Amazon launches Games Studio

Amazon has created a new studio devoted to creating games as it looks to take on the likes of Zynga, Electronic Arts and King.com in the fast-growing social casual gaming sector.

The online retailer hopes that a combination of its user database and its relationships with publishers and other entertainment clients will help deliver a better gaming experience than its latest rivals.

Amazon’s first major release is a game called Living Classics, which sees a family of foxes wandering into animated illustrations from various books including King Arthur, The Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland.

The game debuts on Facebook today (7 August) and allows users to visit friends in the virtual worlds and share the rewards they have earned.

The Seattle-based Games Studio is currently recruiting staff to develop further games. It is likely Amazon would also look to create games for its own-branded app store, which at this point is only available in the US.

Social gaming revenue more than doubled between 2010 and 2011 and is expected to reach $6.2bn globally in 2012, according to Gartner.

By 2017, DFC Intelligence forecasts 39 per cent of console game revenue will come via online distribution and online revenue sources, suggesting why Amazon wants into move into the market itself rather than just simply distributing other publishers’ games.

Social gaming company King.com, which is the second most popular games developer on Facebook in terms of daily active users (according to AppData), recently told Marketing Week it is set to introduce a new in-game ad format that will allow brands to pay to associate themselves with boosts or extra lives, as it looks to capitalise on the growing number of users playing its games.

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