March 20, 2018 // 10:36 a.m.
Amazon has announced it is pushing further into the world of gaming, launching a cross-platform cloud service for running competitions for real-world prizes: Amazon GameOn.
Building on Amazon's 2016 launch of Lumberyard, a game engine based on Crytek's CryEngine and Amazon's first serious toe-dip into the waters of game development, GameOn takes games running on any engine and on any platform and allows developers to integrate competitive gaming features ranging from local and global leaderboards, leagues, and multi-round competitions through to real-world prizes - fulfilled, naturally, by Amazon itself, meaning the developer or publisher is freed from the need to have stock on-hand and arrange delivery to the winners. At the developer's choice, the platform also allows streamers and other fans to create their own competitions for a bit of free advertising.
'Game developers have consistently told us they are looking for ways to increase player engagement and retention,' claims Marja Koopmans, director of Amazon Competitive Gaming, of the launch. 'We built Amazon GameOn to give developers simple, yet powerful tools to foster community through competitive gameplay.'
Amazon has confirmed that the GameOn application programming interface (API) is live now with free access until May 1st this year, after which developers will be charged $0.003 per play after the first 35,000 in a month. While globally accessible, the platform's physical prize distribution offering is available only in the US at launch.
More information on GameOn is available on the official website.