Technology companies these days rarely only have one function, rather encompassing a multitude of services. This seems to be the case with Amazon because recently, they acquired Double Helix Games for both IP as well as the talent.
Apparently Amazon is looking into building up talent around the gaming industry from within in order to eventually release their own version of a set-top-box which will allow the user to download music, movies, tv shows, and now in-house developed games through the app store. Much like Chromecast, Amazon’s “Fire-tube” set-top-box will potentially send a controller with the platform to use as a remote or gaming-controller but functionalities will also include the smartphone as well as tablet to be used as a remote for convenience.
Amazon’s Entrance into Gaming
Even before this acquisition, Amazon has been looking into the gaming industry as they have produced 2 games from their in-house game studio including Living Classics and Air Patriots. To further their presence within the gaming industry, Amazon has acquired the services of Eric Nylund, author of the popular series Halo: Fall of Reach and former lead narrator for Microsoft. With this addition, Amazon looks to create games with a great, innovative story-line. Big names in the industry such as Nylund will only fuel the fire Amazon hopes to attain before the release of their product. In addition to adding games to their set-top-box, Amazon is allowing users to vote on which Pilot TV shows to include as their original content with titles ranging from The After from X-Files creator Chris Carter, The Wire by Eric Overmyer, and Harry Bosch by Michael Connelly.
Double Helix Games’ History
Double Helix Games is an Irvine, California based company founded in 2007 through the merger between The Collective Inc. and Shiny Entertainment. Both of these companies have been creating games for over 20 years and have produced blockbuster games covering titles such as Earthworm Jim, Enter the Matrix, Indiana Jones and the Emperor’s Tomb, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Quite possibly, Double Helix Games’ most successful and popular title includes Killer Instinct for the Xbox One and we are interested to see how this title develops with the release of Amazon’s set-top-box and subsequent game controller.
The “Fire-tube” Potential
In a quote given by Amazon to TechCrunch, Amazon states “‘We have’ acquired Double Helix as part of our ongoing commitment to build innovative games for customers.” This can possibly hint at more game developer acquisitions in the near future by Amazon with their focus shifting to include innovative games in accordance with their products already in place such as the Kindle. The “Fire-tube” set-top-box will be an android powered, dedicated games and entertainment device set around the $300 price-point. This means that the Fire-tube will be in direct competition with devices such as the Wii-U, Nvidia Shield, Xbox One, and PS4 although providing a slightly different service than it’s rival counterparts.
A Final Word
Amazon has always been known as a powerhouse innovation company and because of this, have found much success within the tech industry. Mergers, such as the one with Double Helix Games, to add talent and IP to strengthen the internal structure only add to the omnipotent presence Amazon is looking to attain in all aspects of the entertainment industry. With the creative talent obtained from the acquisition of Double Helix Games, Amazon looks to strengthen their foothold in the innovative technology market and provide users a unique product and experience for the near future.