Amazon is getting serious about the gaming business.
The online retail giant has acquired Killer Instinct developer Double Helix Games, according to technology website TechCrunch. The news reportedly came from an invitation to a joint recruiting event between the companies meant to take place in Los Angeles on Feb. 13. The financial terms of the arrangement have not been disclosed, but the deal will reportedly enable the 75 Double Helix employees to remain at the studio’s Irvine, California headquarters.
“Amazon has acquired Double Helix as part of our ongoing commitment to build innovative games for customers,” an Amazon spokesperson confirmed to TechCrunch.
Double Helix Games is most recently known for its Xbox One exclusive reboot of the Killer Instinct fighting game franchise, as well as the new remake of Capcom’s Strider hack-n-slash game, due out Feb. 18. The team joins Amazon’s own game development staff although the Double Helix team is a decidedly more “hardcore” game-focused studio than the retail website’s more casual-focused staff.
This acquisition is feeding directly into lingering rumors of Amazon releasing its own game-dedicated console to compete with Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo, with VG247 reporting last week on Amazon’s plan to release a $300 system by the end of this year. Our own Dean Takahashi detailed similar rumors last August, citing some of our own sources that mentioned Amazon having shown off units to potential developers.
Amazon has yet to release a statement on the console rumors beyond a reaffirmation of its intent to not comment on speculation.