Amazon has released its first ever big-budget video game after setting up Amazon Game Studios eight years ago.
Crucible is the online retailers free-to-play competitive shooter, released yesterday, that represents Amazon’s bid to cash in on the runaway success of games like Fornite, Apex Legends and Call of Duty: Warzone.
Amazon Game Studios, set up in 2012, has until now focused on more casual tablet games, but its latest big-budget title has drawn speculation the company could be looking at launching a streaming service like Google’s Stadia and branch into distribution.
Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter told CNBC that this could represent the first steps into the market “in the same way they got into books and music”, and that it “makes sense that they will offer a streaming service” to offer exclusive games on.
Other than its live-streaming platform Twitch, which it acquired for nearly $1 billion in 2014, this marks the retailers first real commitment to the sector, after announcing last June that dozens of game developers were being laid off and a number of titles had been cancelled.
“Games is a hard business, so it makes sense that it takes a while to develop a hit and (it) makes sense that they will tweak their model and headcount as they evolve,” Pachter continued.
“If they can’t compete with Crucible, they’ll try with New World. If that doesn’t work, they’ll try again.”