Amazon brings GameCircle to Kindle Fire and APIs for game developers

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For a while now, the Amazon Kindle Fire has stood as top dog as the fiscally friendly Android tablet. The low price-point paired with elegant UI and integration with Amazon’s services attracted a huge amount of sales, despite it not being exactly an Android tablet. Since its release however, the stock Android UI has evolved, first with 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and now with 4.1 Jellybean, becoming slicker and much more tablet friendly. Also, you may remember a little thing called the Nexus 7, announced just a few weeks ago with a great hardware spec list…at the same price-point   Suddenly, the Kindle Fire isn’t the best bang for your buck anymore, and Amazon knows it. Naturally, Amazon will surely be releasing a more competitive tablet (or two) to stand up to Google’s new baby, but that doesn’t mean that Amazon will stay idle in the meantime. Case in point, Amazon has announced the GameCircle for Kindle Fire, along with a host of APIs for use by developers.

With GameCircle, Amazon plans to make gaming on the Fire more social and integrated, allowing for achievements (a la Microsoft’s Xbox 360) and leaderboards for backing up players’ bragging rights. The big one however, and something Google needs to pay close attention to, is a sync feature, which backs up player settings and progress to the cloud, allowing someone to pick up right where they left off in case of hard reset or use on a new device. This would be great to have on the stock Google software, especially considering the large rooting community. Flash a new ROM? Not a problem! Just download the game again and you’re good to go! It would definitely be appreciated by this writer.

What do you guys think? Will this be the next thing for phone and tablet OSes? Sound off in the comments and let us know what you think, and check out the GameCircle official press release below.

Amazon Introduces GameCircle for Kindle Fire and Opens Up APIs for Game Developers

GameCircle helps game developers grow their business by enabling them to easily integrate new features including achievements, leaderboards and sync, leading to a more engaging gaming experience for millions of Kindle Fire ownersSEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Jul. 11, 2012– (NASDAQ:AMZN) – Millions of people are already enjoying a vast selection of games on Kindle Fire’s vibrant color 7″ touchscreen with extra-wide viewing angle. Today, Amazon.com, Inc. introduced “GameCircle,” an all-new gaming experience for Kindle Fire, and released a series of APIs for developers to add this new experience to their games. GameCircle offers gaming customers a series of features such as achievements, leaderboards, and sync that make gaming even more fun, convenient and social on Kindle Fire. The newly-released GameCircle APIs will help game developers quickly and easily integrate their games with GameCircle, allowing them to grow their business by reaching new customers and keeping them engaged. Starting today, developers can access the GameCircle APIs and find more information by visiting http://amazon.com/gamecircle.

Achievements

Achievements allow players to track all earned trophies, treasures, badges, awards and more while they’re playing games on their Kindle Fire. Players won’t have to leave a game to receive messages, get updates or track accolades. They can also pause a game, view an achievements summary, determine what badges are still needed or desired, and then return to gameplay.

Leaderboards

Leaderboards provide an in-game view of score comparison information and percentile ranking, allowing players to quickly and easily check standings against other players without ever leaving the game.

Sync

Sync automatically saves players’ in-game progress to the cloud and allows them to pick up exactly where they left off when restoring a deleted game or switching between their devices. Players will no longer have to worry about losing game progress, scores or achievements between Kindle Fire devices, as all data is securely stored for free in the cloud.

“We have received extremely positive feedback from developers on our recently launched In-App Purchasing API with its easy 1-Click purchasing, and now we’re excited to add yet another reason to be a game developer for Kindle Fire,” said Paul Ryder, Vice President of Apps and Games at Amazon. “The new GameCircle APIs mean that developers don’t have to worry about building leaderboards, achievements or sync in their games – they can focus on the elements of their games that are truly unique while building an immersive, more entertaining experience on Kindle Fire. This will quickly help developers grow their business by reaching more customers and keeping them engaged.”

“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.”

“We’re excited about Amazon’s GameCircle 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.”

“GameCircle 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 Kindle 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 Kindle Fire device to another—something we think gamers will love.”

For more information on GameCircle and for access to the achievements, leaderboard and sync APIs, visit http://amazon.com/gamecircle.

About Amazon.com

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN), a Fortune 500 company based in Seattle, opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth’s Biggest Selection. Amazon.com, Inc. seeks to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices. Amazon.com and other sellers offer millions of unique new, refurbished and used items in categories such as Books; Movies, Music & Games; Digital Downloads; Electronics & Computers; Home & Garden; Toys, Kids & Baby; Grocery; Apparel, Shoes & Jewelry; Health & Beauty; Sports & Outdoors; and Tools, Auto & Industrial. Amazon Web Services provides Amazon’s developer customers with access to in-the-cloud infrastructure services based on Amazon’s own back-end technology platform, which developers can use to enable virtually any type of business. The new latest generation Kindle is the lightest, most compact Kindle ever and features the same 6-inch, most advanced electronic ink display that reads like real paper even in bright sunlight. Kindle Touch is a new addition to the Kindle family with an easy-to-use touch screen that makes it easier than ever to turn pages, search, shop, and take notes – still with all the benefits of the most advanced electronic ink display. Kindle Touch 3G is the top of the line e-reader and offers the same new design and features of Kindle Touch, with the unparalleled added convenience of free 3G. Kindle Fire is the Kindle for movies, TV shows, music, books, magazines, apps, games and web browsing with all the content, free storage in the Amazon Cloud, Whispersync, Amazon Silk (Amazon’s new revolutionary cloud-accelerated web browser), vibrant color touch screen, and powerful dual-core processor.

Amazon and its affiliates operate websites, including http://www.amazon.comhttp://www.amazon.co.ukhttp://www.amazon.dehttp://www.amazon.co.jp,http://www.amazon.frhttp://www.amazon.cahttp://www.amazon.cnhttp://www.amazon.it, and http://www.amazon.es. As used herein, “Amazon.com,” “we,” “our” and similar terms include Amazon.com, Inc., and its subsidiaries, unless the context indicates otherwise.

Forward-Looking Statements

This announcement contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Actual results may differ significantly from management’s expectations. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that include, among others, risks related to competition, management of growth, new products, services and technologies, potential fluctuations in operating results, international expansion, outcomes of legal proceedings and claims, fulfillment center optimization, seasonality, commercial agreements, acquisitions and strategic transactions, foreign exchange rates, system interruption, inventory, government regulation and taxation, payments and fraud. More information about factors that potentially could affect Amazon.com’s financial results is included in Amazon.com’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent filings.

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