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Photo via SunnySideUp
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Amazon is trying to boost the profile of Amazon Web Services (AWS) with game developers by offering free-of-charge access to Lumberyard, a new 3D game engine.

Amazon, the web’s top retailer, also announced Tuesday the debut of GameLift, a new service that enables developers to operate and deploy multiplayer games. Both services target developers focused on cloud-connected games.

Lumberyard and GameLift will work across platforms: desktops, gaming consoles, and handhelds, Amazon said in a statement. Amazon’s pitch to developers goes something like this: come use the processing power of AWS, the company’s cloud platform, to simplify and speed up game development at no cost. You can also connect to Twitch, the videogame-streaming service Amazon acquired in 2014 for $970 million.

“Lumberyard helps developers build beautiful worlds, make realistic characters, and create stunning real-time effects,” Amazon said in its statement.

What’s in it for Amazon? The company said way down in its statement that the typical AWS costs apply. “Amazon GameLift costs $1.50 per 1,000 daily active users plus the standard AWS fees for AWS services they consume.”

AWS has been trying to strengthen its ties with the gaming sector for a while but the news follows concerns raised by Wall Street about Amazon’s cloud platform. Recently, analysts from Morgan Stanley said it appeared to them that Apple, one of AWS’s biggest customers, was building three data centers as part of preparations to move iTunes, the App Store and other services off Amazon’s platform.

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