Amazon Gets Serious About Game Development

Posted by and | June 09, 2015 | News | One Comment
Til Morning's Light Amazon Game Studios

Amazon Game Studios is working on a computer game. Kim Swift, Senior Designer at Amazon, posted a hiring call a couple of weeks ago. The company has snapped up a lot of talent from different studios and is ready to make an “ambitious new PC game project.” But that’s not all. As its recent acquisition of Twitch.tv signalled, Amazon seems to be expanding its gaming efforts in more than just the PC direction.

“My team here at Amazon Game Studios is hiring like crazy and we’re looking for the best of the best for a new PC game project using the latest technology,” Swift said. “Our team in Seattle has worked on a lot of great titles including Portal, Left 4 Dead, Half Life 2, Dota 2, World of Warcraft, Halo, Infamous, Shadow of Mordor, and many others. We want people that are driven to make the best games in the industry. We’re looking to take interesting risks, and invent!”

In the non-PC space, Amazon Game Studios announced in March that it is bringing some of its original video games to iOS. Amazon Game Studio’s roster includes a variety of game genres, but games were previously only available on the Fire tablet and smartphone.

‘Til Morning’s Light and Lost Within are already in the App Store, with To-Fu Fury and Tales From Deep Space to come. ‘Til Morning’s Light and Lost Within were well-received—more so than Amazon’s initial first-person shooter game for the Fire TV, Sev Zero.

Taken together, these moves suggest that Amazon wants to become a bigger name in gaming. Publishing games on iOS gives Amazon access to the largest gaming audience in the world. At the WWDC this week, Tim Cook said that the app store has passed one billion downloads.

Many of the most innovative games in the last years haven’t come from big publishers at all, but smaller independent developers. Is Amazon the company that is going to throw a wrench into large-scale game development?

Probably not. But their mobile games, like ‘Til Morning’s Light, show us a glimpse of what Amazon could deliver. The Verge called it a “family-friendly Resident Evil,” and praised its voice acting and rich setting.

Amazon might not be rewriting the rules of what a game is, but there’s no reason not to look forward to what they’ll deliver in the future.

Simone de Rochefort

About Simone de Rochefort

Simone de Rochefort is a game journalist, writer, podcast host, and video producer who does a prolific amount of Stuff. You can find her on Twitter @doomquasar, and hear her weekly on tech podcast Rocket, as well as Pixelkin's Gaming With the Moms podcast. With Pixelkin she produces video content and devotes herself to Skylanders with terrifying abandon.

Keezy Young

About Keezy Young

Keezy is a gamer, illustrator, and designer. Her background is in teaching and tutoring kids from ages 9 to 19, and she's led workshops for young women in STEM. She is also holds a certificate in teaching English. Her first memory of gaming is when her dad taught her to play the first Warcraft when she was five. You can find her at Key of Zee and on Twitter @KeezyBees.