AWS made several announcements today aimed squarely at moving the game developer community to its cloud platform.
First of all, there’s Amazon Lumberyard, a 3D gaming development engine the company is offering for free with no costs for seat licenses, subscription costs or revenue sharing. For now, it works with console and PC games, but the plan is to offer virtual reality (VR) and mobile gaming support soon. It had better, since that is likely where many game developers want to be.
For now, Amazon is just putting the service out there in Beta to show game developers it’s serious about wanting a piece of their business, and why wouldn’t it? Gaming is a resource-intensive process and Amazon hopes to sell infrastructure services on the back-end to developers after dangling the free development engine as a carrot.
To sweeten the pot, the Amazon also announced Amazon GameLift, a deployment engine designed for operating and scaling session-based multiplayer games, according to Amazon. The beauty of this piece is that as people come on or offline, the game can add or remove servers to match demand.
This piece isn’t free, costing $1.50 per 1,000 daily active users plus fees for whatever other AWS services they use — like servers and database access. Game developers only pay for what they use, but if a game’s a hit, AWS should make some serious cash. If it’s not, the developers don’t have to pay for resources they’re not using.
But wait, don’t answer yet. There’s more. Amazon is also offering integration with Twitch, the game streaming service it bought last year for close to a billion dollars, and of course it all fits together neatly.
“Amazon Lumberyard is integrated with Twitch so that developers can build gameplay features that engage the more than 1.7 million monthly broadcasters and more than 100 million monthly viewers on Twitch,” Amazon wrote in its statement.
As for Amazon, it claims to be giving the people — in this case game developers — just what they want. While there are alternative game development engines out there at the moment, AWS is offering the power of its platform and hoping that a scalable and integrated one-stop shop could be enough to lure game developers to them.