When one company sunsets in the game business, another one rises. That’s my interpretation of Amazon’s decision to open a new location for its Lumberyard game engine team in Austin, Texas.
Amazon is announcing the new Austin location for Amazon Lumberyard today. It comes not long after MaxPlay, the maker of a competing game engine, confirmed that it had laid off almost all of its employees at its San Francisco and Austin locations.
Amazon has been working on Lumberyard for a while as a competing set of tools for building Triple-A game experiences. In September, Amazon announced three of its own games that use Lumberyard, which is based on technology licensed from Crytek’s CryEngine game engine. The engine exploits the vast computing power and storage of the cloud to create otherwise-impossible player experiences, Amazon says.
Amazon said the average developer on its Lumberyard team has 10.8 years of industry experience, and it is opening the office in Austin because it is one of the “long-standing centers of gravity for great game development talent and innovation in community-driven games.”
“We believe Austin is a perfect location for us to continue our quest to help game developers build the community-driven games that push both engine and cloud technology. From the early days of Ultima Online to some of today’s most beloved MMOs, Austin game teams have helped lead the industry in large-scale, multiplayer experiences,” Amazon said.
Austin is also home to a new team created by Twitch, the game livestreaming company that is owned by Amazon. Amazon has a number of jobs still open in Austin.