Amazon has been doing a lot lately to position themselves as one of the major players in the gaming market. The retailer seems to have a hand in everything these days from traditional sales to free-to-play digital games. They never had a hand in actual game development, but a retailer wouldn't make games, right?
My assumption was wrong as Amazon announced yesterday afternoon that they are indeed now in the business of making games. The retailer revealed the existence of Amazon Game Studios and their first game, Living Classics, on the newly minted Amazon Game Studios Web site.
So why would Amazon, a retailer, get in the business of making games? The company says that they're providing additional entertainment and value to their customer base that plays a lot of free-to-play social games. To ensure they have a hit with their first game, Amazon Game Studios plays it a little too safe with Living Classics. Here's the description:
Living Classics, our first major release, is what we call a “moving object game.” In the game, a family of foxes have wandered into vibrant, animated illustrations from their favorite books including Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, and King Arthur. Players help to reunite the foxes by exploring beautifully illustrated scenes and spotting moving objects. You can visit friends, share rewards you’ve earned, rediscover famous stories, and reunite fox families.
Regardless, Amazon entering the actual game creation business is pretty big news. While their first game is only available on Facebook, what's to stop them from making free-to-play desktop games? They already have a portal for other publishers to distribute their games and content to players. Will Amazon use their power to push their games over those of others? It's too early to tell, but they are questions that we must keep in mind going forward.
If you want to see how Amazon's first game turned out, check out Living Classics on Facebook. If you're unwary, check out the trailer first to see if this "moving object" game is right for you.