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Report: Amazon Planning to Create Expanded Digital Game Store?

Report: Amazon Planning to Create Expanded Digital Game Store?

March 26, 2010 | By Christian Nutt

March 26, 2010 | By Christian Nutt
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Lazard Capital Markets analyst Colin Sebastian says Amazon is planning to significantly expand its digital game download services in the future -- as evidenced by several job postings on the site.

"As in other segments of digital media, we expect Amazon to pursue new opportunities as an aggregator of online games, similar to Steam (PC), BigPoint (browser) and others," said Sebastian, in an industry note distributed by Lazard.

In 2008, Amazon acquired casual games portal Reflexive. Unlike Steam, Amazon Casual is not a client, but instead handles distribution through the web -- with no community services on top. Currently marketed as Game Downloads, and still labeled "beta," the service currently concentrates exclusively on casual PC download games.

The expectation that the company will be expanding its game offerings was triggered by job postings on Amazon, which were confirmed by Gamasutra. These include new positions such as "Designer, Digital Software and Video Games" and "Software Development Engineer, Digital Software and Video Games," among others.

The description for the former job listing begins, "Amazon.com is developing an exciting new customer experience in video games," and concentrates on web development experience.

Meanwhile, the latter job "needs an experienced senior software engineer to lead the design and construction of next generation, breakthrough online video game and software distribution technology." Another boasts that Amazon is "changing the video game and software digital distribution market and quickly expanding."

In 2008, at the initial launch of its Casual Games Store, Amazon vice president of video games and software Greg Hart described the move to Gamasutra as "a good way to enter the market and learn what our customers expect from it." Said Hart, "We'll learn about the space, and in the future you can expect we will expand our selection. Whether or not we go into core PC games is to be determined."


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