Amazon Steps Up Gaming Focus With New Kindle Fire

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Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) finally seems to be getting its act together with its apps business with the launch of GameCircle, its new mobile gaming development tool for the Kindle Fire. The service is Amazon’s answer to Apple‘s (NASDAQ:AAPL) Game Center and is designed to help game developers keep their users involved. ((Amazon launches GameCircle to boost Kindle Fire games, GigaOm))

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GameCircle, offers three new gaming features for Kindle Fire users who play games like “Doodle Jump” and “Collapse Blast” on the device’s Android platform.

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The first and the most important feature is called “Achievements.” It allows players to track earned trophies, treasures, badges, awards and more while they’re playing games on Kindle Fire. Players won’t have to leave a game to receive messages or get updates. They can just pause the action and check on their status before returning to the game. There are people who will not play a game unless it has achievements and Amazon hopes that the addition of achievements will help increase players on Kindle Fire.

The second feature is “Leaderboards” which provides an in-game view of score comparison information and percentile ranking. Amazon says this lets users quickly check standings against other players without leaving the game, leading to a better user experience.

The third feature is “Sync” which leverages Amazon’s cloud infrastructure to save the progress of players in the game. They can return to that point when starting up the game again. Using the cloud means that progress is remembered even when players switch tablets, which is not the case for many games played across multiple devices offered by Amazon’s rivals. ((Amazon Unveils New Gaming Tool for Kindle Fire,

Combined with the elegant buying experience Amazon has created with its one-click checkout feature on Kindle, we believe that a robust Appstore is a potential winner. App developers are already claiming a huge sales boost for their offerings compared to other platforms. [1]

We believe that Amazon needs to attract developer attention to make the Amazon Appstore robust which will be the key to higher sales in its Kindle business. And to do that, it makes sense to keep building its suite of developer tools. Amazon sells the Kindle at $199 at negligible profit and hopes to compensate through sale of apps and services for the device.

We currently have a $222 Trefis price estimate for Amazon which stands near its market price. The Kindle business contributes to only 3.3% of its value so even with higher sales, we don’t expect  much upside to the stock price.


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  1. Developers see early boost from Kindle Fire, GigaOm []