Amazon launches game development studio & releases Facebook social game

Does it get more ambitious than Amazon? After a year of peddling mobile apps and games through its Android Appstore, the online retailer is going one step further with the launch of its own game studio.

Amazon Game Studios, an in-house development team, will focus on “creating innovative, fun and well-crafted games,” the company wrote in a post announcing its first title, a Facebook app called Living Classics.

The social game is described as a “moving object game” in which a family of foxes “have wandered into vibrant, animated illustrations from their favorite books including Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, and King Arthur.” Players must reunite the foxes by spotting moving objects in illustrated scenes. To capitalise on the social side of things, the game allows users to visit Facebook friends and share rewards. It’s available now for free.

To explain its decision to venture into creating, and not just selling, games, Amazon wrote, “We know that many Amazon customers enjoy playing games – including free-to-play social games – and thanks to Amazon's know-how, we believe we can deliver a great, accessible gaming experience that gamers and our customers can play any time.”

Amazon has been recruiting game developers for some time now and has said that it is actively hiring more, so it’s likely that more Amazon-developed apps, for Facebook and for mobile platforms, will soon begin to surface.

The post revealed little else, but seems to suggest the company could be looking to compete with the likes of Zynga. But, given its history, Amazon could just as easily be gearing up to challenge gaming giants like Sony and Microsoft.