Amazon now making free-to-play social games, announces Amazon Game Studios

Amazon Game Studios announces its first video game, Living Classics.

Amazon is extending its vast online empire to the business of actually making video games, starting with the newly launched Living Classics, the fledgling studio's first Facebook game. The announcement of Living Classics, playable right now, is also an announcement of Amazon Game Studios, the online retailer's foray into game development.

Amazon Game Studios is a new team within Amazon focused on creating "innovative, fun and well-crafted games," according to an official announcement.

As for Living Classics, it's described as a "moving object game," taking its players into classic tales such as Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, and King Arthur, and tasking them with reuniting a family of animated foxes lost in each story world. The game includes the requisite social hooks, allowing players to share their experiences with — and potentially annoy — their Facebook friends.

"We know that many Amazon customers enjoy playing games - including free-to-play social games," the company says in an announcement, "and thanks to Amazon's know-how, we believe we can deliver a great, accessible gaming experience that gamers and our customers can play any time."

Amazon's venture into the world of Facebook games comes not long after social games powerhouse Zynga said it was lowering its outlook in part due to a "decline in [its] existing web games due in part to a more challenging environment on the Facebook web platform." Game publisher THQ said today it would no longer pursue casual games on Facebook.

Living Classics is now available to play on Facebook.

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