Amazon has given the clearest indication yet that it aims to take on the likes of Google Stadia, Project xCloud, and impressive newcomer GeForce Now with its very own cloud gaming platform.
Speaking to the New York Times, Amazon’s vice president for game services and studios, Mike Frazzini, explained Amazon is making multi-pronged financial investments to take the fight to the gaming industry’s biggest players.
Amazon is clear about its intentions – the company is targeting Google and Microsoft, eager to claim a share of the $160 billion video game pie.
The big picture is about trying to take the best of Amazon and bringing it to games. We have been working for a while, but it takes a long time to make games, and we’re bringing a lot of Amazon practices to making games.
Among these is Amazon’s own rumored cloud gaming service, code-named Project Tempo.
It makes sense; the company has the financial might to develop and implement a cloud gaming service. Much of the brick and mortar infrastructure already exists thanks to an extensive network of Amazon Web Services data centers scattered across North and South America, Europe, the Middle-East, and the Asia Pacific regions.
For the time being, the service remains shrouded in secrecy. Sources familiar with Project Tempo suggest the company has its sights on launching an ‘early version’ this year. The current impact of the global coronavirus pandemic could, however, see it pushed back to 2021.
Aside from Project Tempo, which appears as a long term ambition at this point, the company is busy with the more immediate task of developing games.
Amazon’s sci-fi shooter, Crucible, and ambitious, yet controversial persistent world MMO, New World, are due to release in May. There’s also a Lord of the Rings project in the works.
The company is also intent on leveraging its Twitch streaming platform. As Frazzini explains, the idea is to integrate casual games into Twitch’s eco-system;
We love this idea that you have a player, a streamer, and a viewer all sharing in this synchronous interactive environment of Twitch.
While Amazon has indeed demonstrated some lofty ambitions, we’ve yet to see any of these broader projects in action. The only output to date from the company’s gaming division has been a string of mobile games and the unimpressive The Grand Tour Game.
Next month’s double release should offer some much-needed insight into whether Amazon can deliver the goods.