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article imageAmazon unveils cross-platform competitive gaming platform

By James Walker     Mar 19, 2018 in Technology
Amazon has announced a new competitive gaming platform that connects players to cloud-based tournaments. Called GameOn, the service provides an API for developers to add to their competitive esports titles. It's Amazon's latest foray into gaming.
Cross-platform competition
Announced at the Game Developer's Conference 2018 (GDC) today, GameOn is powered by Amazon Web Services and hosted in the cloud. It runs across all operating systems and device platforms, allowing developers to focus on their gameplay instead of complex networking synchronisation. Amazon will provide integrations for PC, mobile and console titles.
GameOn is described as a "cross-platform competition" platform for multiplayer games. It includes built-in support for leaderboards, leagues, tournaments and multi-round competitions.
Developers can host special events, create regional competitions and allow players to build their own competitive multiplayer components using the service's API. Amazon currently lists nine developers that are already using the technology, including Game Insight, Umbrella Gamers, Mindstorm and GameCloud Studios.
The launch comes as interest in esports and competitive multiplayer gaming is on the rise. Although Amazon doesn't have its own gaming platform or hardware, GameOn could become popular with developers as a way to improve the playing experience.
Removing platform barriers
Amazon's not alone in pushing towards cross-platform multiplayer, which removes barriers between players created by their hardware. Recently, Microsoft has repeatedly expressed a desire to allow Xbox Live multiplayer titles to connect with other gaming platforms. However, its efforts to offer cross-platform multiplayer between Xbox and PlayStation players haven't been received as positively by Sony.
According to Microsoft, Sony is refusing to entertain ideas of cross-platform console gameplay. Amazon could fill the gap, allowing game developers to run seamless multiplayer events across all the platforms they publish to. The company said GameOn is the result of feedback from developers who want to "foster community," without being limited by platform barriers.
Screenshots of a game rendered in Amazon s new Lumberyard game engine
Screenshots of a game rendered in Amazon's new Lumberyard game engine
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"Game developers have consistently told us they are looking for ways to increase player engagement and retention," said Marja Koopmans, Director, Amazon Competitive Gaming. "We built Amazon GameOn to give developers simple, yet powerful tools to foster community through competitive gameplay."
GameOn is the latest in a growing roster of Amazon cloud services aimed at gamers and game developers. The company entered the market by purchasing Twitch, the popular game livestreaming platform oriented around esports campaigns. Amazon's also developed a free cross-platform game engine which integrates with Amazon Web Services and Twitch.
GameOn adds to the portfolio by simplifying multiplayer game development. In an effort to encourage adoption of the service, Amazon's offering unlimited free access until May 1, 2018. After that date, developers will be charged at $0.003 per play of their game, with the first 35,000 monthly plays free.
More about Amazon, amazon gameon, Gaming, eSports, Api
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