Amazon acquires video games company Double Helix Games

6 Feb 2014

E-commerce giant Amazon has acquired video game producer Double Helix Games amid speculation it is to develop its own gaming console.

The gaming company, founded as a merger between Shiny Entertainment and The Collective in 2007, has produced a relatively small number of games in its seven years, particularly movie tie-in titles like Battleship, Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters and G.I Joe: Rise of the Cobra.

Prior to 2007, Shiny Entertainment had produced a series of popular games in the 1990s, such as Earthworm JimSacrificeMDK and Enter the Matrix.

This is not Amazon’s first foray into games, however. Launched in 2012, Amazon Game Studios was the company’s attempt to enter the mobile smartphone gaming market. It has achieved little success to date with its launch offering, Living Classics, shutting down in October 2013 after poor uptake and sales.

Rumours of console release

Since then, the studio’s offerings have been considerably basic and aimed more at the child-learning market.

First reported and confirmed on TechCrunch, Amazon released a brief statement about its purchase: “Amazon has acquired Double Helix as part of our ongoing commitment to build innovative games for customers.”

The company’s decision to buy the larger-scale gaming company is expected to be a part of Amazon’s intentions to launch its own console that would use the Android OS and play a variety of low-tech games at an affordable price.

Double Helix was due to release a game called Strider this year but it has since been shelved and is unlikely to see the light of day following Amazon’s purchase.

It is understood that the Double Helix Games employees will remain in their California offices and will work in tandem with Amazon’s own studios.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic