Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Amazon Fire platform signals major step into gaming market

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With the launch of Amazon’s Fire TV platform, the company has shown how serious they are about monetizing on an ever-growing home gaming market. The new Amazon platform will rival Apple’s TV and potentially even the latest next-gen consoles, by allowing developers to quickly and easily optimise console, PC and mobile titles to deliver a gaming experience straight to the user’s living room.
“Developers are already finding monetization success with the apps they offer for Kindle Fire and in the Amazon Appstore. Fire TV is the newest reason for developers to bring their apps and games to the Amazon platform,” said the Vice President of Amazon Appstore and Games, Mike George.

“Fire TV is an opportunity for a broad group of developers – whether it’s existing Android developers or those focused on console, or PC development – to reach into the living room and engage a whole new set of customers who love entertainment. We already have many great developers on board like 2K, AOL, Bloomberg, Clear Channel, Disney, EA, ESPN, Gameloft, Hulu, Mojang, Pandora, SEGA, SHOWTIME, Telltale, Ubisoft, and Vevo – and… we expect many more to join.”

The hardware, which is similar in concept to the Apple TV and Valve’s Steam Machines, points towards a new trend of gaming and entertainment. There is a clear potential for migration from the online and mobile platform to the TV screen, with players now seeking out a living room-based way to access game apps and online products, such as indie titles, sites like the Royal Vegas mobile casino and TV streaming features.

Although this change in entertainment consumption is already occurring, Amazon are still valuing the second screen experience that smartphone and tablet devices offer. The Fire TV will support this using DIAL, which is an open standard allowing consumers to discover and launch apps from their portable device to their TV screens. This multi-player functionality, along with the Fire game controller, gives developers the opportunity to create truly immersive playing experiences.

Developers are already impressed with the ease of development and the speed in which they are able to port their titles into the Fire TV. Amazon are also sweetening the deal by giving developers 500,000 Amazon coins, which they can receive through the Appstore Developer Select Program. Developers are then able to create campaigns where customers can earn those Coins through the purchase of games and other apps.

Amazon seem to be focused on jumping into this new sector, just as they did before with the success of their Kindle e-reader back in 2007. Although the company carried a reputation for being ruthless, its support and encouragement of game app developers, and the 240 million user base they are helping them to tap into, seems to show that Amazon are remaining competitive with blunted horns.

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