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Amazon Will Finally (Finally) Release Its First Big Videogame

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Amazon enters the crowded games industry in full force Wednesday with its release of Crucible, the first big-budget PC game to come from Amazon Game Studios. Crucible is a promising mainstream introduction for the eight-year-old studio, which until now has had a large question mark hanging over its head.

Crucible is a third-person team shooter that takes place on a large junglelike planet in a sci-fi future. As one of a diverse cast of heroes called “hunters,” players mine resources from reptilian monsters and go head to head to capture points in their choice of three competitive modes. In a preview session hosted by Amazon Game Studios earlier this month, WIRED spent three hours playing the game and interviewing its designers. In that initial session, Crucible felt like a charming, competitive strategy shooter thoughtfully designed to incorporate the most lovable qualities of today’s top multiplayer games. (WIRED will publish a full review of Crucible once its servers are public.)

Although Crucible will be Amazon’s sexiest move in the games industry, the company is no stranger to the business of gaming. Amazon has of course been selling physical games and gaming consoles for well over a decade, competing with (and sometimes edging out) brick-and-mortar stores like GameStop—especially with its 2009 move into the used games and console market.

As game distribution migrated to digital storefronts, developers and publishers began relying heavily on cloud services like AWS, which now supports most of the biggest game companies in the world, including Bandai Namco, Bethesda, Capcom, and Square Enix. Countless games, multiplayer servers, player data storage systems, and machine learning tools run through Amazon’s data centers. And in April, the New York Times reported that Amazon was working on a cloud gaming service, known internally as Project Tempo, that would compete with similar offerings from Google, Microsoft, Sony, and more.

Amazon also owns the biggest game streaming service in the world: Twitch. In 2014, Amazon purchased the company for a reported $970 million in cash. Now, 65 percent of time spent watching other people play videogames happens on Twitch—which in April 2020 was 1.5 billion hours, according to Arsenal.gg.

And yet, while Amazon has had the horsepower and the cash to erect its own monument in the games world, it’s taken several years, and a few aborted tries, for its first big-budget title to see the light of day. Amazon Game Studios canceled its planned multiplayer brawler Breakaway in 2017. Last year, the studio laid off dozens of employees, and Kotaku reported that it canceled several other unannounced games. Since those layoffs, Amazon Game Studios has focused development on Crucible and New World, a 17th-century-themed fantasy MMORPG whose release has been delayed from May to August due to the pandemic.

Courtesy of Amazon Game Studios

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Disney World Is Opening a COVID-19 Testing Center for Park Employees

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Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck are clearly jazzed about the COVID-19 testing center.
Photo: TNS via Getty Images

Like a bolt out of the blue, a COVID-19 testing center will be installed at the most magical place on earth. Per Apple News, Disney World is finally installing a COVID-19 testing center for park employees, after repeated requests from Actors’ Equity, the park’s union, to do so. As of now, only one testing center will open at Disney’s main gate office complex in Kissimmee, Florida, near Animal Kingdom.

According to the website used to sign up for appointments, testing is available for “Disney cast members, operating participant employees, and family members.” “Testing locations use a self-administered nasal swab test that allows you to swab your own nose while in your vehicle, supervised by trained medical personnel,” says the site. “Results are delivered within 3-5 business days. You will receive an email notification when results are available. Once you receive the email, return to this site and logon to view and print your lab report.”

Actors’ Equity has been pressuring Disney World, which recently scaled back its hours of operation, to provide on-site testing for its employees, going so far as to file a grievance with Disney after its members were not recalled from furlough due to the union’s firm demand about testing. “We have been consistent that testing is an important part of ensuring a safe workplace for Equity performers, and today, I’m pleased to see that Disney World has agreed,” said Actors’ Equity Association president Kate Shindle in a statement. “With the news that Disney will make testing available for Equity performers and others in the park, I’m happy to announce that Equity’s executive committee has signed a memorandum of understanding with Disney for Equity performers to return.” While it’s absolutely a win for park employees that COVID-19 testing is now readily available, we still recommend you stay six feet away from your favorite Disney parks employees. Even the ones in full body suits.

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Where to Buy Kids Face Masks from Cubcoats

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Where to Buy Kids Face Masks from Cubcoats | Entertainment Tonight

































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WWE NXT “Takeover: XXX” To Feature Adam Cole Vs. Pat McAfee?, Beth Phoenix Explains Commentary Angle

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It looks like we could see Adam Cole vs. Pat McAfee at the upcoming WWE NXT “Takeover: XXX” event.

Tonight’s NXT show closed with a pull-apart brawl between the two, which ended with McAfee, a former NFL punter, delivering a punt kick to Cole’s face, leaving him laid out on the floor.

WWE announced earlier in the day that McAfee would be appearing on NXT to confront Cole after their recent incident on The Pat McAfee Show podcast. The storyline was that McAfee, who was just married on Saturday, was leaving his honeymoon to come to NXT to talk with Cole. Shortly before NXT hit the air, Cole and McAfee tweeted photos of how they buried the hatchet at the show, agreeing to disagree and move on. McAfee later did commentary for the main event, which saw NXT Tag Team Champions Marcel Barthel and Fabian Aichner of Imperium retain their titles over Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish of The Undisputed Era.

McAfee took several shots at Cole while on commentary, which Cole picked up on from ringside. This led to Cole confronting McAfee at the announce table, and a shouting match between the two. Cole threw water at McAfee and McAfee fired back with more insults at the leader of The Undisputed Era. McAfee ended up taking advantage of the chaos in the pull-apart, and put Cole back down with the punt kick. McAfee was asked to leave the building as he ranted about how NXT is unprofessional.

WWE also did an angle on commentary where WWE Hall of Famer Beth Phoenix left the show early due to McAfee’s behavior. Phoenix explained her earl exit from commentary on Twitter after the show.

“The truth is, there is a lot that Pat said behind the scenes too, that I choose not to repeat. I’d heard enough. @PatMcAfeeShow was disparaging toward @AdamColePro on a level that was unprofessional. Pat shaming Cole in such a way is not acceptable. Shame on you Pat. #WWENXT,” she wrote.

Cole and McAfee began their rivalry back in 2018 at a NXT live event. They’ve had a few minor run-ins and back & forth over the years, but things picked back up and escalated during the recent podcast taping. Now it looks like McAfee could be making his in-ring debut at Takeover on August 22 during WWE SummerSlam Weekend.

Cole has not tweeted on the incident as of this writing, but McAfee took to Twitter after the show and fired more shots at the leader of The Undisputed Era.

“How much was I supposed to take from this beta who is a MANIAC? Blows up on my show, breaks s–t, pushes Ty. Then..I take time out of MY HONEYMOON, so we can hug it out. Then he LOSES HIS MIND AGAIN.. assaults me w/ a bottle & I’M THE 1 THAT GETS KICKED OUT? How’s that fair?,” McAfee tweeted.

Stay tuned for updates on Cole vs. McAfee. Below are several shots from tonight’s angle, along with the full tweets from McAfee and Phoenix:

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