Amazon Buys Killer Instinct Game Studio Double Helix- Amazon Console In The Works?
Double Helix games, the developer behind Killer Instinct and the upcoming Strider reboot, has been acquired by Amazon. That's right, Amazon now owns its own gaming studio, and all their talent and IP. The company employs 75 people who are now Amazon employees and will continue to work out of their Irvine, California studio.
This report comes from Techcrunch, who says they've confirmed with Amazon that news is true- they now have their own developer and are taking the next steps towards becoming a major publisher. This isn't Amazon's first foray into game development (there was that Amazon Game Studios project which led to the release of a number of social games) but it's certainly their biggest. Double Helix is on the map in a big way thanks to contributing to the Xbox One's launch lineup.
The full statement from Amazon is brief and vague- "Amazon has acquired Double Helix as part of our ongoing commitment to build innovative games for customers."
Many rumors have appeared over the last few months that Amazon is preparing to release their own console this year and this seems to lead more credence to them. Just last week VG247 reported that they're seeking to release an Android-powered machine that comes in under $300 and not only competes with micoconsoles like OUYA (who just released its own 16 GB version) but directly with the big boys of Xbox One and PS4. It's a bold step to take but if anyone has the money to throw at it, it's Amazon. Just see how well they dominated the eReader market when they came in with the new Kindles, and are still chipping away at competing tablets.
As for Broken Helix, Strider is still of course set to release later this month on PS3 but some of its other planned titles (Dirty Harry, Harker) are up in the air now. Amazon reports that their current lineup of games and future ones will be supported, though. We'll see what plans they have in the works shortly- before this release leaked it seems as though they were planning on making an announcement during a recruiting event on February 13th. Whether the offiical word will come down sooner now that the news has leaked is unknown, but we'll let you know when we do.