Amazon launches cloud-based gaming service

Doris Richards
March 19, 2018

Amazon says GameOn is a series of APIs for PC, console and mobile games that allow developers to create custom tournaments and leagues with leaderboards and prizes that Amazon can fulfill for customers. Additionally, it will allow companies to offer on-game and real-world prizes that are fulfilled by Amazon (no surprise there). "GameOn now supports leaderboards, leagues, and multi-round competitions, and gives you the flexibility to create custom events such as local and regional competitions", said Reggie Martin, Amazon's senior product manager for the company's mobile esports division.

Today, Amazon GameOn is being used by nWay, Game Insight, Millennial Esports' Eden Games, Umbrella Games, Nazara, Mindstorm, Mokuni, Avix, and GameCloud Studios in games ranging from casual to core across different genres. Microsoft recently acquired PlayFab, whose technology includes tournaments and leaderboards for games. This service also gives developers the ability to drive engagement and increase monetization of their games. GameOn works on any operating system and provides developers with the tools to bring competitive gaming to their titles easily. "We were particularly drawn to the real-world prizing aspect of GameOn".

Although Amazon will take an initial financial hit by making the tools temporarily free, Amazon's head of competitive gaming Marja Koopmans is hopeful that will lead to more developers building games using AWS as the underlying infrastructure. "GameOn saved us months of development and a whole lot of maintenance and logistical overhead in the long run".

GameOn is built-on top of AWS and created to work cross platform; as long as the system your game is running on can make API calls - be it mobile, console, or a computer - it should all work just fine. Physical prizes are limited to the U.S. for now. Beach Buggy Racing 2 and Doodle Jump 2 will be two upcoming games to start giving away Amazon prizes using GameOn.

GameOn APIs are free through May 1, 2018. Ever other play after that will be priced at $0.003 (£0.0021), meaning if Amazon manages to scale up the service across a mass of developers, it could have a nice little earner on its hands, not that it's struggling to rake in cash.

Amazon prizes are coming to your games.

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