Amazon launches GameCircle for Kindle Fire

July 12, 2012
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    App development for Android isn’t the easiest thing to do, with multiple devices, OS versions, display sizes, and processors to take into consideration. A good way to pull in the developer crowd is to offer some kind of incentive, most preferable being the possibility of a future payout. That is exactly what Amazon hopes to do with the launch of GameCircle for its Kindle Fire tablet.

    Similar to Apple’s Game Center, the Amazon GameCircle will introduce in-game features such as achievements and leaderboards, along with an additional sync feature. Here’s a quick round-up:

    • Achievements – This will allow players to track all their trophies, badges, and awards without leaving the game environment. This will be possible through in-game messages and an Achievements summary that will help you keep track of what you’ve completed and what else is needed.
    • Leaderboards – Leaderboards will also provide an in-game view of score comparison and percentile ranking to allow players to check their standing against friends as well as other competitors.
    • Sync – This feature automatically saves game progress to the cloud. This will allow gamers to easily continue from where they left off. This is particularly useful when you’re restoring a deleted game, or switching to a new device.

    Of course, to lure game developers, Amazon will make all the APIs accessible, simple, and easy to integrate in their games. According to Paul Ryder, Vice President for Apps, Games, and Services at Amazon, GameCircle will provide developers with the right tools to quickly and easily reach new customers, while also keeping them engaged. This will in turn help developers grow their business as well.

    Only a handful of developers including Imangi Studios (Temple Run), Spry Fox (Triple Town), and Game Insight (My Country), are a part of the GameCircle beta program. There has been positive feedback all across the board in support of GameCircle, and more game developers are sure to follow.

    If you’re a game developer and want to sign up to get access to the GameCircle APIs, you can do so here. You can also check out the (short) list of games that currently integrate the GameCircle features here.

    Moreover, here’s a video introducing GameCircle by Amazon:

    On a side note, is it just me or does anyone else feel like the “Sync” feature, which lets you continue a game on a new device, is a vague confirmation of an impending announcement of a Kindle Fire 2 and/or an Amazon smartphone?

    What are your thoughts? Have you played any GameCircle games on your Kindle Fire? What do you think of the new features? As a game developer, is this a huge boost for you? Let us know in the comments section below.

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