Not satisfied with selling books, video content, music and physical goods, Amazon has opened up its own Game Studios to provide entertainment for Facebook, and probably the Kindle Fire and other devices. With a first game already available, what else does it have planned for the casual gaming market?
Game On for Amazon
For years there have been rumors of an Apple games controller, and we've seen established gaming giants like Electronic Arts, Ubisoft and Activision struggle to catch up with a booming social games scene as Facebook gaming took time away from consoles.
Those Facebook and more recently iPhone and Android games have created some spectacular hits but, recently, we've seen the most successful of these new companies Zynga take a hammering on the stock market as its revenues flat line.
So, why would Amazon get into such a hugely competitive market? A market with blood on the floor and tens of thousands of developers producing huge numbers of titles, all hoping to be the next Angry Birds, Temple Run or FarmVille. The likely answer is some exclusive content with which to promote the new Kindle Fire tablet through it's own digital games store.
With one game already out the doors, the literary-based Living Classics, available to play on Facebook (a child friendly, tap-the-moving-objects affair) and others in development, the company could carve out a useful niche for itself, eventually moving to micro-payments or full games to bring in revenue from loyal Amazon customers.
Questing for Gold?
For now, the company says of its ambitions, "Why is Amazon making social games, you ask? Good question! We know that many Amazon customers enjoy playing games – including free-to-play social games – and thanks to Amazon's know-how, we believe we can deliver a great, accessible gaming experience that gamers and our customers can play any time."
With its expected march into wider consumer device territory, Amazon could do with some unique selling features, and if they're carefully crafted around areas the company is well known for, then the extended brand could help attract buyers to other products that Amazon sells.
For now, this looks like a small experiment step for Amazon, but one that could be easily expanded to work around the huge amounts of goods the company sells, be it through branded titles or other avenues.