In a new interview, Amazon Games’ Head of Marketing, Sarah Anderson, discusses recent deals to publish upcoming MMOs Throne & Liberty and Blue Protocol, their “big plans” for New World, and internal development.
Amazon Games is a decade old, though the company has had some known struggles getting their projects to come together. Anderson says that Amazon sees gaming as “a long game. It’s a long-term investment” and development continues with an eye on branching projects.
They aim “to be able to create IP and great gaming experiences, but also IP that we can turn into transmedia IP. To be able to do amazing cool things with the power of Amazon. We have Prime Video and all these things that we can do” including with Twitch and Prime Gaming.
After successfully launching New World from its, then seeing population drops and a number of issues, they invested more into the game, became more responsive, added more content like Brimstone Sands and fresh start servers, and sent the game back into the Steam top 10. New World will continue to get investment, and has its new seasonal model set to launch consistent content updates. “We see it as a long-term franchise. We have big plans for that one,” Anderson says.
When it comes to publishing, this has been a bright spot. Lost Ark has done well, and then there have been recently-announced deals to be the global publishing partner for Crystal Dynamics’ Tomb Raider franchise (which also has an Amazon TV series coming) Bandai Namco’s Blue Protocol and NCSoft’s Throne & Liberty. The process of localizing and Westernizing games like this need time and investment, with a team capable of working with the original creators and making careful decisions. It doesn’t hurt that Amazon also brings a global marketing budget.
Publishing games like this also also helps Amazon in another way–letting them support international teams while they take their time on internal projects. “We can invest in the creative process and not rush them,” Anderson confirms. The games they publish still have to make sense as financial investments, especially with an eye on longer-term franchises.
The rest of the interview takes a deeper dive into the business side of these publishing deals, as well asAmazon’s strategy in both development and acquisition, and even in when to cut a game and move on.