Amazon dominates online retail. It dominates web services. It’s also a force to be reckoned with on streaming video. It seems to be terrible, though, at making games.
The latest proof is another delay to the lukewarmly, if not hotly anticipated New World MMO game. It was originally set to launch in May 2020. Then August 2020. Then May 2021. Now, it’s August 2021. But who knows? Maybe there’s another delay around the corner.
For now, Amazon Game Studios laid out its plans to continue alpha testing the game, with an open beta set to start on July 20th. New World’s previous delay came one week after Amazon scaled back the availability of its first major game, Crucible — an Overwatch-styled game that lacked the charm (and player base) of its inspiration. Three months later, the team halted altogether.
Fortunately, the studio is part of one of the biggest, most profitable companies on the planet, and its incoming CEO, Andy Jassy, seems to have its back for now. He wrote in an internal email: “Some businesses take off in the first year, and others take many years. I believe we will if we hang in there.”
Amazon is learning what many big tech companies already know: Making it in the games industry takes time. Just ask Google. Or better, ask Microsoft — the last big tech company to make it in gaming.
Elsewhere, the Whitehouse is leaning on tech companies for insight on rolling out the COVID-19 vaccines, and Marvel’s docuseries kicks off with a behind-the-scenes look at WandaVision.
— Mat Smith
Future episodes will focus on ‘The Falcon and The Winter Soldier’ and ‘Loki’.
Marvel Studios’ Assembled is a new documentary series heading to Disney+ that will take a behind-the-scenes look at the shows and films of the MCU. The first installment of Assembled will focus on WandaVision, featuring actors Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Teyonah Parris and Kathryn Hahn, plus the show’s creative team. It will hit Disney+ on March 12th, one week after the WandaVision season one finale and just a bit too late to explain what the heck is going on. Continue reading.
If you want both, you’ll have to start paying next month.
, you may have to start paying for LastPass if you intend to use it across all your devices. Starting March 16th, the company is LastPass Free to one device type — weirdly that means you can still use your account with multiple devices. You can use it across all your computers or all your mobile devices, just not both. Your first login on or after that date will determine your choice of platform — although you’ll have three chances to switch device types after that. The company is discounting Premium subscriptions to $2.25 per month ($27 per year) versus the normal $3 to encourage upgrades. Or temper switching to Continue reading.
Another anime based on a hit game.
Dota: Dragon’s Blood is scheduled to become available for streaming worldwide on March 25th. It tells the story of a Dragon Knight — durable melee strength heroes equipped with swords and shields in the game — named Davion, who’s “devoted to wiping the scourge from the face of the world.” Continue reading.
A White House spokesperson said officials were talking to several big companies.
The Biden administration is in talks with Amazon and several other Silicon Valley tech companies to help roll out COVID-19 vaccines across the country. White House spokesperson Kevin Munoz told Politico that officials are “consulting with many companies, including Amazon,” to help distribute medical supplies.
An NPR story from January reported that Amazon was able to administer 2,000 vaccines out of a pop-up clinic in Seattle in just a single day. Continue reading.
Andrson finds songs that sound similar to your favorites.
Andrson is trying to make it easier for music labels to find would-be stars, but that’s not the only thing it’s useful for. Today, the company is launching ReWrapped, which analyzes your Spotify favorites to find soundalike tracks from its roster of unsigned artists. It analyzes your own Spotify Wrapped playlist and plucks a handful of songs from up-and-coming artists that (algorithmically) match your top songs.
Dan Cooper tested it out and makes the valid point that just because something sounds similar, it doesn’t mean you’ll like it. Still, it offers a new way to escape the same playlists and artists we all gravitate to. Continue reading.
But wait, there’s more…