If you’re even a casual observer of the game, you’ve probably heard the name New world get dumped in the last week. After many delays, the long-awaited game launched on Wednesday. It is developed by Amazon Games which after the failure of the previous Amazon Crucible title, makes it a high-stakes exit for the retail giant.
You can only assess the success of an MMO game months or years after its release, but New World is off to a good start. New World currently has more concurrent players than any other game, according to Steam data, as well as more Twitch viewers. More 700,000 were playing New World on Wednesday, a peak reached by some games on Steam.
But what is this?
What is the New World?
New World is an MMO game developed by Amazon Games, and it is exclusive to the PC. It has all the attributes you would expect from a big budget MMO in 2021 (and you know Amazon has a big budget): a huge world with varied environments, a range of modes that include PvP and PvE, and a deep role- game elements.
Like all massive online games, you’ll have to play New World to really understand its many elements. But here’s a rough rundown.
New World takes place on Aeternum, a fictional island in the Atlantic Ocean. You play as an explorer primarily seeking to colonize the island, but discover that Aeternum is home to a magical substance called Azoth. Not only does Azoth make the local flora and fauna hostile to you, but he also animates the dead explorers who came to Aeternum before you. Basically, the island is trying to kill you. You will harness the power of Azoth to strike back.
When you start, you’ll choose one of three factions: the Marauders, the Syndicate, and the Pact. Within each faction are companies (what a guild or clan would be in another game), which you can join. Companies can work together to take back settlements scattered around Aeternum, which can then be turned into player towns – which you then need to protect. There are also four computer-controlled factions in The Corrupted, The Lost, The Ancient, and The Angry Earth. Player-controlled factions are often at war, and you will need to align with one of them and fight in those battles.
What about multiplayer?
Player-controlled factions are at the heart of New World multiplayer. There are four types of multiplayer in New World: Expeditions, Invasions, Outpost Rush, and War Mode. Here’s what they imply:
- Shipping: This is your conventional MMO dungeon. You and four other players team up to solve puzzles and take down the big bad guys.
- War Mode: A 100-person PvP mode that pits one faction against another. Either attack another faction’s fort or defend your own.
- Invasion: This is New World’s PvE mode, where you’ll work with 49 other players (so 50 in total) to defend your faction’s fort against waves of computer-controlled enemies. You must survive for 30 minutes to be victorious.
- Outpost Rush: This is where it gets a bit tricky. Outpost Rush is a PvPvE mode. It’s a 20v20 battle where you fight against another team to capture and defend outposts, while battling computer controlled enemies.
Why is New World so important to Amazon?
In 2014, Amazon Games announced that it would move away from the mobile games it made (Airport Mania, To-Fu Fury) and start to branch out into AAA game development to take on studios like Amazon- Blizzard, Ubisoft and Square Enix. . To that end, in 2016 he announced three titles: Breakaway, Crucible, and New World.
Breakaway, a combination of Rocket League and League of Legends that targeted the esports crowd, was canceled in 2018. Crucible, a team-based shooter somewhat similar to Overwatch, was critically criticized during its release last March; The response was so weak that Amazon shut down Crucible servers after just seven months.
So yeah, New World is important to Amazon Games because the studio really needs a big win right now. New World has been delayed three times, initially slated to launch in May 2020 before being pushed back to August 2021 – before a final one-month delay.
What has been the response so far?
The response on launch day was mixed, but many of the negative reviews left by gamers on Steam relate to the long queues to enter the servers of the New World. While reviews from critics have yet to be received, New World has certainly attracted very large numbers of players. (So the waiter stands in line.)
New World is both the most played and the most watched PC game in the world right now. It has 542,000 concurrent players on Steam, while over 620,000 people are watching Twitch’s New World streams at the time of writing (up from 230,000 for Grand Theft Auto 5 and 110,000 for Apex Legends).