In recent years, Amazon has tried to become more than just an online retailer. The company has pushed into the world of video streaming through its Amazon Prime Instant Video scheme, competing with popular streaming services such as Netflix. Amazon has also followed up on this with Amazon Studios, creating its own original video content and bringing the company’s scope far outside of its online shopping roots.
It’s not only television and movies that has caught Amazon’s eye, however, as the company has also turned its attention to video games. Amazon acquired the Twitch streaming service last year for an incredible $970 million, whilst the Fire set-top box also acts as an Android-based gaming console. Some games for the device, as well as for Amazon Fire tablets, have been created in-house by Amazon Game Studios.
Now, however, it looks as though Amazon is going to step away from its traditional game development structure. According to VG247, Amazon Game Studios is hiring for several new positions with a view to create a new “ambitious” new project. Instead of the usual mobile or tablet-only titles that the studio has previously created, this new game is going to be developed for PC.
According to the job listings made available on Gamasutra, Amazon is looking to fill a number of serious vacancies, with developmental positions including Lead Technical Artist, Lead Visual Effects Artist, Senior Game Development Engineer, and Senior Game Economy Designer. The company goes into more detail about the positions available on its official jobs website, stipulating that preferred candidates should have gained experience working on AAA titles.
It all points towards Amazon making a big push into the world of video game development, particularly when the team that has already been put together is taken into account. So far, Amazon has hired a number of developers with some serious game history between them, including Tom Leonard, who was project lead on Left 4 Dead 2, and Portal designer Kim Swift. Meanwhile, the company has also taken on Clint Hocking, who directed Far Cry 2.
As of yet, nothing is known about the game other than its “ambitious” nature, but it will be exciting to see where Amazon goes with a project as complex as this. The company has clearly been determined to put together a strong backbone to its game studio element, after buying out Killer Instinct reboot developer Double Helix Games in February of last year. Many wondered what the company was planning after Amazon saved Crytek from financial instability with its CryEngine 3 licence purchase in April, and the picture now becomes a little clearer about what the online retailer has in store. Let’s hope that Amazon’s debut into the world of AAA gaming is a worthwhile venture.