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Jul 10, 2020

Amazon delays next video game half a year after latest one flops

Notable Calls: Netflix, Amazon and Nvidia

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Following scathing reviews of a computer game it released in May, Amazon.com Inc. is delaying its next big-budget game by at least six months. The decision represents another setback for the technology giant’s ambitions to break into the gaming industry.

The next game, New World, was supposed to debut in late August but is now scheduled for spring 2021, Rich Lawrence, director of Amazon’s game studio, wrote in a blog post Friday. The company wants extra time to implement changes suggested by players who have been testing the game, he wrote.

Delays are fairly common in the video game industry, but this was an important opportunity for Amazon to redeem itself after a recent flop. Amazon is trying to make a name for itself as a maker of big-budget video games that can compete with those from the likes of Activision Blizzard Inc. and Electronic Arts Inc. But Amazon’s Crucible, a free-to-play PC game introduced in May, was panned by critics, prompting Amazon to take the highly unusual step of pulling the game from wide circulation.

New World is a massively multiplayer online game where hundreds of players seek to colonize a fictional world filled with supernatural creatures. Customers who tested or pre-ordered the game will still be able to play it for “a period of time” starting Aug. 25, the company said.

“We don’t make the decision lightly, and we have urgency about getting the game to you as quickly as possible at the best quality -- with some additions that will make the experience even better,” Lawrence wrote.