Photo: Amazon Game Studios
Amazon.com has just launched its first social game, Living Classics, and unveiled a new division, Amazon Game Studios, which will launch similar titles.This means it has effectively declared war on Zynga during a vulnerable moment for the San Francisco-based game maker, which has seen its stock get hammered amid concerns over the growth of its Facebook-based social games.
Amazon Game Studios is based in Seattle, we’re told. But Amazon’s game-development activity may be spread farther afield than the retailing giant has let on.
Business Insider exclusively reported last month that Amazon was hiring game developers on Zynga’s home turf and was trying to hire a high-level executive to run a full-fledged San Francisco-based game studio. (It already has an office in San Francisco where some game developers work.)
Amazon also revealed a service called GameCircle, which connects online players and competes very directly with Zynga’s multiplayer platform ambitions, which it’s building out through its Zynga.com and With Friends initiatives.
With the official reveal of Amazon Game Studios, the battle is on.
We don’t think Amazon has a particular beef with Zynga. Instead, we think that Amazon wants to make sure it has an ample supply of games for its Kindle tablets. And just as it’s gotten into book publishing to ensure a supply of affordable e-books for the Kindle, Amazon likely felt it needed to become a first-party publisher of games.
Here’s a look at Living Classics, which puts players in well-known imaginary worlds like that of The Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland.