The Boys are coming to gaming. No, I don’t mean the series itself, although that may very well be on the table in the not-too-distant future. The big dog, Amazon is entering the buzzing world of E-Sports and gaming. It’s no secret Amazon has owned and operated one of the most widely viewed gaming & streaming websites, Twitch, in addition to its companion, Prime Gaming which (by monthly Amazon subscription) gives subscribers additional skins, cosmetics, and bundles offered for a variety of games drawing a significant amount of attention from gamers. However, it was recently announced that Amazon was pairing up with many of the large gaming developers to create their own platform, Luna.
Amazon's First Attempts in the E-Sports Realm
Amazon had initially struggled with the release of their original titles; i.e., Breakaway (March, 2018) , a brawler-objective based game that was cancelled in development, and their attempt at a battle royale, Crucible (March, 2020), which was returned to Closed Beta shortly after its release and eventually shutdown completely. With the addition of their MMORPG, New World (August, 2021), it seems Amazon began catching some attention as an estimated 200,000 players took part in its Beta, which although was considered a success, was ultimately pushed back (it’s fourth time) for its official release date on August 31st to September 28th.
Amazon's Cloud Gaming Platform, Luna
Amazon’s Luna is designed to be a fully functional gaming platform, utilizing a controller with user details (& monthly subscription) to access a library of games from software developers such as Ubisoft [E.g., Assassin’s Creed Franchise], 505 Games [E.g., Dead by Daylight, Assetto Corsa], and Capcom [E.g., Sonic Franchise, Metroid, etc.]. Luna’s capabilities are vast, offering an extensive library of games to users, requiring access to only a screen, a controller, and internet access - no PC or console required! With Luna, one can play on demand without the normal hardware one would associate with gaming. Consoles and PC towers are no longer needed as games are streamed to their players via the Cloud system.
Although this system is like Google’s Stadia regarding its Cloud streaming capabilities, these similarities dissipate quickly due to platforms they are compatible with; Stadia with Google/YouTube, and Luna with Amazon/Twitch, respectfully. Pricing varies with their monthly subscriptions, however the advantage Luna has over Stadia is the ability to have full access to the entire library available, whereas Google’s Stadia offers a portion of all games to users, in addition to some cases requiring full-game purchases.
The Future of Gaming
As Amazon begins to establish a larger position in the gaming industry, they seemingly develop a better understanding of what the consumers are seeking. Whether it’s creating something from scratch and returning to the drawing board for new ideas or giving a platform to reboot classic titles many were unable to enjoy, until now. With a semiconductor chip shortage that may last until 2023, gaming systems may soon be a rarity as they are few and far to assemble and distribute to consumers. The future oddly enough may repeat itself from the past, as humanity may once more find themselves looking towards the moon - Luna.