Amazon appears to be making huge investments in gaming with a planned cloud-based gaming platform and two original game titles set for release next month. According to a new report from The New York Times, the company is working on a Google Stadia rival code-named Project Tempo.
Citing sources close to Amazon's plans, the report says an initial version of Project Tempo was initially scheduled for launch this year. However, delays related to the coronavirus pandemic may force the company to postpone its unveiling until some time in 2021.
Amazon also plans to release two big-budget games in May, targeted at hardcore gamers. Its first original title is called Crucible, developed by Seattle-based Relentless Studios. It's described as a team-based sci-fi shooter that takes a page from popular battle games like League of Legends and Dota 2, the report notes. Crucible has undergone several redesigns since its beginning in 2014 with a focus on competitive online play and live-streaming via Twitch, according to Louis Castle who runs Relentless.
Another game that's set for rollout next month is New World, described as a "massively multiplayer online" game where players co-inhabit a fantasy-themed version of the 17th century. It is developed by another Amazon game studio based in Irvine, California, an offshoot of Amazon's acquisition of Double Helix Games in 2014.
Regarding Amazon's push into gaming, Mike Frazzini, Amazon’s vice president for game services and studios, said:
"The big picture is about trying to take the best of Amazon and bringing it to games. We have been working for a while, but it takes a long time to make games, and we’re bringing a lot of Amazon practices to making games.”
The upcoming games are part of Amazon's investments in video gaming worth hundreds of millions of dollars. After releasing the two titles in May, the online retail giant also plans to launch interactive games on Twitch in the summer.