Game Marketing Tips, Analysis, and News

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Amazon Developing Games

There's more than one way to attract an audience.
Amazon sells books, and now it publishes books... Amazon sells games, and now it's developing games. Amazon had posted a job listing for a senior game designer back in May, and they've now filled the slot with Jonathan Tweet, who I worked with back at Wizards of the Coast. Jonathan has designed a number of things, including working on the 3rd Edition of D&D; you can see a list of his credits here.

Apparently Jonathan is heading up a social game design unit, so it appears Amazon is intent on making some money selling its own games for Android and other platforms. They've certainly got enough money to throw at the problem, and they've hired a good designer. The question is really how big are Amazon's ambitions here? How seriously are they going to invest, or is this just dabbling? Should Zynga be looking over their shoulder?

I don't know how serious Amazon is, but for now it doesn't sound like a huge effort. But it's amazing how fast social games can scale up... just ask Zynga. The impact of social games on tablets and smartphones as not yet been massive, but if you can cross those streams and get some synergy, the upside potential looks pretty high. And one thing's for sure: Amazon has the resources to make a major push into pretty much any area they feel warrants the effort. I suspect Amazon is watching closely to see how well their initial effort does, and to see if they should make a full-court press.

So no pressure, Jonathan, no pressure. Have some fun and build a good game, and let me know when the beta opens up, OK?

1 comment:

  1. I wonder if it will succeed. Hopefully they'll start off small.

    Sounds very interesting though, not something that i'd expect Amazon.