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Amazon is Enlarging Game Teams with Social & Mobile Focus

26 January 2012

From xconomy:

Amazon.com’s cloud-computing services already power some of the biggest names in online gaming. Its new Kindle Fire tablet and app store are giving game publishers a critical new sales channel. And now, the e-commerce pioneer appears to be getting more serious about publishing its own games.

Over the last few months, Amazon has ramped up job postings for game developers, artists, designers, and producers at both an Orange County research and development office and, for jobs focusing on social games, at its Seattle headquarters. Several notable names from the gaming industry have also joined the company recently, with a range of experience that spans many different gaming genres.

Some game publishers—who count Amazon as a key partner—have now concluded that it could become a competitor as well. Not much is known about what the secretive company is working on, and no sources who suspect Amazon is planning a bigger push into game publishing would comment on the record for this story.

. . . .

But now that Amazon has introduced its new full-color, touchscreen Kindle Fire tablet, it’s got a much stronger hand in selling digital games—and a much bigger reason to explore creating its own titles. Tellingly, the company’s job board lists six new game studio positions since the public introduction of the Kindle Fire, including three that were just posted yesterday.

Meanwhile, up at its Seattle headquarters, Amazon is building up a group that focuses on “social games innovation.” The company’s job board lists a dozen open positions mentioning that team, most of them posted in the past three months. Some of the jobs being advertised could be suited to a platform project, rather than game production. But job descriptions for designers and artists are pretty specific about the kind of work needed to produce a title. The artist, for example, is expected to “set the artistic direction [of] a new social game.”

. . . .

Amazon also has shown an interest in producing other kinds of content that it sells. After years of disrupting the business of selling books, Amazon is now directly taking on the publishing houses by signing up its own authors. And it’s also exploring new ways of getting movies made with its Amazon Studios project, a complement to a new video-streaming business.

Link to the rest at xconomy

For those unfamiliar with the gaming world, it’s huge, generating higher gross revenues than the movie business these days.

One of the interesting things about some of the more sophisticated videogames is that a lot of work goes into character development, world-building and plotting. Bestselling fantasy/sci fi author Dave Farland has participated in game development as have other prominent authors.

Amazon, Tablets/Ereaders