- Amazon’s history in video games is fraught with costly mistakes.
- With “New World”, the tech giant may have its first big hit video game.
- The new game has topped the charts and drawn millions of players since its launch this week.
Thursday morning, just before 9 a.m. ET, over 70,000 people watched a livestream of a man waiting in a virtual line.
Like the streamer himself, those tens of thousands of viewers were waiting for the servers for Amazon’s first hit game, “New World,” to open, and more than 1,000 other players were already queuing up in front of him.
Since “New World” was officially launched on Tuesday, September 28, the PC-only game has been wildly popular on both
and Steam, the world’s largest digital gaming platform. It’s actually so popular that Amazon has had to use virtual queues to prevent the game’s servers from crashing for too many players who are online at once.
That’s right: Amazon, which operates millions of servers around the world, could not keep up with the player’s interest in its online game.
On Twitch, “New World” is the most popular game by hundreds of thousands of viewers. The game just pulled back for 1 million peak simultaneous viewers on launch day, StreamElements told Insider.
“It’s safe to call it a successful launch day,” said StreamElements co-founder Doron Nir.
On Steam, it’s either the most popular game of hundreds of thousands of players or a close second – hanging with multiplayer goliaths like “DOTA 2” and “PUBG” with nearly 1 million concurrent players at any one time.
All of this stands in stark contrast to Amazon’s previous efforts in gaming.
The company’s last major release, “Crucible”, went from a sleek launch to being directly shut down by Amazon.
Hundreds of people spent years of their lives, and Amazon spent millions of dollars creating “Digel”. It was launched in May 2020 and was pulled from digital store windows just five months later. It can no longer be played in any form.
“Crucible” was just the latest in a series of failed game projects from Amazon, stretching back several years.
There was “Breakaway,” a multiplayer brawler that Amazon preserved several years ago, and “Sev Zero,” an Amazon-produced game for Amazon’s short-lived Fire TV game initiative. The company even produced an Amazon-branded video game controller for use with Fire TV, but failed to keep up with consumers; the gamepad no longer works with modern Fire TV devices.
Probably Amazon’s biggest success in gaming before “New World” is Twitch itself, the video game streaming service it bought back in 2014 for just $ 1 billion. Although the service has faced various controversies over the years, it remains the dominant platform for streaming video games despite challenges from Facebook and YouTube, among others.
Whether “New World” can hold on to its initial momentum remains to be seen, but there will at least be some help for excited players waiting in long virtual queues to enter the game’s open world.
“We understand that some players are experiencing a long queue time and we are working hard on a few things to help resolve these issues,” it said in an update to the game’s blog from this week. “We will continue to build additional servers and will expand the capacity of our existing servers once we have tested these changes correctly.”
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