Amazon to Release Its Own Gaming Console, Games in Future
Seattle-based Internet retail king Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is expected to launch its first game console this year, a move that will pit the company against industry competitors Nintendo and Electronic Arts, according to a report from the Telegraph.
Amazon began its venture into the space two years ago, with the launch of a game called “Air Patriots”; the game was released in 2012 and is currently available as an Android app through the Google Play store and Amazon’s App Store. Amazon Games, which is based in Irvine, California, released another game called “Living Classics” to little fanfare. The company has since retired the game as of October.
In order to help turn the company’s games division into an industry competitor, Amazon acquired another Irvine-based company, a gaming studio called Double Helix Games, which Amazon told TechCrunch it bought as part of its “ongoing commitment to build innovative games for customers.” The acquisition was announced early last month.
The company continues to be on the prowl to recruit “industry heavyweights” to turn the tiny newcomer Amazon Games into a major operation, per the Telegraph.
Double Helix Games was founded in 2007 through the merger of two smaller, well-known game development studios, The Collective Inc. and Shiny Entertainment. Altogether the company comprises seventy-five employees, TechCrunch reports, who are now employed by Amazon, although the company will continue to operate out of Orange County.
TechCrunch says the hubbub regarding Amazon’s venture into computer games isn’t exactly new. “Buzz about an Amazon console has been around for awhile: this past summer, the rumor was that the company was planning to debut a Qualcomm-based console system,” the tech news outlet reported in early February.
Around the same time, a video game-specific blog, VG247, reported that Amazon was planning to launch an Android-powered “dedicated games and entertainment device this year price below $300 [that] will compete with Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo.”
The company will utilize a similar strategy to draw customers in, as it has in the past with its Kindle line of devices and e-books. Amazon hopes customers will be enticed by the company’s original content, which they will have to buy through the company’s console at Amazon.com.