gaming studio. There is nothing new to be excited about. But for people who started playing mmo for the first time I’m sure they will have a lot of fun for a month or two.

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Andrew Schwartz

PvP game with PvE as an afterthought. Once you’ve done a few quests, it’s rinse and repeat.

The world feels lifeless. No weather system that I’ve seen and everything feels and looks the same.

Traveling the world is a chore with no rewards for exploring.

Populated servers make it very difficult to find resources stifling crafting progress.

Endgame PvP excludes the vast majority of more casual players. Most players will not be able to experience the faction wars due to the 50v50 design.

Still waiting on a good mmo that gives me everything. Ashes of Creation? Eso almost had it until animation canceling. Lotro has the best world design. Swtor the best questing and instanced PvP. Gw2 with public questing. New World may excel at faction based PvP, but few will get to experience it. Go play daoc or eso for that. Or Eve if you have a load of time to commit.
It’s a shame gw2’s wvwvw isn’t anything more than a game of musical chairs.

TLDR: New World does nothing new and feels like a step backwards in many ways. No mounts, no group finder, generic PvE, no weather system, limited fast travel, no mega server or linked server structure, and exclusive and elitist PvP system.

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rk70534

I’m certainly not a fan of Amazon, on the contrary, but it’s clear that quite a lot of people desperately want this game both to fail and be considered bad – apparently not understanding, or caring, ​that a big hit MMORPG will lead to both more funding for big studio AAA MMOs and more investor interest towards innovative indie projects.

Part of this wanting the game to be seen as bad and to fail seems to be the standard, endemic negativity in the MMO community, people preferring games and even the entire genre to burn while yearning for the Chosen One game of their own dreams. There’s probably no cure to that attitude.

But if you want more than indie gankboxes or, the new fad, social sandboxes, this game being successful is good news. Which doesn’t mean that Amazon and Bezos don’t s*ck overall.

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Chris Johnson

Although there will always be a degree of that with every new game release, do not confuse baseless hatred with actual criticism. New World has it’s strong points, but there is much to criticize, especially if you were expecting the game to live up to even a small portion of the hype.

Criticizing a game’s flaws and weak points based on disappointment isn’t the same as “desperately wanting a game to fail or be considered bad.” If you do not point out a development team’s mistakes, that same team and others like it will feel they can get away with anything from cutting very obvious design corners and abusively reusing assets, to cash shop items and microtransactions. I wouldn’t applaud any of this in a vain effort to encourage funding for more of the same.

The gaming industry has numerous examples of that already.

Swifty
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Swifty

The fact that New World had so much interest on launch isn’t because it’s a great game. It’s because people NEED another great MMORPG. For years we have been in the MMO wilderness, hoping for another game we can call home like we did years ago…

With every new MMO release, we think maybe this one will be the one. Only to see it’s just another average, over-hyped game that won’t stand the test of time.

In 6 months New World will be all but forgotten by many that where there on launch day.

I do wonder if Ashes of Creation will be that MMO, but going by past hopes, I have my doubts.

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Chris Johnson

20% game, 80% hype.

Bare bones basic, generic, and uninspiring. With so much time and resources, THIS is the best they could do? AGS had numerous examples of how to get it right all over. They could have taken the best of what works, improved upon it, and put their own spin on it.

Instead, they just winged it.

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Don Nascimento

Could not disagree enough. This is the MMO the industry needs. Let me ask you, what MMO are you currently playing?

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Bruno Brito

ESO, GW2, DDO, LOTRO, Ragnarok.

Swifty
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Swifty

I played New World in alpha and beta. It all felt very average, with boring content. I cancelled my pre-order long before release.
I have played MMOs since 2001 and to be honest, over the past decade they have steadily got worse with ever new release. (FFXIV may be the one exception here, but it too has issues)
I don’t think games companies even know how to make a true MMORPG anymore.

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Chris Johnson

“The MMO the industry needs”

Really?

Why exactly would the industry need a game that started off lacking a sense of direction, switched focus several times, and released in a state where practically everything is copied and pasted several times over and used as content in the most unimaginative way possible?

The industry needs a game that has the most basic character creator imaginable, in 2021, even though the studio had the resources and the time to do much better?

The industry needs a game where you run all across the map to kill 10 wolves, click 5 chests, or chop down 12 trees just to run back to pick up more quests to do the exact same thing again, and again, and again, and again, and again…..??? When you reach another settlement and start questing there, guess what’s waiting for you? The exact same thing! This makes up practically the entire questing system, from level 1 to cap with very little variation. A complete lack of depth. First year students studying the gaming industry could do better!

The industry NEEDS THIS??

I could go on, but the point has been made.

I play several games including SWTOR, BDO, ESO, GW2, STO, Conan Exiles, Blade and Soul, Vindictus, and many others. I was never interested in WOW and I haven’t really gotten into FFXIV, but may give it another try at some point.

New World in my opinion is a half baked game that needed a least another year of dedicated development in order to be worth even a quarter of the hype.

PVE as an afterthought, yet marketed to pve players as if it’s the second coming of games?

Sure, the MMO the industry needs…..or so the marketing would have you believe…

No.

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styopa

I think one good week of logins and player numbers speaks more to the desperate hunger for SOMETHING NEW in the MMO world. (In this case, their quasi-abandonment of ‘more elves and dragons’ helped, too.)

I do NOT think it means anything substantive until we see that flush of shiny-new-thing wear off…I’d guess 30-60d?

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2Ton Gamer

I don’t think New World is the MMO people are really looking for, but I think it is ultimately good for the genre if it can inject interest into the genre, but that can also come with some flags as we don’t need investors throwing money at badly made games, but good games being made or being built upon.

As for New World, my opinion touches on something Justin said in a story he posted last week and I am not sure if he was tossing some slight shade at NW (he didn’t call it out by name), but having a good lore and quests that are interesting goes a long way in an MMO and this is where NW seems to be lacking as I have seen a few articles since last week mention the lack of quest diversity and almost non-existent lore.

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Munchmeat2

They basically started as a survival game and are now trying to turn into a themepark MMO. The gane has potential, but it still feels like an early themepark alpha MMO to me.

PlasmaJohn
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PlasmaJohn

I think there’s plenty of interest in the genre just nobody that wants to put the work into making a good game. Why hire a huge multidisciplinary team when a handful of coders and an intern artist can crap out mobile games that net more profits?

I’m sure there’s a lot of passion out there for building an MMO but it must be tempered with some very expensive engineering and management discipline.

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Munchmeat2

I think NW would have been much further along if they have just started out with a bit more vision as to what they wanted their game to be. They started out as a hardcore PvP MMO which everyone knows are a total waste of time since the audience of these games is extremely small.

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styopa

“You all have cell phones, don’t you?”

Fisty
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Fisty

I’m having a great time so far. Hope that ambition remains with NW a bit. I can see getting bored if newer content isn’t added.

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bobfish

Estimates are over 10 million copies sold, pretty good for a PC only game.

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Munchmeat2

There is no way.

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bobfish

It’s $40 and had crazy support from Twitch influencers in the last two months. I wouldn’t be surprised if that drove a lot of people to jump in and buy it at the last minute.

If someone had said 10m to me in July, I would’ve laughed my ass off, but it is definitely way more popular than anything prior to August would’ve suggested.

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Munchmeat2

Do you have a source for this claim?

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bobfish

It is an estimate from Steamspy, which can be fairly accurate or completely off the mark.

SteamDB estimates between 2 to 5m, which might be more realistic.

Interestingly from styopa’s comment suggests they might’ve inflated the numbers by giving it away. I wouldn’t put it past Amazon to give it to everyone on Prime and not tell anyone.

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rk70534

They were giving it away at one point, at least for people in NA, but that was a few years ago.

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Arktouros

I would be incredibly surprised if this game isn’t launched on consoles within the next year or so. Everything about the game top to bottom in it’s UI to it’s combat abilities all scream console.

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Dug From The Earth

Ironically… all of the games hardware temperature and performance issues vanish when the game is capped at 30 FPS…. you know… what the majority of consoles owned run at.

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Bruno Brito

Good to know.

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Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

Estimates from where? Because like, if that was remotely accurate I’m pretty sure Amazon would be putting out hourly press releases bragging about that. That’s a massive number for PC sales, especially for a MMO and a one of the first projects from a newer team (even if it is Amazon).

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Munchmeat2

I bet they sold around 1 to 1.5 million copies.

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Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

I think that’s a bit low, but much closer. I’d guess they’re at least around 2M sales given the steady volume of players we’ve seen at launch, but without any data from them the best we can do is try to estimate total sales based off concurrency and the assumption that <50% of the playerbase is active even during its peak times.

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styopa

I think with 800-900k concurrent, that’s a reasonable guess.

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styopa

I see:
800k concurrent users (presumably each = 1 sale*) https://www.geekwire.com/2021/jeff-bezos-calls-amazons-new-world-video-game-success-early-determine/
*I somehow got mine for free, I triple checked and no, I only ever signed up for the beta in 2016…and got a full key in Sept. So how many others like me are actually playing for free? That is NOT a sale.

1 million preorders (per Amazon per NYT) https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/28/technology/new-world-amazon.html

So no, 10 million is a nonsense number right now.

MrEllis
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MrEllis

If they’re happy with it, I suppose it’s a success. MMORPGs are a niche when it comes to gaming. If you made a profit, great. I think we have an unreasonable expectation on what is a success and also how good a game is at launch.