IF YOU'VE EVER wanted to know if Xbox gamers beat their PlayStation counterparts, or if PC gamers are indeed a master race, then Amazon GameOn is the answer.
The seller of everything has launched a service that enables cross-platform competitions to be integrated into games, whereby players can win real-money prizes. It looks to be aimed at games with a competitive spirit that don't quite have the 'L337' skills to compete in the professional esports arena.
While GameOn won't actually enable PC gamers to pit their twitchy mouse skills against the controller-wrangling abilities pf console enthusiasts in the same game, they will be able to compete against each other in the same competitions and league tables.
Amazon is doing the through the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud platform and is offering APIs that allow game developers to integrate competitions and leagues into their PC, console or mobile games, essentially simplifying cross-platform competitions.
"With GameOn, you have an easy tool to drive engagement, increase monetisation, and bring more players in on the action. GameOn currently supports leaderboards, leagues, and multi-round competitions, and gives you the flexibility to create custom events such as local and regional competitions," said Reggie Martin, Amazon's senior product manager for the company's mobile esports division.
"You can also enable players and streamers to create their own user-generated competitions and invite participants, allowing players to connect with friends and expand their gaming network."
There are currently a handful of developers tapping into GameOn, such as Game Insight, Eden Games, Umbrella Games. But big names in games publishing, such as EA and Blizzard-Activision, which both have mobile, PC and console games, are absent, which would suggest any triple-A level cross-platform competitions are not on their way.
One interesting aspect is any real-world prizes will be fulfilled and delivered by Amazon, showing that the firm's gaming and cloud-based services have the potential to feed back into its shopping service and real-world deliveries, though only in the US at launch. If that isn't some ecosystem building then we don't know what is.
Developers can sign up for GameOn access, with the first 35,000 'plays' available for free. Ever other play after that will be priced at $0.003 (£0.0021), meaning if Amazon manages to scale up the service across a mass of developers, it could have a nice little earner on its hands, not that it's struggling to rake in cash.
As for true cross-platform gaming, while Fortnite Battle Royale is trying to make progress, cross-console gaming between Xbox and PlayStation doesn't appear to be a simple process, especially as Sony isn't keen on having its PS4 gamers mix with Xbox One players, despite the technology looking be in place for it to happen. µ
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