Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) announced on Monday the launch of a new division called Amazon Game Studios, which puts it in direct competition with social gaming leader Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA). The first offering from the new division is “Living Classics,” a social game for Facebook. The game went live on Monday.
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The online retail giant describes the game as its first social game. The premise of the game is to reunite a family of foxes by exploring beautifully illustrated scenes and spotting moving objects. The illustrations are inspired by classic children’s books like “Alice in Wonderland,” “The Wizard of Oz” and “King Arthur”. The company gave out only a few details and said the purpose of the division is to develop “innovative, fun and well-crafted” games. Players can buy credits ($20 for 120 units of cash) which can be used to help complete the game.
Amazon started out as an online multi-brand retailer, but has branched into different businesses to date with a demonstrated willingness to lose money in the early days to capture the market. There seems to be no apparent enticement, however, for “Living Classics” players to use the Amazon.com site to make additional purchases. The company didn’t disclose much about its strategy for further games other than to express confidence in its ability.
According to Seattle Times quoting P.J. McNealy, a media consultant at Digital World Research, Amazon has its own movie studio and is likely entering the social gaming market to complement its Kindle Fire tablet and a new smartphone it is reportedly working on. The move may be aimed at cornering a bigger share of the tablet market.
We currently have a $222 Trefis price estimate for Amazon, which stands close to its market price.