When Amazon first made their foray into cyberspace the company specialized in books. But with the passage of time and continued growth of the product, the company later made the move into music, art, pet supplies, clothing, wine, and quite literally anything else you can think of…
But according to Digital Trends, Amazon are now making their presence felt in another market – gaming. Though still a work-in-progress, Amazon descended on this path a few years ago with the acquisition of Reflexive Entertainment back in 2008. Then three years ago, the e-commerce giant launched their ‘App Store’ as a marketplace for mobile games and applications. They have even integrated a digital store to purchase and download games into their existing CMS.
In August 2012, the Seattle-based giant launched ‘Amazon Game Studios’. It didn’t offer much besides Facebook’s ‘Living Classics’. However the same studio later released ‘Air Patriots’, their first attempt at mobile gaming that was made available on the Amazon App Store, the in-house social network Gamecircle, Google Play Store and the iOS App Store.
But if you thought Amazon’s ambitions were limited to mobile gaming, think again. In February of this year, they acquired developer Double Helix that specializes in console gaming. Prior to the acquisition, Double Helix brought back classics like Xbox One-exclusive launch title ‘Killer Instinct’ and ‘Strider’ on the PS3, PS4, PC, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. The team itself is made up of veterans that made their name on titles like 1994’s ‘Earthworm Jim’.
April marked the announcement of Amazon Fire TV- a digital top box which according to Digital Trends has more of a gaming focus. A controller is not included in the pack but can be purchased separately. Some of the games released on the platform include ‘Minecraft’, ‘The Walking Dead’, ‘Sev Zero’ and most recently ‘Flappy Bird’.
Along with the Fire TV came ‘Portal’ designed by Kim Swift and Clint Hocking, who worked on the bestselling ‘Far Cry’ series and have since joined Amazon’s gaming team. The e-commerce titan’s most recent acquisition is Twitch – the online videogame streaming site. Sony’s PlayStation allows you to share videos on Twitch and Facebook thanks to the featured ‘share’ button on the new Dual Shock 4 controller. Because of this, Twitch has become increasing popular.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was reported saying about the acquisition, “We look forward to learning from them and helping them move even faster to build new services for the gaming community”. Also speaking about the merger Twitch CEO Emmet Shear said, “We will be able to create tools and services faster than we could have independently. This change will mean great things for our community, and will let us bring Twitch to even more people around the world”.
At this rate, it won’t be long before Amazon launches their own gaming console to compete with industry veterans like Sony and Microsoft. But should they be worried? Well, that’s another story…