Though there was a level of interest before launch, Amazon Studios’ Crucible failed to make waves following its May 20 release date. In the time since, we’ve seen the developer respond with messages and updates for their future plans for the team-based sci-fi shooter. As the game has continued to struggle, the team behind Crucible has made an unexpected choice for the future of the project. Amazon Studios has announced that Crucible will be going into closed-beta.
It’s not everyday that you see a game that was already given a full release revert back into a closed-beta, but here we are. Amazon Studios went in depth on the decision, as well as what’s next, in an open letter to players made on their official website. Starting tomorrow, Crucible is moving to closed beta. “We’ll continue following the roadmap we laid out previously and working on map, combat, and system changes to improve the Heart of the Hives experience as well as implementing other improvements based on your feedback and what we think the game needs in order to thrive.”
We’re back with another developer update: we’re taking Crucible into closed beta starting tomorrow. Read about the details and how you can participate in the beta here: https://t.co/ox5KG7Fr55
— Crucible (@PlayCrucible) June 30, 2020
This comes on the heels of Amazon Studios’ move to retire two of the games’ three core game modes back in early June. The developer assures players that the way they enjoy the game now will remain relatively the same. The studio also announces that once a week, there will be a dedicated time where the developers will hop in and play matches with the community, as a way to engage their fanbase and receive feedback.
While this is a bizarre move, you have to give the team behind Crucible a little bit of credit for continuing to be dedicated to their project. Instead of abandoning the handful of passionate fans Crucible has accumulated, Amazon Studios is working closely with them and amplifying their voices in order to improve the game. Amazon’s attempt to dip into world of first-party game development may not have gone how they hoped, but they’re certainly on the right path in building something great over time.
EVO Online canceled & Mr. Wizard to leave company amid sexual misconduct allegations
In the wake of various victims of sexual and toxic abuse and harassment coming forth to speak on their experiences, a bombshell hit today. An accuser came forth with allegations against EVO CEO Joey “Mr Wizard” Cuellar. EVO Onlline has since been canceled, and the EVO organizaiton has announced they will be parting ways with Cuellar as Tony Cannon takes his place as acting EVO CEO.
The matter began when late on July 1, 2020, FGC competitor Mikey “Crackpr0n” Pham posted a detailed account of a 2001 situation in which Joey Cuellar allegedly goaded Pham into showing him his penis, for which Cuellar apparently gave Pham $20. Pham was also reportedly 17 years old at the time of the incident. In the wake of the allegations on July 2, 2020, the EVO organization released a statement announcing that Cuellar had been placed on administrative leave as a third-party investigation was carried out. That was not enough for some. It wasn’t far after that both NetherRealm Studios and Capcom announced they would pulling Street Fighter 5 and Mortal Kombat 11 respectively from EVO Online events.
— Capcom Fighters (@CapcomFighters) July 2, 2020
Cuellar finally spoke to the allegations late on July 2, 2020 as well. He did not deny what he was accused of and instead offered an apology to the fighting game community at large.
“I’m sorry,” Cuellar wrote. “I never meant to hurt anyone. I was young and reckless and did things I’m not proud of. I have been growing and maturing over the past 20 years, but that doesn’t excuse anything. All I have been trying to do is become a better person. Once again, I’m truly sorry.”
Nonetheless, following the accusations and Cuellar’s statement, the EVO organization saw fit to officially begin cutting ties with Mr. Wizard. As Cuellar exits the company, EVO co-founder Tony Cannon will take his place in ongoing operations. EVO Online has also been cancelled and refunds for any purchases made on the event will be processed in the upcoming days.
— EVO (@EVO) July 3, 2020
Accusations against Cuellar come alongside a wave of victims coming out against sexual and toxic abusers across the gaming industry. The Smash Bros competitive scene in particular saw a number of high profile players accused of sexual misconduct, with Nairoby “Nairo” Quezada, Richard “Keitaro” King Jr., D’Ron “D1” Maingrette, and Jason “ANTi” Bates among the names with credible accusations against them. Nairo was dropped from NRG Esports and ANTi has been dropped from T1 following the allegations against them.
EVO finds itself in a sorry state this year. EVO Online was a solid attempt at shifting the competition to a digital format, but as change happens in the industry and victims come forth to share stories, EVO could not find itself outside the wake of accusations. Nonetheless, as Tony Cannon steps in where Cuellar left off, hopefully the marquee fighting game organization and event can become a better, safer place for the community it serves.
Off-Roading Simulation Game ‘MudRunner’ Is Coming to Mobile as ‘MudRunner Mobile’ This Month with Pre-Orders Now Live on the App Store
Saber Interactive and Focus Home Interactive brought out MudRunner to consoles and PC back in 2017 as an off-roading simulation game. In MudRunner players were tasked with transporting logs to a destination across various open maps and access to nothing but a map and a compass. Each map played differently and there were also various vehicles. MudRunner Mobile from Focus Home Interactive has gone live for pre-order on the App Store revealing some details for the release and the price alongside a release date. MudRunner Mobile includes 15 open world maps and 16 vehicles. Watch the trailer for the original release below:
MudRunner Mobile releases on July 15th for $5.99. While it does mention in app purchases on the App Store listing, as of this writing, they are limited to a single DLC which is free. I never got around to playing this on any console and it looks like a fun pickup and play experience. If you’re interested in checking it out, you can pre-order MudRunner Mobile on the App Store for iOS here and on Google Play for Android here (not live yet). The store pages even have some screenshots of how the game interface looks for touch. Check out the official website for the game here. Have you played MudRunner or SnowRunner on any platform before?
The Internet Has Declared War On The U.S. Army Esports Discord Channel
The military has long had a foot in gaming, most notably as a recruitment tool with efforts like the early 2000s’ America’s Army series. The army’s gaming arm came back into the public eye this week, after the U.S. Army’s esports account tweeted “UwU” in response to a tweet by chat app Discord.
The tweet went viral, with many criticizing the army’s use of the esports initiative as a recruitment tool to target young people.
uwu pwease enwist and commit waw cwimes uwu
— jay is antifascist, pro-Black lives (@shutupfish) June 30, 2020
Soon, a new speedrun challenge spawned on Twitter where users competed to get banned from the US Army esports Discord server the fastest, Polygon reported. The server was flooded with users posting in an effort to try and get banned–while some posted classic “copypasta” text, others simply linked to the Wikipedia page for “United States war crimes.”
Most videos showed users achieving bans within 20 seconds, with the mods clearly active to keep up with the influx of new users.
The main functionality of the Discord channel has now been disabled. While it’s still possible to join the server, reacting to the rules message no longer grants access to the main chat channels–though the number of reactions continues to tick up as users attempt to join.
According to Polygon, the Discord channel was originally disabled with a message by a moderator called “UwU” reading “Temporarily disabled. Thanks for the fun tonight!” That message was later replaced with one reading “Have a bit more patience while we finalize some back end stuff in the server in order to make it an enjoyable place for you all to game. We apologize for the inconvenience to those that are legit wanting to join us. Trolls make things fun for everyone!”
As at the time of writing, the latest message in the Discord’s welcome channel simply reads “This page is intentionally disabled…”
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