Amazon debuts its new free-to-play PC game Crucible, with hopes of cashing in on the lucrative video game industry.

Amazon Game Studios has released its first big-budget, competitive shooting title. The new team-based PvP shooter is now live and open to consumers on video game digital distribution service, Steam.

Players can choose from a diverse roster of aliens and humans and work alongside teammates to hunt opponents, take down hostile creatures, and harvest Essence. Crucible focuses heavily on multiplayer features and aims to include a lot of social dynamics.

Crucible faces a number of formidable competitors

Early previews of Crucible have been favorable so far, however, the game will be competing against a number of popular titles, most notably Fortnite and Apex Legends.

As of August 2018, Fortnite had 78.3 million active players in a month. More recently, over 12.3 million concurrent players participated live in Travis Scott’s Astronomical concert event, a huge success for developer Epic Games.

Released in February 2019, Apex Legends unexpectedly broke into the battle royale scene and within its first week, 25 million people downloaded the game across the PS4, Xbox One and PC platforms. The game also managed to generate an estimated $92 million in its first month.

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Despite the success of Fortnite and Apex Legends, other titles within the genre haven’t fared as well after failing to attract enough of a long-term audience to survive. Gigantic officially shut down its servers in July 2018, while Battleborn is currently in the process of a year-long phased shutdown of servers, which will be by January 2021.

When looking at the success of competitors, it is clear to see why Amazon wants a slice of the pie. However, this only means that it will be more challenging for Crucible to make a foothold in what is a consolidated, highly competitive market.

Amazon Game Studios will benefit from the financial backing of its parent company

Despite the competitive environment, Crucible stands to benefit from’s financial backing and commitment to the gaming industry.

Amazon Games has growing teams in Washington, California, New York, London, Munich, which suggests the company is investing heavily in this arm of the business. New World, a massively multiplayer online role-playing video game, is another title which is set to release in August 2020.

In 2014, Amazon, in a surprise move, bought video-game streaming service Twitch for $970m, a bargain considering the gaming platform is now valued $3.79bn. The site primarily focuses on video game live streaming, including broadcasts of eSports competitions, in addition to music broadcasts, creative content, and more recently, “in real life” streams.

In 2016, Amazon unveiled Twitch Prime, a series of benefits for gamers that is included as part of an Amazon Prime or Prime Video membership. Its presence within the video game industry will undoubtedly benefit Amazon Game Studios.