Crucible is about to enter a closed beta version, which is unusual only because it has already been released on Steam on May 20. In our review we gave the free-to-play shooter 48%.
You can still catch Crucible on Steam until July 1st at 9:00 am Pacific, but after that, it will be released and will be closed to new players. In the end, there will be a beta registration procedure available on the official website.
During the return to the closed beta, Relentless Studios (which is part of Amazon Game Studios) states that it will stick to its existing development roadmap, which you can see on Trello, considering the feedback from the “beta players”, who were only regular players until to this week.
“For the most part, your experience as a Crucible player will remain practically the same while we’re in beta,” wrote franchise leader Colin Johanson. “One of the biggest changes you will see is that we will plan a dedicated schedule every week in which we as developers will play with the community and ask for feedback. The game will be accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so you can continue – organize the games with other players: we recommend joining our Discord server to find players to stand in line. “
The reason why it will take the organization to participate in Crucible games is the same reason why it returns to the closed beta: not many people are playing it. As of this writing, Steam Charts shows 146 competing Crucible players. This is a disastrous player count for a new free multiplayer game.
The only recent hard faceplant game like Crucible is Artifact, which Valve rearranged and returned to beta earlier this year. It is unusual for a game to be released without qualification and then return to a test phase. In addition to Crucible and Artifact, I can only think of a couple of other great examples. I am reminded of the Arkham Knight disaster, but that game was not free.
During the return to Crucible beta, Johanson says that Relentless Studios will work with a “community council” that will include casual players and those who are “highly competitive”. I’m not sure we are highly competitive players Crucible at the moment, but if you like the game and want to see it improve, joining the board can be an opportunity to influence it.
While the release of a game is unconventional, Relentless had to do something important if it had some chance to spin Crucible around: some patches can’t wipe a total flop off the Steam floor. And where an independent firm may have run out of funding and have had to close a store, Relentless has the financial backing of a company that may buy some countries if it so desires. We’ll see if the studio lives up to its name.