According to new reports, Amazon is gearing up to announce their own video game cloud streaming service next year, with a potential holiday season launch window. The news comes from two sources who spoke to CNET as part of their report on the streaming strategies of major gaming companies including Microsoft, Sony, and Google.
Rumors began circulating that Amazon had their sights set on a rival service to Google’s recently launched cloud gaming service Stadia, and CNET asserts that an official announcement is on the horizon. The report also says that Amazon has been hiring top talent from the games industry, including former Microsoft employees. There are also job listings for a “new initiative” within the Amazon Web Services branch of the company that many believe will become Amazon’s game streaming team. The listings suggest that Amazon will integrate this new offering into their social game streaming platform Twitch, mirroring Google’s plan to integrate their Stadia service into YouTube.
In comments provided to CNET, Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Patcher shares his view that Amazon will be ready to launch their answer to the Google Stadia by the end of the year, adding that “the odds of [Amazon] letting the Scarlett and PS5 launch without Amazon being there is zero.”
Amazon has made forays into expanding their gaming-based offerings with varying results. Their Amazon Games Studios has produced relatively few titles, with most of them being mobile titles for their Amazon Appstore. The Amazon Games Studios staff were also subject to mass layoffs earlier this year. Amazon’s free AAA Lumberyard engine has also had a hard time of finding developers eager to build games in it. Currently Amazon Game Studios is developing a massively multiplayer online title based on the Lord of the Rings in partnership with Athlon Games.
Google’s Stadia game streaming service officially launched this week, with a final lineup of 22 launch titles. Microsoft is currently finalizing development of their own game streaming service Project xCloud, which is expected to make its market debut next year. Their next-generation console “Project Scarlett” is also releasing for Holiday 2020. Sony has had their own game streaming service with PlayStation Now for several years, and Sony recently revamped the service to stay competitive with the new offerings by reducing costs and adding in-demand titles like God of War and Grand Theft Auto V. Sony’s next-generation PlayStation 5 will also release for Holiday 2020 with a focus on both streaming and backwards compatibility.