Amazon has confirmed to TechCrunch that it has acquired Double Helix Games, makers of the popular Xbox One launch title Killer Instinct. The company says that it bought the game studio “as part of [its] ongoing commitment to build innovative games for customers.”
This isn’t the first game studio acquisition that Amazon has made. Back in 2008, the online retail giant acquired casual game developer Reflexive Entertainment. However, this latest acquisition is a much bigger deal. Not only did they buy a big game studio, but the news comes right in the middle of a swarm of rumors that Amazon is planning to launch its own living room gaming console at some point in the future.
Of course, Amazon has its own game-developing studio known as Amazon Game Studios where it created Air Patriots for iOS and Android devices. However, the company is said to be taking things to a new level and will possibly be releasing a gaming set-top box later this year for less than $300.
Details are still pretty scarce at this point, but the Amazon Android-powered console would be cheaper than dedicated game consoles like the PS4 and Xbox One, but it will be significantly more expensive than streaming boxes like the Apple TV and the Roku.
Furthermore, Amazon may be eyeing Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 800 processor to power the gaming console. It’s one of the most powerful mobile processors on the market right now, and it’s currently being used in flagship devices like the LG G2, Nexus 5 and the Galaxy Note 3.
As for continued development and support of Killer Instinct, Microsoft says that it will continue work on the game with a new development partner, so there’s no need to worry about the future of the game, as Microsoft is taking good care of it. As for Double Helix’s upcoming title Strider, it’s still planned to launch later this month.