The e-tailer somehow confirmed its intentions of launching a video game console in the near future by acquiring Double Helix Games, the studio behind Killer Instinct, among other games.
Why else would Amazon buy a game developer? Having been founded in 2007, Double Helix Games is not among the old ones in this industry, but its team includes people with a lot of experience. This developer is best known for Killer Instinct, a fighting game that was among the launching titles for Xbox One.
As part of the deal, the 75 employees of Double Helix Games will continue their journey through space and time on board of the Amazon spaceship. Since this company resulted from the merger of two Foundation 9 studios, respectively The Collective and Shiny Entertainment, it means quite a lot to have experienced programmers by your side, especially since their portfolio includes such classics as Earthworm Jim, Indiana Jones and the Emperor’s Tomb, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Sacrifice.
Amazon and Double Helix Games were planning to host a joint recruiting event on February 13th, and that’s when they would have let the world know about this acquisition. In a statement that Amazon made for TechCrunch, the e-tailer said that “Amazon has acquired Double Helix as part of our ongoing commitment to build innovative games for customers.”
Where does Microsoft stand in all this? Well, the Redmond company announced that it would continue working with a new developer to create sequels to the Xbox version of Killer Instinct.
As for the console secretly developed by Amazon, VG247 reported that the e-tailer had a meeting with publishers in which popular Android and iOS games were shown running on a sub-$300 device. The Android-running console will reportedly enable people to both download and stream games. Obviously, the entertainment part wouldn’t be neglected, so expect to have video and audio playback and streaming.
Considering the rumors surrounding this device, I’m not sure if Amazon goes against Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo, or against the Steam Machines, which are currently focusing on gaming, with audio/video streaming to come soon. Anyway, it’s interesting to see the direction Amazon will be going with its console. One sad thing about Amazon’s own products is their international availability, but hopefully that will change too.