Amazon Games Alf Tan Interview

Alf Tan

Here’s a brief chat I had with Alf Tan, head of games business development for Amazon. Prior to joining Amazon’s game team, he worked for Microsoft Game Studios and Microsoft’s Xbox team. His goals at Amazon are to make Amazon a great platform for developers to publish their games on and for customers to buy their games from. In the interview below, Alf talks about Amazon’s culture, how the company views developers and gamers as its customers, his favorite movie, and more. Here’s a brief clip:

We see developers and gamers as customers, and will relentlessly drive hard to deliver what both want. One of the core areas we are focused on is the set top box space to deliver a great gaming experience. Today, many customers have to find gaming experiences in their living rooms through a $300 console. We see an opportunity to deliver great games to customers at a vastly different price point. We have done that through providing fun and challenging gaming experiences on Fire TV with launches like Flappy Bird Family, Crossy Road, some of our own games like Sev Zero, and new experiences like GameFly Streaming.

Alf wasn’t as forthcoming as the other DICE Europe 2015 speakers I interviewed, but he has an interesting position at a powerful company. While Amazon has had success with its games division, the sheer size and influence of the company give it a chance to be a dominant player, especially as it pursues original content. I’m curious to see how big Amazon Games can get.

When you get a chance, please hit up my interview with Alf Tan and let me know what you think.

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  • icemanmx

    I think Ouya and (whats-the-name-of-that-other-one-I-can’t-remember-now) proved what most of us already thought; It is exceedingly difficult to bring “new” casual players into the console fold through a budget console with mostly mobile(ish) games.

    Content matters. The reason people play mobile games is because they are portable and easily accessible (and fun, I guess). If all you have for your budget console is games that can be played on your phone, you will immediately lose most of the casual players that mainly use their phones as their “primary console.”

    In order to offset the advantage of mobile gaming, you MUST deliver experiences that give players a compelling reason to stay in front of the TV. Likewise, people who primarily play consoles expect a lot out of their machines. If Amazon Fire TV is going to succeed in the games arena, it has to compete with the big dogs of Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft. Fire TV needs games like Call of Duty, Madden, Assassin’s Creed, Tomb Raider, FIFA, Battlefield and a bunch more of those super popular franchise games from big, medium and small publishers alike. And, they have to bring all of that content to their platform at very competitive prices.

    I guess what I am saying is that Fire TV basically has to be a Steam Machine (or something similar) in order to be successful. I seriously doubt it can be a viable gaming platform if all it has to offer are games you can play on your tablet.

    At the very best, I can only see it succeeding as a very niche platform right now.

    -M