Although it was once only known for shipping books, Amazon now won’t settle for anything less than total retail domination. In recent years, the company has created its own streaming service, and followed up with the announcement of Amazon Studios, a subsection of the company that is dedicated to creating original video content. Following the success of these ventures, Amazon also thought it would dip its toes into the tumultuous waters of video game development, albeit with some smart acquisitions.
First, Amazon acquired Twitch in a massive $970 million deal. Then, Amazon Game Studios began making waves, snatching up renowned developing talent from other studios when the opportunity arose. Now, another industry veteran is jumping ship over to the growing juggernaut amidst rumors of Amazon’s intent to create an ambitious new game.
PC Gamer is reporting that Eric Flannum, the lead designer of ArenaNet’s MMO hit Guild Wars 2, has left the studio to join the burgeoning team at Amazon Game Studios. He’s reportedly working on a PC game that will use “the latest technology to explore third person, competitive, melee-oriented action gameplay in an entirely new light”. That quote is taken from a LinkedIn post by Flannum, where he is now listed as a creative director at Amazon Game Studios.
Flannum’s profile also helps shed light on the types of developers Amazon currently has in its stable. When it comes to the Amazon Games Studio staff, their collective resumes read like laundry lists of some of the biggest properties in the industry today, including hits like the aforementioned Guild Wars 2, Halo, Starcraft, Half Life 2, Left for Dead, Destiny, and Shadow of Mordor. Beyond the team’s talent, Amazon Game Studios also has access to CryEngine 3, having acquired the licensing rights from Crytek about six months ago.
Although Flannum’s last project didn’t use CryEngine 3, it did have a focus on the kind of “competitive, melee-oriented action gameplay” that Amazon is looking for in its new project. Guild Wars 2 received positive reviews for its innovative PvP system, and has been successful enough to warrant the release of its first full-fledged expansion due in late October. That Amazon Game Studios has Flannum listed as their creative director is no surprise either, as Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns‘ has already received praise for its deep story-telling and beautiful cinematic launch trailer.
To be frank, the list of things we do know about Amazon Game Studios is still far shorter than the list of things we don’t. However, acquisitions like Flannum point towards a project that Amazon is confident in the longevity and profitability of, and that should have gamers excited for what comes next.
How do you feel about Amazon’s entry into the video game industry? Do you think the studio will find success? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.
Source: PC Gamer