Amazon is now ready to expand its presence in the video game industry beyond Twitch.
According to New York Times, the company is “investing hundreds of millions of dollars” in games development and distribution.
Amazon currently owns at least three development studios.
- Seattle-based Relentless Studios has been working on an original big-budget sci-fi shooter called Crucible. The game, which has been in development since 2014, is expected to come out in May following a number of delays in the past over coronavirus. Unlike conventional shooters, Crucible will feature competitive strategic gameplay elements inspired by games like League of Legends and Dota 2.
- Another game studio in Irvine, California, built after Amazon acquired Double Helix Games in 2014, is developing two MMO titles. One of them is called New World. It will be set in an alternative 17th century world, which thousands of players will be able to populate. Just like Crucibe, New World is going to launch in May. Another project developed by the Irvine studio is a multiplayer game based on the “Lord of the Rings” franchise.
- There is yet another studio in San Diego, headed by John Smedley, a former president of Sony Online Entertainment. However, there is no information on what and when we should expect from them.
Additionally, Amazon has developed its own game engine Lumberyard and is working on its own cloud gaming platform called Project Tempo. It will be properly announced either this year or, given the possibility of further coronavirus disruptions, in 2021.
Finally, Amazon is developing new casual games that people will be able to play on Twitch along with broadcasters.
“We love this idea that you have a player, a streamer and a viewer all sharing in this synchronous interactive environment of Twitch,” says Mike Frazzini, Amazon’s vice president for game services and studios.