GamesBeat

Portal and Far Cry 2 designers just the latest big brains to join Amazon Game Studios

Sev Zero from Amazon Game Studios for the Fire TV microconsole.

Above: Sev Zero from Amazon Game Studios for the Fire TV microconsole.

Image Credit: Amazon Game Studios

Earlier today, Amazon revealed its new microconsole and a first-party game exclusive to that device. Now, it has hired a pair of industry veterans to bolster its development team.

Portal developer Kim Swift and Far Cry 2 director Clint Hocking both joined Amazon Game Studios (and a plethora of Wizards of the Coast veterans) this month as senior designers, according to their LinkedIn profiles (as Kotaku first reported). They are working on unannounced projects that will likely end up on Amazon’s newly announced Fire TV set-top box. The Ouya-like Android-based microconsole starts shipping today for $99, and it already has an exclusive title in the sci-fi shooter Sev Zero.

We’ve reached out to Amazon to ask what Swift and Hocking are working on. We’ll update this post with any new information.

Swift’s LinkedIn profile explains that she is “working on secret things for a secret amount of time that no one can know about.” After working on Portal and Left 4 Dead at developer Valve, Swift operated as the creative director at Airtight Games, which just released the Ouya exclusive action role-playing title Soul Fjord.

Hocking left Ubisoft in 2010 after developing Splinter Cell and Far Cry 2. He then went on to work on unspecified projects for LucasArts and Valve.

Swift and Hocking are only the most-recent additions to Amazon Game Studios’ roster of talent. In February, Amazon acquired developer Double Helix, which produced the Xbox One fighter Killer Instinct that debuted in November.

Amazon has a growing list of industry veterans working for it that includes a number of former Wizards of the Coast veterans:

  • Designer Gregory Marques, who helped develop Magic: The Gathering, is designing products for Amazon now.
  • Kyle Murray is Amazon Game Studios marketing lead.
  • Chris Galvin is senior product manager at the studio.
  • Bill Dugan, who worked on Magic: The Gathering Online and Wasteland at developer Interplay, is running the games team at Amazon as executive producer.

Not all of Amazon’s talent comes from Wizards of the Coast. The company’s game studio also hired author Eric Nylund, who wrote the Halo novels, to work as its director of narrative design.

So far, Amazon has only provided details for one of its original games, which is the aforementioned Sev Zero. That game has players controlling a futuristic soldier as he fights off waves of enemies with weapons and defensive towers. The company did provide a sizzle reel of other upcoming games, which you can check out below:

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