Patrick Gilmore, studio head at Amazon Games joined [a]listdaily on the floor of TwitchCon 2016 to discuss the announcement of three games, the Lumberyard engine and of course, Twitch Prime. “I’m just blown away,” exclaimed Gilmore, speaking about the value of a subscription and the way Twitch Prime helps support broadcasters. Above all else, Gilmore said that gaming was at the heart of the service planning. “When Twitch Prime was born, we wanted it to be a love letter to gamers,” he said.
Twitch Prime, a free, upgraded service for Amazon Prime members includes benefits like free games (including Streamline), one free subscription to any Twitch channel each month and discounts on new release box games on Amazon during the pre-order period and first two weeks following launch.
Amazon Games’ Breakaway is getting a lot of attention at the show—a game that was designed with Twitch in mind and the first to utilize Twitch’s new currency system. “The game itself is designed to be fun to broadcast,” Gilmore told [a]listdaily. “It turns out that a lot of the thing that you do to make a game fun to watch also make them fun to play.” Metastream can be overlayed over a broadcast with data provided by Amazon games in real time—providing information akin to a sports player’s stats during a live game.
Crucible, meanwhile, is a last-man-standing multiplayer game. The broadcaster plays as a sort of game master (much like a Dungeon Master in Dungeons & Dragons), hosting and interacting with viewers then changing the gameplay elements to “put on a great show.” Although the broadcaster isn’t meant to be a troll, “that’s part of the fun,” Gilmore laughed, which leads to some interesting social elements. There can only be one player of the game, so alliances form, as do plots of betrayal on top of first person shooter skills required to win.
New World is being developed in Amazon’s Orange County studio and taps into the ever-popular open world survival crafting genre. The game takes place an alternate 16th Century North America, where European legends and folklore are true and what was supposed to be a promised, virgin New World turns out to be a country of nightmares. Although frightening, Gilmore calls New World one of the most beautiful games he’s ever seen.
These games were built using the free Lumberyard engine, a way for Amazon to create strategic partnerships from the ground level of game development. “We’re here to build business around our games,” said Gilmore. “We need to survive as game developers inside of Amazon just like any game developer.” Gilmore went on to explain that Amazon Games will sit down with engineers to provide feedback and ensure the success of the engine. Lumberyard is designed to give independent developers and publishers a full suite of products to make them “more powerful.”
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