Amazon Is Going Big On Gaming, Launching A Streaming Service And Multiple New MMOs

Amazon could soon be a force to be reckoned with in the world of gaming, as the company is said to have invested “hundreds of millions” of dollars into trying to become a major player in the games business. The New York Times reported that figure, and also noted that Amazon’s new push into gaming represents the company’s “most significant investment” in original entertainment since it launched a movie and TV business with Amazon Studios.

Amazon’s film and TV business has enjoyed a lot of success over the years, including the acclaimed TV show Transparent and the Oscar-winning movie Manchester by the Sea. Amazon’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel also won high acclaim, picking up multiple Golden Globe and Emmy wins.

Amazon is looking for success in gaming, too, and this begins with the launch of its first original game, the sci-fi shooter Crucible. The game, which is developed by Relentless Studios in Seattle, is due to launch in May, following delays related to COVID-19. Amazon is also working on multiple MMOs, including the 17th century New World (from Amazon’s Irvine, California studio) and a Lord of the Rings MMO from the same studio in southern California.

On top of this, former Sony Online Entertainment boss John Smedley is running a new Amazon game studio in San Diego, but the company’s game has not been announced yet. Like many other game studios, Amazon’s teams are working from home, and development continues in this new setup.

Amazon is also said to be working on interactive “casual games” that streamers on Twitch–which it owns–can play with viewers “in real time.” In addition to games themselves, Amazon is creating a “full-fledged” cloud gaming platform with the codename Project Tempo, according to the report. This service had been rumored for more than a year already.

Amazon would become just the latest big name to get into game-streaming, joining Google Stadia, Microsoft’s xCloud, and Sony’s PlayStation Now, among others. Electronic Arts, too, is said to be developing a cloud gaming service.

Project Tempo was supposed to release an “early version” in 2020, but the launch might move to 2021 due to “disruptions” related to COVID-19, according to the report.

Amazon’s gaming boss Mike Frazzini, said the company is trying to take the best of Amazon and work it into its games business. “We have been working for a while, but it takes a long time to make games, and we’re bringing a lot of Amazon practices to making games.”

“It was very clear to everyone that people, customers, love video games,” the executive said. “It was so obviously important to customers that we need to be doing something.”

Amazon’s push into video games hasn’t always been smooth. The company’s first big game, Breakaway, was canceled because it did not live up to the company’s high bar. The company also hired big names, including Portal designer Kim Swift and Far Cry 2 director Clint Hocking, but they left the studio without releasing anything.

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Amazon Has Deals On Several Big Games Right Now (PS4, Switch, Xbox One)

Many of us have more time on our hands than we know what to do with right now, and finding things to keep ourselves entertained while stuck indoors is crucial. It’s a great time to own a console or gaming PC, as the first big games of the year are coming out just as we’re all desperate for something to play. And fortunately, you can find some fantastic deals on games from the past few years if you’re looking to save some money. Amazon’s latest batch of deals slashes the prices on PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch games, including critically acclaimed hits like Divinity: Original Sin 2 – Definitive Edition and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. (While the sale focuses on console games, you can find some fantastic PC discounts at GOG, Fanatical, Green Man Gaming, and other PC-focused sites right now.)

PS4 players have been able to find some good stuff in the sale, including console exclusives like Horizon Zero Dawn: Complete Edition and The Last of Us Remastered for $15 each along with Marvel’s Spider-Man: Game of the Year Edition for $20 (all of them are currently sold out right now, however). Journey to the Savage Planet, a colorful first-person adventure game released in January, is down to $20 on PS4. You can also snag our 2019 Game of the Year, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, for $37.49. Meanwhile, Death Stranding is on sale for just $30 on PS4–the best price yet for Kojima Productions’ debut title.

Outside of PS4-specific deals, you can snag Borderlands 3 and Divinity: Original Sin 2 – Definitive Edition for $20 each on both PS4 and Xbox One. If you somehow don’t own Grand Theft Auto V by now, its Premium edition is just $18 for Xbox One and comes with a bunch of extra content and upgrades. Fighting game fans can jump into the action in Mortal Kombat 11 for $25 on Xbox One or $27 on Switch or PS4. The newest single-player Star Wars adventure, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, is also on sale for $37.32 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

Switch game deals are a bit lackluster on Amazon right now following the huge Mario Day sale, but you can still find several first-party games for $10 to $15 off, which is always a great price to snag them at. If you’re a new Switch owner or just haven’t picked up The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild yet, it’s down to $49.49 on Amazon (stock looks to be sold out for now, though). Rocket League is a great couch multiplayer game if you’re looking for something to play with your roommates or family, and the Ultimate Edition for Switch is just $24.

You can check out all the best game deals at Amazon right now below. Be sure to note the shipping estimates–right now, many Amazon goods have longer shipping times due to stock running low and Amazon prioritizing health and household goods in its warehouses.

Best game deals at Amazon

  • A Plague Tale: Innocence — $30 ($50) | PS4
  • Borderlands 3 — $20 ($60) | PS4, Xbox One
  • Death Stranding — $30 ($60) | PS4
  • Divinity: Original Sin 2 – Definitive Edition — $19.97 ($30) | PS4, Xbox One
  • Doom Eternal — $49.94 ($60) | PS4, Xbox One
  • Doom Slayers Collection — $20 ($30) | PS4, Xbox One
  • Gears 5 — $25 ($60) | Xbox One
  • Grand Theft Auto V – Premium Edition — $18 ($30) | Xbox One
  • Journey to the Savage Planet — $20 ($30) | PS4
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild — $49.49 ($60) | Switch
  • The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening — $49 ($60) | Switch
  • Mortal Kombat 11 — $25-27 ($60) | Switch, PS4, Xbox One
  • Need for Speed Heat — $30 ($60) | Xbox One
  • Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch — $37.45 ($50) | Switch
  • The Outer Worlds — $34 ($60) | PS4, Xbox One
  • Resident Evil 3 Remake — $50 ($60) | PS4
  • Risk of Rain 2 — $20.58 ($40) | Switch
  • Rocket League – Ultimate Edition — $24 ($50) | Switch
  • Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice — $37.49 ($60) | PS4
  • Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order — $37.32 ($60) | PS4, Xbox One, PC
  • Super Mario Maker 2 — $49.94 ($60) | Switch
  • Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection — $15 ($20) | PS4
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Complete Edition — $50 ($60) | Switch

Best Deals This Week

  • Amazon Just Launched An Awesome Sale On Switch, PS4, And Xbox One Games
  • Xbox One Games With Gold For March 2020 Revealed
  • PS4's Free PS Plus Games For March 2020 Now Available
  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons: Best Switch Accessories, Amiibo, Plushies, And More
  • New Baby Yoda Merch Revealed–See Everything Here

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Amazon Prime Members Can Claim 5 Free Games In March 2020

As part of Twitch Prime, the streaming service offers free games to Twitch and Amazon Prime Members every month, and March 2020 is no exception. In case you aren’t familiar with the program, if you link your Twitch account to your Amazon Prime membership or sign up for Twitch Prime, you get five free games–usually smaller indies–and in-game loot for popular online multiplayer games. It’s one of the lesser-known perks of Amazon Prime, but you shouldn’t overlook it.

This month subscribers can snag Furi, a stellar action shoot-em-up featuring a series of increasingly challenging boss fights. The science-fiction aesthetic coupled with the stylish color palette makes for a captivating atmosphere, and the gameplay is fast and fun. You can also grab Epistory – Typing Chronicles, a gorgeous action-adventure set in a world made of origami; Whispers of a Machine, a 2019 point-and-click adventure starring an augmented special agent; Bomber Crew, a World War II strategy game; and Mugsters, a physics-based puzzler filled with aliens.

Along with the free games, you can claim new in-game loot for Apex Legends, Destiny 2, and FIFA 20. Fans of FIFA 20’s Ultimate Team mode can grab the Twitch Prime Player Pack, which includes an 81+ overall item and four rare gold player items. Destiny 2’s latest batch of in-game loot is live now and includes new Exotics, including the Praxic Finery Sparrow, Sails of Osiris ship, and Poultry Petting emote.

Twitch Prime subscribers can also grab an exclusive Doom Eternal skin that makes the Doom Slayer look like a pink unicorn.

You can start claiming free games and loot from Twitch Prime by linking your Twitch account to your Amazon Prime account. If you’re not a current Amazon Prime subscriber, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial before taking the plunge on the $119 per year membership.

Twitch Prime free games for March 2020

Available now

  • Furi
  • Epistory Typing Chronicles
  • Whispers of a Machine
  • Mugsters
  • Bomber Crew

Best Deals This Week

  • Amazon Just Launched An Awesome Sale On Switch, PS4, And Xbox One Games
  • Xbox One Games With Gold For March 2020 Revealed
  • PS4's Free PS Plus Games For March 2020 Now Available
  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons: Best Switch Accessories, Amiibo, Plushies, And More
  • New Baby Yoda Merch Revealed–See Everything Here

Source: Read Full Article


Twitch Partners With SoundCloud to Help Musicians Monetize Livestreams

  • Twitch and SoundCloud are encouraging music content creators to host and monetize livestream video content.
  • Those with SoundCloud subscriptions can fast-track their Twitch accounts to “Affiliate” status, which awards revenue with subscriptions and paid-emotes.
  • While predominantly hosting gaming content, Twitch has a “Music & Performing Arts” category that currently has 2.2M followers. 

Two of the top streaming companies, Amazon-owned Twitch and music sharing site SoundCloud, have partnered to bring revenue in for musicians during the COVID-19 pandemic. Creators who have paid for the SoundCloud Pro, SoundCloud Premier and Repost by SoundCloud services can fast-track their Twitch accounts to “Affiliate” status, allowing them to run ads on their channel, link to music and merchandise stores, and allow fans to donate directly. 

The announcement encouraged music creators to host live concerts, hold Q&As with fans, or create content based on audience interactions. Ordinarily, a Twitch streamer would need to fill certain conditions to become an affiliate, such as reaching 50 followers and having streamed for eight hours in total. Access to the program is still manually granted, with individual accounts checked against Twitch best practices.

Government bans on large gatherings has crippled the live music industry, with concerts, tours, and festivals canceled across the world. Touring staff and booking agencies have already announced layoffs, while services such as Bandcamp have waived its share of sales on purchased music.

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