New World takes on players with multiple "shell companies"

New World
(Image credit: Amazon)

Amazon has revealed new plans to tackle "shell companies" in its MMO New World to improve PvP.

In an update posted to the official site and YouTube (thanks, PC Gamer), Amazon Game Studios said it's making some changes to improve PvP and prevent players from holding multiple territories. This includes limiting accounts to just a single offensive and defensive PvP war a day per game world, and limiting the number of mercenaries companies can hire. 

Players have been complaining for some time that the use of shell companies has upset the PvP balance, with some companies owning pretty much everything on the entire server. Because of how they're set up, they don't have to worry about taxes or invasion, and even control the markets. 

"The first one we're doing is a 'company leave cooldown'," game designer Rachel Barnum explained. "So for 72 hours after you leave a company, you won't be able to participate in any territory control activities with another company ... We want to prevent that. It's not really how we intended that gameplay to be made."

"Our goal is to allow more people to participate in war, and not to have a small group of people be able to control multiple, multiple territories," added creative director David Verfaillie. "Hopefully these make meaningful changes, and if not, we'll make some more."

Other improvements include the ability to make "more recipes regardless of the Crafting Station’s tier" and "significantly lower contribution requirements for Town Projects". 

New World launched in September 2021, and its real-time action, which mixes melee weapons with ranged artillery and supernatural powers, saw it enjoy a concurrent player peak of over 900k on Steam at launch. But it wasn't long before player numbers began to decline rapidly. 

Now the game's enjoying something of a second wind, with its player count increasing considerably in recent weeks. According to Steam's data, New World is now regularly reaching over 100,000 concurrent players thanks to the new Brimstone Sands update Fresh Start servers. 

And it looks like all the changes that Amazon Games is implementing seem to be paying off. Looking at the Steam reviews, overall, it's got a "mixed" reception from players, but its most recent reviews have been "very positive".

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Vikki Blake
Weekend Reporter, GamesRadar+

Vikki Blake is GamesRadar+'s Weekend Reporter. Vikki works tirelessly to ensure that you have something to read on the days of the week beginning with 'S', and can also be found contributing to outlets including the BBC, Eurogamer, and Vikki also runs a weekly games column at NME, and can be frequently found talking about Destiny 2 and Silent Hill on Twitter.