The PC game, a shooter, is free to play and is the first big-budget game released via Amazon Game Studios since its launch in 2012.
Amazon Game Studios is the gaming branch of the eCommerce giant, and the release of “Crucible” marks the first diversion away from the tablet games the division has been producing.
Gaming is not a chief concern for Amazon, which has focused more on Prime subscriptions in the past, although the company did make a $970 million investment in purchasing streaming platform Twitch in 2014. Twitch Prime was launched in 2016, giving users access to exclusive streaming content.
However, Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter speculated that the release of “Crucible” could be Amazon dipping its toes into the water of the gaming industry before carving out a larger niche later, similar to what it did with books and music, CNBC reported.
Pachter told CNBC that he believes Amazon won’t be deterred if “Crucible” isn’t a hit — it will keep tweaking its model with future games until the company gets it right, he theorized.
But Prime customers tend to be the bulk of the company’s entertainment priority, as those customers usually spend the most money and are the most loyal. Data from Consumer Intelligence Research in January year estimates Prime has more than 112 million customers, and they spend around $1,400 per year. By comparison, shoppers who weren’t members only spend $600 per year.
The launch of “Crucible” ranks Amazon along with Microsoft as the only big tech companies to make forays into the gaming space.
Others may be catching the bug — Google has launched its own gaming streaming service, Stadia, purchasing space in Montreal to do so. The service allows people to stream games onto their electronic devices without owning the respective consoles.
Apple has launched its own subscription service, Arcade, as of last fall, and Facebook has made studio acquisitions in the virtual reality (VR) game space.