It would be the acme of folly to simply say that Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) is stealing from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) when you look at Apple’s “borrowing” from Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) Xbox Live with the launch of Game Center in 2008 with their release of iOS 4.0. Among the similarities that Apple brought to the table with their “creation” were an integrated friend system, leaderboards, and unlockable achievements.
It would be unwise to simply dismiss Amazon’s efforts as always being a step behind Apple at each turn. Upon the release of Apple’s iPad was it the first tablet computer? No. Is the Kindle Fire simply a cheaper tablet modeled after the iPad? No again. The fact is, this is technology and competition, something that ultimately benefits the consumer. Is GameCircle a little to close to Game Center in name? Sure.
GameCircle is a “new set of services designed to make it easier for you to create more engaging gaming experiences and grow your business on Kindle Fire,” by making “achievements, leaderboards and sync APIs accessible, simple and quick for you to integrate, and will give gamers a more seamless and entertaining in-game experience.” This according to the Amazon Mobile App Distribution blog.
You see my point? That is almost a word for word explanation of Game Center from an Apple press release in 2008.
With the announced upcoming releases of both Google’s new tablet the Nexus-7 and the second generation of the Kindle Fire, all at Amazon must be happy by beating Google to the punch with their GameCircle. This is especially big news given the anticipated loss of business from Android based content once the Nexus-7 hits the shelves.
The release of the GameCircle API has developers who have participated in Beta testing excited as well. The following is a sampling of reactions to the new platform: “We are thrilled to be part of Amazon’s GameCircle with Temple Run,” said Keith Shepherd, Co-founder of Imangi Studios. “The new service is a great way to keep our fans engaged by offering them more opportunities to play the game, and an intuitive platform to connect with new players.”
“Sync is a wonderful addition to Triple Town,” said David J Edery, CEO of Spry Fox. “It guarantees that Kindle Fire users will not lose their active game or their hard-earned coins if they replace their Fire, or if they must uninstall and reinstall Triple Town for whatever reason. It also enables multiple-device owners to transfer their game from one device to another—something we think gamers will love.”
“We’re excited about Amazon’s new Game Services because it brings a new level of engagement for our most popular Android titles such as Doodle Jump and Collapse!,” said Ken Murphy, VP of GameHouse Studios. “The ability to compete for high scores and achievements through the Amazon network means even more fun for GameHouse players.”