We talk to Amazon about its New World MMO and the problematic associations – Eurogamer.net, Eurogamer.net
Amazon’s big foray into gaming begins May 2020 with the release of online PC game New World (which you might remember from a leak last year). It’s a massively-multiplayer game inspired by the Age of Exploration, hence the name, taking place on a magical island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
The most exciting features are a kind of guild warfare system based around settlements and forts, where players can fight (versus) battles; an active combat system where you have to aim to land attacks; and a classless progression system where weapons have skill trees.
I spoke to game director Scot Lane about New World before the Game Awards reveal.
What I was most worried about was the setting. Indiginous people suffered terribly because of colonialism, and still do, so it’s a problematic period to be associated with.
“The colonialism stuff: there’s no way to tell that story in a good way, “Lane told me. “We are not that. This is not in America. We don’t have any history from America on the island. There’s nothing there there that would tie us to America.”
Apart from the name, I should point out.
“It’s an island in the middle of the Atlantic,” Lane went on. “It’s something that could be what people thought was Atlantis or Terra Australis Incognita at the time. The people who live herecamehere. This island was uninhabited. Everyone who came here, came here either out of greed or desire to control Azoth [a source of magic], and that’s the story we’re telling. “
People are already on the island, then, but according to Lane, are not native.