Amazon is gearing to throw its hat into the gaming ring. The popular online shopping and entertainment company, already known for such subscription-based platforms like Amazon Prime, is planning to announce a new gaming service to be released in 2020. Unsurpisingly, it’s poaching from industry giants like Microsoft to help.
This is coming on the heels of Google Stadia, a cloud-based video game streaming service that was just released this week, only to be met with mixed responses from the public. Critics cited technical issues, a limited library of available games at launch and a lack of social media features as hindrances to what seemed like a promising endeavor for the internet powerhouse. As a result, support for the subscription service has decreased in the days since Stadia’s launch. Regardless, Google intends to continue with Stadia, promising improvements in the coming year.
Now it looks like there will be a new competitor for gamers’ all mighty dollar. As reported by CNet, two people familiar with Amazon’s plans say that the company is recruiting people from the likes of Microsoft to help with the upcoming launch next year, as well as hiring positions for a “new initiative” within its Amazon Web Service team. This is believed to be connected to the planned service.
“We believe the evolution that began with arcade communities a quarter at a time, growing to the live streams and e-sports of today, will continue to a future where everyone is a gamer and every gamer can create, compete, collaborate and connect with others at massive scales.” one of these job postings reads. In another, Amazon is said to want to “drive innovative new use cases like machine vision and game streaming.”
Amazon is not the only company looking to take on Google. Microsoft has recently begun beta testing of its new Project xCloud gaming service, which will feature at least 50 titles at launch including hits like Gears of War 5 and the Halo series. PlayStation has also revamped its long-running PlayStation Now service, offering access to 800 titles for $9.99. Finally, there’s still Apple’s Arcade, which costs a mere $4.99 a month and has big names like Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi and SimCity head Will Wright signed to create exclusive games.
Amazon will have its work cut out for it when its gaming service launches, but the company is no stranger to gaming. It already owns Twitch, a popular streaming site that allows viewers to watch others play games, making the jump to allowing them to play the games themselves feels like a logical progression. Plus, with the pedigree of Microsoft in their corner, the giant of the online shopping world may prove itself a force to be reckoned with when it enters the gaming platform war next year.