Amazon announced they were getting into the video game development business around three years ago, making purchases and adding members to their teams from around the games industry. Now, at last, they've revealed the first game developed by Amazon Game Studios, Breakaway.
The online superstore and digital media giant headed to TwitchCon in San Diego for the reveal, unsurprisingly broadcast live on Twitch. While Breakaway took the spotlight, they also revealed other games currently in development at Amazon. Before the official reveal, they launched a twitter account and sent seemingly random items to streamers and influencers with the hashtag #UnboxMe.
Twitch CEO Emmett Shear talked about what it's been like working under the Amazon team, and how inspired they've all been by things like the "Twitch Plays ____" streams, where fans that are watching are also controlling the gameplay. He then brought out Mike Frazzini, VP of Amazon Game Studios.
The idea of Amazon Game Studios was to build games made for the Twitch community, centered around a sense of community. That led to them deciding to reveal games early, "much earlier than other game companies this side would do," Frazzini said, with the intention of taking feedback from gamers and making changes before games are even released.
A sizzle reel ran to show off some of the games, finally.
Crucible is a last man standing third person shooter. Hunters enter an alien world - and you can make and break alliances on the fly. A thirteenth player, a games master, can be interacted with by the Twitch viewers.
New World is a game where a new world is being colonized and there are supernatural things they need to combat, or protected against. It's all about building a world and finding a way to survive alongside your other survivors.
Breakaway is a mythological sport brawler, and you play in mythological worlds.
That final game got a deep dive at the hands of Amazon Game Studios' Patrick Gilmore, studio head of their Orange County studio. A trailer for the game ran, saying it takes "Power, Agility, Endurance, Focus" to become a champion. They want the intensity of a fighter with the teamwork the Twitch community plays so well.
The warriors include Spartacus, a melee fighter, Alona, a ranged support priestess, Thorgrim a Viking Warchief melee tank, Anne Bonny, a pirate sharp shooter, Black Knight "a walking black hole of death" melee tank, Rawlins, a western marshall sharp shooter, and Morgan Le Fay a sorceress with ranged support. They fight in places like El Dorado, the River Styx, and other mythological locations.
Buildables are a huge strategic portion of the game, building up offensive and defensive components of a fortress throughout the match.
Twitch is built right into Breakaway, naturally, with things like stream plus - points you earn just by watching others play, and earn items through that. Metastream allows for data to be put directly into the broadcast to help curate communities. Broadcaster Match Builder lets you share with just friends, communities, subscribers, or however you'd like to set it up; even with leagues and tournaments.
Stream commentators Sajam and Rip called a 4v4 battle live, with major streamers and competitive gamers like Grimmz, GutterMagic, and more recognizable faces. Each player got their own spotlight to talk about what games mean to them. After Red Team's spotlight reel, Darkness429, CaliPower, and the rest of Blue Team took the stage, and got a spotlight real of their own.
After all the intros, they selected their warriors and went to battle. They were fighting, but also trying to play a capture the flag mode with a relic that needs to be brought along a very long, straight map. The map is fairly open, and a single, long bridge rather than having a lot of twists and turns, though it's unclear whether the other maps will be similar.
Check out the Breakway cover art and champions below, and stay tuned for more from WWG including hands-on with the game later this weekend from TwitchCon.