Amazon buys Strider, Killer Instinct developer Double Helix… but for what purpose?Written by: / / 2 Comments
It was only just last week that rumours and reports hit The Internet regarding the possibility of online retail giant Amazon launching a home console of its very own in an effort to take on The Big Three (namely Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo) in their own backyard.
Supposedly set to retail for under $300, the the Amazon console is apparently designed to be a central entertainment hub and will use a TV for video (as opposed to a tablet-like device) and may aim to provide casual gaming experiences (think Angry Birds and tablet/mobile games), but with enough power to deliver higher quality games, too.
On a related note, Amazon has over the years quietly been amassing game design and development talent to beef up its Amazon Game Studios division in Irvine, California, where multiple casual games have been created (and shut down) since 2012. More recently, Amazon has confirmed that is has acquired Double Helix, an Irvine-based company and developer of the upcoming Strider in collaboration with Capcom, as well as the warmly received Killer Instinct reboot on Xbox One, in collaboration with Microsoft and Rare.
“Amazon has acquired Double Helix as part of our ongoing commitment to build innovative games for customers,” the company confirmed to TechCrunch, saying that the deal was for talent and intellectual property. The 75 employees at Double Helix will, according to TechCrunch, continue to work out of Irvine, while Amazon has confirmed that the developer’s current and future projects will be supported following the acquisition.
Following the news, and speaking to Polygon, Microsoft has announced that the company will be announcing a new development partner for Killer Instinct on Xbox One soon, writing:
“We have thoroughly enjoyed working with Double Helix and wish them success in their next endeavor. We want all of our loyal fans to know that the Killer Instinct team at Microsoft is not changing and that the franchise will remain with Microsoft Studios. We remain dedicated to delivering a great experience and plan to announce our new development partner soon. We’re excited about the future of this popular franchise.”
But the question remains: Why has Amazon acquired Double Helix, especially in light of the console rumours?
Does the company plan to enter the game development business and produce games not only for current home consoles, but casual games for PC and mobile? Or is Amazon building a team of talented developers in order to create games for a console of its own? Let us know what you think.