Amazon Enters Online Gaming with Amazon Game Studios

When I think of big tech or internet companies, often the first to come to mind are Google, Apple, and Facebook. I don’t know why, but Amazon tends to have its own separate place in my hierarchy of tech companies. Maybe it’s because they started off simply selling physical products, rather than changing the way the web works, or how we interact with the web. Or maybe I put them on a pedestal because I absolutely love the free 2-day shipping I get with my Amazon Prime membership (that’s no plug either, I really do love it!).

But as Amazon grows, it’s starting to mess with my perceptions about what kind of company it is, in a good way. It now offers a great video service that works on mobile platforms like tablets as well as on PCs. It sells software digitally. Amazon provides a great music service as well. In a sense, it has slowly, quietly, and intentionally become another web powerhouse. The news late yesterday and this morning shows that it’s continuing to move in that direction. Amazon has launched its own online gaming platform as well as its own Facebook game.

Amazon Game Studios and Living Classics

According to Anita Li on Mashable, “Amazon is entering the social gaming market with the debut of its new department, Amazon Game Studios.” The company plans to develop “innovative, fun and well-crafted games” for its users. This is currently a rather lucrative market, but is operating with few major players. Google and Apple have yet to get in on the action in a serious way while Zynga struggles to make profits. “Zynga’s stock fell nearly 40% in just a few hours, after the company released its second quarter earnings report.” Amazon had better have a solid game plan set up; just because there is a lot of money in the marketing doesn’t mean social gaming is easy money

Amazon has already released their first social game, Living Classics. Steven Musil over at CNet writes that “job opening ads posted by Amazon earlier this year … hinted that the company was close to an effort that would challenge the likes of Zynga.” Amazon’s first salvo into the social gaming battlefield comes with Living Classics playable both on Amazon’s service and Facebook. It’s a simple game that appeals to casual gamers. In the game “‘players help to reunite foxes by exploring beautifully illustrated scenes and spotting moving objects’… ‘You can visit friends, share rewards you’ve earned, rediscover famous stories, and reunite fox families’.”

What this Move Means

As far as I know, this is the first move into the social gaming market by one of the older and major internet players. Based on Amazon’s last few moves (video services improved, mobile and tablet apps, more digital services, Prime), there has been a strong push into getting the brand into consumer’s worlds in a much more concrete way.

Amazon wants to be a platform you can use for almost anything you might need or want to do. Amazon Game Studios and Living Classics is a way for the company to start generating revenue and building their brand in a purely online sense. If they do it right, this could be very profitable for Amazon; both in terms of literal dollars as well as in branding.

Businesses can benefit a great deal from moving online. What’s most important is to figure out how to expand your presence online in a way that will be effective and profitable. Amazon, for example, made a significant decision to move into social gaming. Time will tell how the decision pans out.

Have you considered expanding your online presence? What direction do you think is best for small businesses to take?

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Patrick currently lives in Somerville, Massachusetts, where he is studying for a Master's Degree in Intercultural Relations. Upon graduation from Penn State in 2008, he spent two years overseas in Kyrgyzstan with the U.S. Peace Corps. While writing is currently his chosen way to put food on the table, he loves fitness and exercise, which he believes makes up for his avid computer gaming habit.

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    1. Woow…amazon need to big market from game online. I think this very interest and news idea for everybody. Thanks for share it.
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