Amazon May Make a New Powerhouse in Gaming With New Buy

Steve Anderson : End Game
Steve Anderson
The Video Store Guy
| The video game industry has gone from a mole hill to a mountain in no time flat, Chris DiMarco is your Sherpa as you endeavor to scale Mount “Everquest”

Amazon May Make a New Powerhouse in Gaming With New Buy

Amazon is no stranger to reinvesting profits back into the business, and this process of reinvestment has led to some very interesting developments. While shareholders, by some reports, aren't exactly happy about these developments, there are some who believe that Amazon may well prove dominant in a lot of fields, making its unusual moves well worth it. One of the newest investments may well give Amazon unexpected dominance in gaming.

The investment in question called for Amazon to license the CryEngine 3 game-building toolset in a deal valued between $50 and $70 million. That's an amount, according to reports, sufficiently large to turn around Crytek's financial fortunes, which had been previously found to not be doing well at all.

Just what Amazon wants to do with CryEngine 3 is as yet unclear, but given how many games it's been a part of--ranging from "Evolve" and "State of Decay" to several of Crytek's own properties--it could well be that Amazon has some plans to develop its own gaming properties. When you consider that Amazon has also recently hired "Portal" designer Kim Smith, "Halo" writer Erik Nylund, and "Far Cry 2"'s own Clint Hocking, it's certainly not out of line to suggest that Amazon may well have gaming on its mind. Amazon has also recently purchased game studio Double Helix and formed Amazon Game Studios, complete with the Amazon Fire TV streaming console.

There certainly is a note of sense in Amazon taking its act on the road as far as gaming goes. Amazon has so many separate businesses that it can comfortably afford to allocate resources toward lengthy developments that don't immediately pay off. That gives it a huge advantage over many triple-A studios, who can't make much diversion from established formulae for fear of missing out on sales. Amazon can take the risks that most studios can't thanks to the sheer diversity of its revenue base. What would Amazon care if a new game title didn't sell well when it's already selling everything from soup to bolts? Obviously that's an oversimplification, but one for effect; Amazon has multiple revenue streams that many dedicated game makers don't.

While it's not yet clear if Amazon will take these various components and start making major game releases with same, there's certainly room enough to suggest that Amazon might well start releasing its own games as another potential sideline for more income. Amazon has its fingers in a surprisingly large number of pies, and gaming may well prove to be one more fingerless pie for Amazon to pursue.

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