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Amazon Game Studios takes a chance, makes a change, cancels ‘Breakaway’

Breakaway: 10 Minutes of Gameplay

Back in 2016, Amazon announced a trio of new games built with Twitch streaming in mind, including the MMO New World and the asymmetric multiplayer game Crucible. The third of these, Breakaway, was supposed to be a four-on-four “esport brawler” focused on building structures. It sounded quite ambitious, but development issues have forced Amazon to cancel the project.

“While we have developed many ideas and made a lot of progress, we are also setting a very high bar for ourselves,” the Breakaway team said in a post on the game’s Reddit page. “In spite of our efforts, we didn’t achieve the breakthrough that made the game what we all hopes it could be. After a lot of soul-searching, the team decided to focus on new ideas. As a result, Breakaway is no longer in active development.”

Previously, Amazon admitted it needed to work on Breakaway‘s “core gameplay,” after it was reported that the game was entering a period of indefinite hiatus. It would have certainly been entering a crowded MOBA and “hero” genre, with well-established competition like Overwatch and Paladins already attracting millions of players.

Footage of Breakaway was streamed live back in 2016, showing off its chaotic and melee-focused combat. Characters worked together to move a large orb across the battlefield, almost like the “Grifball” mode featured in the Halo series. Though exciting to watch, it perhaps had too many moving parts to attract a more casual audience.

Though it appears Breakaway is dead, the studio said in the update that a “thunderbolt of inspiration” could still lead to its revival. In the meantime, both New World and Crucible are still in development.

Breakaway was being developed at Amazon Game Studios Orange County, previously known as Double Helix Games. Prior to its acquisition by Amazon, the studio had worked on the Killer Instinct reboot for Microsoft as well as Capcom’s Strider. It itself emerged from the ashes of Shiny Entertainment, the studio responsible for Earthworm Jim and Enter the Matrix.

With Amazon Game Studios Orange County’s experience working on fighting games, we’d love to see the studio try its hand at one with Twitch integration built into its gameplay.

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Gabe Gurwin
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Gabe Gurwin has been playing games since 1997, beginning with the N64 and the Super Nintendo. He began his journalism career…
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