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Non-RPG General News - Amazon vs Valve

by Redglyph, 2021-10-08 17:39:50 ponders on the potential of Twitch and the platform codenamed 'Vapor' to make Amazon a serious competitor of Valve Corporation.

Amazon could be Valve's only serious challenger | Opinion

With Twitch as its springboard, leaked Steam competitor Vapor could be the biggest disruption to the PC market in decades

It's been a rollercoaster few weeks for Amazon Games.

The launch of its MMORPG title New World looked like its first genuine shot at a hit title, with enormous interest in the game resulting in overloaded servers and long queues for players -- not a great look for the world's leading provider of cloud services, perhaps, but a positive sign for the game's future. That's a big deal for the division, whose previous major efforts haven't even made it to the starting line -- the most recent no-show being Crucible, which was cancelled outright after a poor reaction to its beta launch last year.

For executives in Amazon's gaming arm, however, any sense of jubilation at the strong response to New World has likely been forgotten in the week's subsequent events, as an enormous security breach saw the leak of tens of gigabytes of code and data related to the company's games division and its game streaming subsidiary, Twitch.


In light of that, the confirmation that Amazon has been working on a digital distribution platform that's designed to compete with Steam -- an objective that's even made perfectly clear by its working codename, "Vapor" -- suddenly brings quite a few things into focus, and suggests a path forward for Amazon's ambitions that could have a pretty big impact on the PC games market overall.

Vapor seems, to all intents and purposes, to be a pretty fully-featured Steam competitor that's deeply integrated with Twitch -- indeed, it wouldn't be surprising if the version of it we finally see officially is called something like the Twitch Games Store. That may not sound like anything groundbreaking, given Steam's continuing dominance of the PC digital distribution space -- but it could well be a far more disruptive move than it appears at first glance.


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