updated 10:57 am EST, Thu February 6, 2014
IP, 75 staff acquired by Amazon in game studio purchase
Amazon has acquired a game studio, in what is believed to be an attempt to bolster its gaming division. The retailer will absorb approximately 75 staff and all intellectual property of Double Helix Games, the team behind the Xbox One-exclusive Killer Instinct, with it becoming the second studio under its control alongside Amazon Game Studios.
The deal was initially reported by TechCrunch earlier today, with a statement confirming the deal stating "Amazon has acquired Double Helix as part of our ongoing commitment to build innovative games for customers." Though the financial terms of the deal are unknown, the team will continue to operate in its Irvine, California offices.
Killer Instinct, Xbox One
Double Helix was formed in 2007 by the combination of Shiny Entertainment and The Collective, with some staff having spent close to 20 years working in the games industry. Members of the team have been involved in the creation of Earthworm Jim, MDK, Enter the Matrix, and the Buffy the Vampire Slayer game before Double Helix launched, and titles such as Front Mission Evolved afterward.
It is possible that the development team could be working on the recently rumored Amazon game console, rather than games for the Kindle tablets. Reports claim it to be a sub-$300 device running Android, with a Snapdragon processor at its core. Amazon Game Studios, Amazon's existing game development shop, is also looking for industry veterans with experience with high-end game engines, something which certainly lends itself to the Amazon console rumor.