Amazon Launches Cross-Platform Competitive Gaming Service For Developers

GameOn lets studios create esports tournaments, leaderboards, and more

'Gear.Club' Credit: Eden Games

Amazon is launching a new cross-platform, competitive gaming service for developers called GameOn. It lets devs integrate competitions into their games and give away real-world prizes fulfilled by the online retailer, potentially opening up esports to more amateur players.

GameOn currently supports leaderboards, leagues, and multi-round competitions, Amazon says. It also reportedly gives developers the flexibility to create custom events like local and regional competitions. Player-generated tournaments are a possibility as well.

“Game developers have consistently told us they are looking for ways to increase player engagement and retention,” says Amazon Competitive Gaming director Marja Koopmans. “We built Amazon GameOn to give developers simple, yet powerful tools to foster community through competitive gameplay.”

Millennial Esports’ Eden Games is using GameOn to scale the size of the competitions it runs in its racing game Gear.Club and says it's saving them a lot of headaches. “GameOn has made it easy for us to add leaderboards and tournaments in-game,” said Eden Games chief marketing officer Pascal Clarysse. “GameOn saved us months of development and a whole lot of maintenance and logistical overhead in the long run.”

nWay, a developer of free-to-play mobile multiplayer games, started integrating Amazon GameOn competitions into Saban’s Power Rangers: Legacy Wars and says it was particularly drawn to the service's real-world prizing aspect. “In-game tournaments drive player engagement, and prizing creates a stronger incentive for players to participate,” says nWay senior product lead Jesse Cherry. “Administering real-world rewards is complex and Amazon makes the logistics easy and seamless.”

GameOn is built on Amazon Web Services (AWS), a secure cloud services platform that offers database storage, Twitch integration, content delivery, and more. AWS is used by more than 90 percent of the world's biggest game companies, Amazon announced today. Bungie recently used it to add voice commands to Destiny 2 for Alexa owners. Supercell utilizes its database and analytics services, while Ubisoft is using it to add dedicated servers to For Honor.

Developers who want to try GameOn can use its APIs for free until May 1st. After that, the first 35,000 players per month are free for a limited time. Then, developers will pay $0.003 per play. Real-world prizes fulfilled by Amazon are currently only available in the U.S.