Screen of the film “Crucible”.
Amazon accelerated its expansion in the games industry with the release of Crucible on Wednesday.
The free shooter – which incorporates elements similar to popular games like Overwatch from Activision Blizzard, Fortnite from Epic Games, and League of Legends from Riot Games – is Amazon’s first big budget game from Amazon Game Studios, the game branch of the company, was created in 2012. With Crucible, Amazon Game Studios finally moved away from the tablet games it had been producing for years to deliver one of the PC titles originally announced in 2016.
Play is not a cornerstone of Amazon’s activities. The Twitch live streaming platform, which Amazon acquired in 2014 for $ 970 million, is the company’s only big anchor in the gaming space.
But Michael Pachter, analyst at Wedbush, speculates that the company seeks to enter the distribution of games “in the same way that they launched into books and music”. The crucible could be a first step towards achieving this objective.
“If they go deeper into games, it makes sense that they offer a streaming service and they probably want” exclusive “games for this service,” he wrote to CNBC.
All about Prime
Historically, Amazon’s content strategy has been geared towards increasing subscriptions to Amazon Prime, the company’s subscription program. Primary customers tend to be more loyal to the business and spend more money: estimates from January 2020 of Consumer Intelligence Research, Amazon now has more than 112 million Prime subscribers in the U.S. In 2019, these customers spent about $ 1,400 a year, compared to about $ 600 a year for non-member buyers, according to the research firm.
While Prime started with services tailored to ecommerce buyers, such as free shipping, it has gradually added a wide variety of offerings, including low-cost, exclusive video content.
Twitch Prime became one of these offers in 2016 when Amazon launched the service, which gave Prime members access to exclusive features on the live streaming platform.
Adding more games could help Amazon build a “holistic package” to gain more young customers, says Doug Clinton of Loup Ventures.
“When you win the young consumer, it’s a way of [permanently win] the whole household, “he said.
But Amazon has shown only a mixed commitment to space. Last June, the company confirmed that it had dismissed “dozens” of game developers, as reports have circulated a number of unannounced titles have also been canceled.
Screen of the film “Crucible”.
However, the launch of Crucible means that Amazon is the first tech giant other than Microsoft to release a big budget game. Other companies are gradually crowding into space.
Google is opening its own home game studio in Montreal to create games for its streaming service, Stadia. Apple launched its Arcade subscription service last fall and Facebook has strengthened its presence in VR games with two notable studio acquisitions in the past few months alone.
The release of Crucible comes in a particularly competitive year for shooting games. Activision’s Call of Duty: Warzone, released in March, reached 50 million downloads in its first month alone as League of Legends publisher Riot Games prepares for the much anticipated release of its game Valorant this year.
Pachter notes that this is a “crowded” market, and Crucible may not even be able to measure older titles like Fortnite and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG).
However, even if Crucible collapses, Pachter believes it will not be the end of Amazon’s gaming ambitions.
“Games are a difficult business, so it makes sense that it takes a while to develop a hit and [it] it makes sense that they change their model and their workforce as they evolve, “said Pachter.” If they can’t compete with Crucible, they will try New World. If that doesn’t work, they will try again. ”
New World, a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMO), is the next version of Amazon Game Studio. It was originally scheduled for a May release date, but has been delayed until August as the coronavirus epidemic halted development.