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Former Daybreak CEO John Smedley Tapped For New Amazon San Diego Studio

Amazon Game Studios has announced that John Smedley, who helped shape massive multiplayer games with his work on EverQuest and Planetside, will be heading up a new company studio based in San Diego.

"[John] helped create the blueprint for fusing massive game worlds with vibrant player communities, a vision that we share," a statement from Amazon Game Studios said. "His team is already hard at work on an ambitious new project that taps into the power of the AWS Cloud and Twitch to connect players around the globe in a thrilling new game world."

The company did not announce the name of the studio or provide concrete details on the project Smedley will work on. However, in an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Smedley mentioned that he will be listening to fan feedback intently. "I learned two important lessons from Daybreak – first is to listen to customers no matter what. The second is to work with great people. I'm happy to say we're doing both," he said.

[Source: GamesIndustry.biz]

 

Our Take
It wouldn't surprise anyone for Smedley to be working on an MMO. But what an MMO looks like in 2017 is anyone's guess. Smedley did say in the GamesIndustry.biz interview that MMOs look very different from World of WarCraft now. "We'll still see great MMOs, we're just going to see them evolve from what they are now."

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Costume Quest Cartoon Coming To Amazon Video In 2018

Back in 2015 Frederator Studios announced plants to make an animated adaptation to Double Fine's endearingly charming Costume Quest. The talented folks behind Cartoon Network's breakout hit Adventure Time now have a home for the project, which is set to debut sometime in 2018 as an Amazon Original Kids Series.

The show will include the voice talents of beloved voiceover artists like Frank Welker, Rob Paulsen, and Kevin Michael Richardson, among others. Amazon says Costume Quest is targeted toward 6- to 11-year-olds, and will require an Amazon Prime membership to watch.

The latest entry in the game series, Costume Quest 2, released in 2014. Check out Game Informer's review here.

[Source: Amazon]

 

Our Take:
Back when G.I. editor Joe Juba originally reviewed the first game, he said, "Costume Quest would have made a fantastic cartoon." Double Fine and Amazon clearly agree.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Learn from Amazon and Khronos Group experts at GDC 2017

Head’s up! GDC organizers are happily highlighting more day-long sponsored developer days from Amazon and the Khronos Group that afford GDC attendees opportunities to learn from experts. …


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Learn about making audio adventures for the Amazon Echo today at 3PM EST

If you’ve ever wanted to play a choose-your-own-adventure game with your voice, you should tune in to this conversation about making interactive audio adventures. …


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Get some key tips on making audio adventures for Amazon Echo devices

If you want to dive into audio interactive adventure design (and you should), check out this preview of an upcoming GDC 2017 talk from the makers of Baker Street Experience on Amazon Echo. …


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Star Citizen Announces Amazon Lumberyard Tech Partnership

Cloud Imperium Games today shared details on the game engine it is using to power its sci-fi projects, Star Citizen and Squadron 42. Amazon Lumberyard is handling the heavy lifting of the games' computation and storage needs (through the Amazon Web Services Cloud).

““We’ve been working with Amazon for more than a year, as we have been looking for a technology leader to partner with for the long term future of Star Citizen and Squadron 42,” says Cloud Imperium CEO Chris Roberts in a press release. The developer praised Amazon Lumberyard for its back-end cloud integration and social capabilities. 

While this is the first public declaration of the partnership, it’s clear that the development studio has been hard at work integrating its games with Amazon Lumberyard, as the upcoming 2.6 alpha release of Star Citizen is said to be utilizing the technology.   

You can learn more about Star Citizen at the game’s official site

 

Our Take
Star Citizen is a massive project, and despite years of development, it’s nowhere near completion. Nonetheless, strong crowd-funded support have carried the game a long way, and concrete news on the game’s tech implementation can’t help but be considered good news for the long term viability of the project. 

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Amazon opens Texas office to support its Lumberyard game engine

Amazon is expanding the team working on its free Lumberyard game engine and setting up a new team to work on the system in its Austin, Texas office. …


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Twitch is evolving to become more like Amazon — and YouTube

The company announced plans today to allow broadcasters to upload videos to the platform, a la YouTube, and confirmed a new premium tie-in with the Amazon Prime subscription service: Twitch Prime. …


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Twitch Prime Revealed, Offers “Game Loot” And Game Discounts To Amazon Prime Members

Today Twitch revealed a new service bundled into Amazon Prime memberships called Twitch Prime. Just what is it Twitch Prime? Here's the breakdown from the blog post:

Twitch Prime is a new premium experience on Twitch that is included with Amazon Prime. As a Twitch Prime member, you get free game loot every month, like instant access to the newest Hearthstone hero, Tyrande Whisperwind, or the new indie game, Streamline. You also receive discounts on new-release box games sold by Amazon during the pre-order period and for the first two weeks after launch. And on Twitch, once you link your Amazon Prime account to your Twitch account, you get an ad-free viewing experience, exclusive emotes and chat badge, and one free channel subscription every 30 days. When Twitch Prime members use their free channel subscription every month, the streamer gets paid just like any other subscription, so this introduces a new way to help support the streamers you love, even if you’ve never subscribed before. Or, you can just use it for crashing subscriber-only chat rooms. Your choice, boss! :)

 If you already have an Amazon Prime account, all you need to do to get access to Twitch Prime is link your accounts by going here.

You can read the rest of the blog post for more details.

 

Our Take
Huh. Well that's interesting. Seems a little bare at this moment to justify buying an Amazon Prime membership just for it but if you're already a member, hey, why not? 

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Amazon bets big on Twitch generation with new game line-up

Amazon Game Studios has unveiled three new PC games, and it’s clear the developer is gunning for the Twitch generation.  …


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