New World Developer Diary Shows Ambition Behind Amazon’s First AAA Title

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Last week during The Game Awards, Amazon Game Studios revealed its first major AAA game, The New World. Set to take place in the 17th century in North America, it’s an MMO that promises to be filled with exploration, combat, and strategy, and made for both single player and multiplayer.

But just how deep does the ambition behind the game’s creation go? A new developer diary provides some important details.

In the video, we get a closer look at the island of Aeternum, as well as the element that powers it, Azoth. “It’s a place of legend,” Ashleigh Amrine, software development engineer, says. “It’s a land of power and treasure. It’s a place where your choices matter.”

Thus far, the locales in The New World look fantastic, with a nice mixture of fantasy and realism. But it’s not all about taking in beautiful sights.

As Dan Henuber, lead UX designer for Amazon Game Studios, points out, “Not many people know too much about Aeternum yet. I think that’s where you come in as a player, and there are threats, but there’s also opportunity.”

As for the strange Azoth, the team notes that it’s “not really a good or bad necessarily—it’s just this pure, raw energy.” More importantly, “it has the power to change things.” It can serve different purposes, depending on what the player wants to do with it.

David Verfaillie, Player Experience Lead for the team, also explained how dynamic the combat will be. “It’s completely classless, so you choose how you want to play by choosing the equipment, and the weapons you choose also defines your play style.”

More importantly, Amrine adds, “The game adapts to the player and their play style.”

We also see hints of corruption overtaking the land, with empowered beings utilizing it.

“The corrupted have massive armies growing in the north and some of their influences are beginning to trickle down to the south where players are trying to build their homes and they have a very particular idea of how the power of Aeternum should be used.”

The diary is just over four minutes in length, but it provides a promising glimpse of what’s to come with The New World. The game makes its debut on PC in May 2020.