Amazon March 19 announced the launch of Amazon GameOn, a cross-platform, competitive gaming service for developers. The launch comes just days after Microsoft bowed a cloud-based gaming unit.
The platform (developer.amazon.com/gameon) enables developers to integrate myriad features (leaderboards, leagues, multi-round competitions and prizes) into their games on mobile, PC, and console through a set of flexible APIs (application programing interface).
Using Amazon Web Service (AWS) cloud infrastructure, GameOn gives developers tools to drive engagement, increase monetization, and bring more players in on the action — and compete for prizes fulfilled by – you guessed it, Amazon – or other in-game rewards.
GameOn currently allows developers to create custom events such as local and regional competitions. Developers can also enable players and streamers to create their own user-generated competitions and invite participants, allowing players to connect with friends via social media and expand their gaming network.
“Game developers have consistently told us they are looking for ways to increase player engagement and retention,” Marja Koopmans, director, Amazon Competitive Gaming, said in a statement. “We built GameOn to give developers simple, yet powerful tools to foster community through competitive gameplay.”
nWay, developer of free-to-play mobile multiplayer games, integrates GameOn competitions into Saban’s Power Rangers: Legacy Wars.
“In-game tournaments drive player engagement, and prizing creates a stronger incentive for players to participate,” said Jesse Cherry, senior product lead, nWay. “Administering real-world rewards is complex and Amazon makes the logistics easy and seamless.”
Millennial Esports’ Eden Games uses GameOn to scale the size of the competitions they run in Gear.Club.
“GameOn has made it easy for us to add leaderboards and tournaments in-game,” said CMO Pascal Clarysse. “GameOn saved us months of development and a whole lot of maintenance and logistical overhead in the long run.”
Notably, while Amazon and Microsoft up stakes in online gaming, Sony last year scuttled game streaming to PS3, PS Vista, smart TVs and connected Blu-ray Disc players.
Developers can use GameOn APIs free until May 1. After that, the first 35,000 plays per month are free for a limited time, then developers will pay $0.003 per play. Real-world prizing fulfilled by Amazon is only available in the U.S. at launch.