Less than a week ago, we heard news that Amazon could be set to announce its own game-streaming service in 2020, putting itself in competition with Google, Microsoft, Sony, and Electronic Arts. Those rumors appear to be further corroborated by Amazon’s recent job postings, so those unsatisfied with current options may want to hold off on buying a subscription.
The data-tracking firm Thinknum revealed that Amazon has been consistently hiring for jobs that appear related to a game-streaming service over the last few years, and most recently the listings have included a game engine producer, a head of live services, a live services engineer, and software development engineers.
Amazon Game Studios is not new, with the division currently working on developing games — and canceling some in the past. One of its current projects is a Lord of the Rings MMO, which would certainly fit into the “live services” component of several job listings. Presumably, Amazon would make the game an exclusive to its streaming service in order to entice subscribers, and would likely make existing Fire devices compatible. It would also have to compete with the current Lord of the Rings Online, which is still ongoing more than a decade after its initial launch.
Based on information we’ve heard thus far, Amazon’s plan for its game-streaming service involves integration with Twitch, a platform it purchased several years ago. Google Stadia uses similar integration with YouTube, and we expect Microsoft’s Project xCloud to feature Mixer support when it has its full launch in the future, given the company’s recent acquisition of key streamers.
Amazon has lost some its key creative talent over the last few years, including Clint Hocking, who returned to Ubisoft to direct Watch Dogs Legion. Thus far, Amazon Game Studios has failed to make much of an impact in the industry, not establishing a large foothold like Amazon Prime did for video streaming.
Still, game streaming is still practically the Wild West at this point, and Google has certainly not made a case for Stadia as the game-streaming platform. That could change, but Amazon certainly has an opportunity to capture the crown right now.
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