Amazon Game Studios has named its new head – Westwood Studios co-founder Louis Castle.
Castle will be a familiar name to RTS fans, having created the Command & Conquer series. We remained at Westwood after it was acquired by EA in the late ‘90s, heading up what became EA Blueprint. He went on to become VP of studios at Zynga.
His credits include Dune 2, The Lion King, Blade Runner and Boom Blox. He has previously received the second annual Lifetime Achievement Award by the Computer Game Developers Association at the Spotlight Awards in 1999, and is also a BAFTA and GDC Lifetime Achievement Award winner.
I'm thrilled to join the talented game makers at Amazon Game Studios,” Castle said. Their dedication to community, customer experiences, and quality is exhilarating! I'm excited to start using Twitch, Lumberyard, and AWS to build awesome new experiences for players, casters, and viewers alike.”
Industry veteran John Smedley was appointed to run Amazon Games' brand new studio in San Diego last month. Late last year industry veteran Rich Hilleman has jumped ship from EA to Amazon Game Studios following his departure from EA after more than three decades at the publisher.
Last September Amazon finally, after what felt like a long period of pretty significant investment, announced its first big projects to emerge from Amazon Game Studio.
Leading the lineup is Breakaway, an eSports orientated 4x4 team sports brawler” which seems tailor made to try and make the most of Amazon's $1bn Twitch acquisition. It's being developed by Double Helix, which was acquired by Amazon after its work on Microsoft's Killer Instinct reboot.
This title will also be the first to feature Twitch's new Stream+. This allows participants to gamble on the outcome of encounters and earn virtual currency by watching. How closely this will sail to the extremely sensitive stream gambling winds remains to be seen.
Also announced is third person shooter Crucible. That has 12 players working together to survive on a hostile alien world with a 13th player assuming an overseer type role – designed in part at least for mischief.
Lastly there is New World, which is an open-ended sandbox MMO set in the 17th century with supernatural overtones.