Starting Twitch Prime
Twitch Prime started some years ago after Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos asked whether there should be an Amazon gaming rewards program. The team designed Twitch Prime over many months, and the idea was to make it the “best deal in games,” to be a no-brainer for people who love games. This is a companion to Amazon Prime, a collection of benefits like faster shipping and Prime Video.
The Twitch Prime idea started with giving away a credit to subscribe to a favorite livestreamer. It also included bonus content that developers create to hold gamer interest. In the past year, Amazon gave away $7,000 worth of content to Twitch Prime subscribers.
“The whole idea is how we provide benefit to gamers in these live games,” Frazzini said.
One of the things that Bezos has encouraged game developers such as Smedley to do is “computationally ridiculous” games, like where you have to invent new technology to make the most ambitious games.
“These are meant to be sources of inspiration, or painting a picture of a frontier without specifying the solution or the outcome,” Frazzini said. “We have built a lot of technology that will enable player experiences that will be exhibited in our upcoming games that are pretty interesting. I don’t know if they will meet that bar for everybody. Ultimately, players get to decide.”
Both Crucible and New World will exhibit these innovations, like lots of players trying to take over a fort in New World, or an endlessly persistent world. Amazon taps its servers in the cloud to enable vast computing power to be used in user’s games.
Ready for the metaverse?
I asked what a big platform company like Amazon might do in the space that everyone is calling “the metaverse,” or the universe of virtual worlds as envisioned in novels like Snow Crash or the film Ready Player One.
“This gets in the world of imagination,” Frazzini said. “I don’t have anything in particular here that we are doing that I would comment on. I don’t think we have any idea of what the Metaverse will be. I think there was a picture of what it could be painted in Ready Player One and Snow Crash. But I don’t know if it will be that. I don’t know if it will have VR or not. Or if it will be one company or multiple companies. In general, it’s an interesting ambition. I enjoy reading about what other people say on it.”
Instead, Frazzini said his focus is on getting its games out, and help developers sell more content, and help streamers reach more audiences and make more money.
“We’re just getting to the starting line,” he said.
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