Aug. 7, 2012 at 1:56 PM ET
Online retail giant Amazon is getting into the game development business.
The company says it has launched Amazon Game Studios. And apparently the developers at the studio have already been hard at work — they just launched their first social game on Facebook. It's called "Living Classics."
Why is Amazon jumping deep into the gaming fray?
"We know that many Amazon customers enjoy playing games — including free-to-play social games — and thanks to Amazon's know-how, we believe we can deliver a great, accessible gaming experience that gamers and our customers can play any time," reads the announcement.
And the studio is growing. Amazon also announced it is hiring.
As for Amazon's first game — "Living Classics" is a free-to-play title that takes hidden-object gameplay and steps it up a notch. In this game, a mother fox is looking for her family members who've been lost in the pages of various story books (Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz and such). As you move through the book pages, you have to find and click the moving pieces of the pictures as fast as you can. They call it a "moving object game."
Yes, it's a very casual game.
Check out the trailer for look at the game:
Yes, it's a very casual game to be sure.
But it's not particularly surprising that Amazon has opened its own game development outfit. It has already delved into the game distribution business with its Amazon Appstore for Android. And with the Kindle Fire offering a solid tablet gaming experience it wouldn't be surprising to see Amazon Game Studios crank out a mobile game of its own soon.
Meanwhile, this effort follows a push by the company to deliver original movie and TV video content through Amazon Studios as well as original e-book content through the Kindle Direct Publishing program.
Winda Benedetti writes about video games for NBC News. You can follow her tweets about games and other things on Twitter here @WindaBenedetti and you can follow her on Google+. Meanwhile, be sure to check out the IN-GAME FACEBOOK PAGE to discuss the day's gaming news and reviews.