Amazon’s relatively obscure games studio unveiled its first game today for the brand-new Fire TV platform.
The game can be considered the first true launch for low-profile Amazon Games Studio, which up until now had only talked about a two-year old Facebook game called the Living Classics.
Sev Zero is a third-person shooter tower defense game, promising fast action at “a remarkable value.” Indeed, the game costs only $6.99, which puts it at the low-end of the scale, ranging between a 99-cent mobile game and a $60 console-quality game. On average, games will cost less than $2 on the Fire TV.
New platforms often have to build games internally before they can get a commitment from developers, who are already being asked to build apps for dozens of platforms that have an existing customer base. There is no doubt that this game serves as an example for developers on what the platform is capable of.
“We’ve heard from customers that they want more from the games they play on streaming media devices—games that are rich, unique and immersive,” said Mike Frazzini, Vice President, Amazon Games, in a release. “Sev Zero is the first step by Amazon Game Studios to address that challenge.”
In theory, the Fire TV could be easy to develop for since it operates on Android and supports HTML, but it’s not as easy as porting a current app built for an Android phone to the Fire TV. Most games on mobile aren’t built for a big screen, or use a controller. Additionally, the game play is usually suited for short bursts of playing time, rather than sitting on the couch for hours in front of the TV.
Here’s what Amazon had to say about the game:
Earth is threatened by an alien species, the Ne’ahtu. Early in the 22nd century, the Ne’ahtu infected Earth’s energy grid with a computer virus that disabled the planet’s defenses. Before the Ne’ahtu could strike, computer prodigy Amy Ramanujan neutralized the alien computer virus and saved the planet. Now, the Ne’ahtu are back and Dr. Ramanujan is trying to prevent them from another all-out invasion of Earth. Switching between towers (to launch various missiles and grenades) and face-to-face combat (to attack with machine guns), the player’s mission is to join Dr. Ramanujan and defend Earth from the Ne’ahtu.
In Sev Zero, players can jump between environments—start in tower defense mode to build out towers and assess the surroundings, and then beam down to shooter mode for face-to-face combat against the Ne’ahtu. Players can also bring friends and family into the action with the Sev Zero companion tablet app, Sev Zero: Air Support. With this multi-player, multi-screen experience, players help each other thwart the enemies—one player is in Air Support mode initiating air strikes from their tablet while the other player is in face-to-face combat mode.
To play the game, customers will have to buy the Fire TV for $99, and spend an additional $30 on a controller.