Amazon has become a force in the distribution of mobile games with the Amazon App Store for Android in the past year or so. Now it’s moving deeper into the market with the launch of its own game studio, Amazon Game Studios, and its first social game.
The studio’s Living Classics game debuted on Facebook today. In a post, the company said, “Why is Amazon making social games, you ask? Good question! We know that many Amazon customers enjoy playing games – including free-to-play social games – and thanks to Amazon’s know-how, we believe we can deliver a great, accessible gaming experience that gamers and our customers can play any time.”
The move is a bit of a risk as game developers will no longer view the company as a neutral party. Facebook, for instance, maintains its stance as a neutral platform owner because it doesn’t make games. But other platform owners like Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft have long made games through “first party” game studios even while they solicit games from third-party game developers.
Amazon said, “Amazon Game Studios is exactly what it sounds like: a new team at Amazon that’s focused on creating innovative, fun, and well-crafted games.” The first game (pictured above), is a “moving object game,” where you have to click on objects in a scene that are shimmering or moving in some way. In the game, a family of foxes have wandered into “vibrant, animated illustrations from their favorite books, including Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, and King Arthur.” Players have to reunite the foxes and spot moving objects.
Amazon’s move into games has been long predicted, in part because the company has had lots of job openings for game developers. The company says it is hiring via email@example.com. It’s no surprise that Amazon is moving into games, as they’re a great way to keep users engaged with a platform. And Amazon has big ambitions with platforms such as its App Store and the Kindle tablet.
GamesBeat 2014 — VentureBeat’s sixth annual event on disruption in the video game market — is coming up on Sept 15-16 in San Francisco. Purchase one of the first 50 tickets and save $400!