It’s already happening—major corporations like Amazon, Facebook, and Google have begun dipping their noses into the world of gaming. This is, of course, in addition to all of the games made by gaming giants Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo.
We shouldn’t be worried so much about the Big Three of gaming—what we should worry about is having Amazon, Google, and Facebook intrude in the video game industry. With the Facebook-made Oculus VR, the rise of Amazon Games, and the Google Stadia, it’s clear that these influential corporations have the ability to make or break gaming.
Increased Focus on Moneymaking
Corporations love making money—Facebook, Google, and Amazon will inevitably transfer their love of green to video games. Google Stadia has players tied into a monthly subscription, and so does the Amazon-run Twitch Prime.
Not only does Facebook cash in on its apps (Farmville, anyone?), but its Facebook Gaming streaming service offers a subscription for viewers who want to support streamers. Facebook also makes a thick wad of cash off of its pricey VR systems.
And despite the fact that Amazon’s Crucible is free-to-play, it offers a host of microtransactions—Crucible has prided itself on the fact that it isn’t pay-to-win, but that still doesn’t mean there isn’t an option to pay. While it’s commendable that Amazon Games is making the effort to keep the game from turning into a pay-to-win money pit, it only signals a future of Amazon Games with microtransactions.
Valuing Trendy Topics Over Creativity
Amazon Games’ latest release, Crucible, is not well-received in the gaming community thanks to its unfinished feel and emphasis on trends. Crucible has been compared to games like Overwatch and Fortnite, and that’s the root of the problem.
Amazon Games thinks that it can make a powerful entry in gaming just by creating a free-to-play game that looks and plays exactly like every other popular game on the market. Games that lack originality are already a problem, but they’re about to become a bigger issue if Amazon Games keeps trying to profit off of trends.
The Possibility of Big-Budget, Technologically-Advanced Games
The one positive that comes out of major corporations’ involvement in gaming is the possibility of technologically-advanced games that we’ve never seen before. Facebook, Google, and Amazon have the budget to create a game with beautiful graphics and cutting-edge gameplay.
The question is: can these companies look past their own greed to develop a game that makes real waves in the video game industry?
Facebook has already shown what it can do with the innovative Oculus VR system, and we hope that Amazon and Google will follow suit. Even though Facebook didn’t invent the Oculus VR, it still brought the system to a higher level that it might’ve not met without Facebook’s help.
Indie Games Will Get Overshadowed
It’s already bad enough that Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo dominate the gaming industry. Facebook, Google, and Amazon’s shift to gaming is just more bad news for indie developers.
How are indie developers expected to succeed when these major developers can pay for marketing, advertisements, a team of developers, and top-notch technology? It’s an unfair competition that indie games will struggle to win. Although indie games still remain relevant in the current gaming market, the market could eventually become saturated by ultra-rich companies.
Looking to the Future of Gaming
Video games are always changing. Google, Facebook, and Amazon all have the ability to make a positive contribution to the gaming industry, but their future success is uncertain. Until these companies show that they truly care about the gamer, they’ll just blend in with every other big-name developer.
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