While 2020 is proving to be more than a tough year for many businesses, gaming has thrived and it looks to expand even further as more big players join the fray. Though Amazon itself isn’t a new player exactly, their move into Google’s game-streaming space is a somewhat unexpected development.
It almost gives pessimists out there something to be worried about. After all, with names like Amazon getting into the business, could there be something to streaming video games?
The interestingly named Luna sure hopes so and it is moving into the niche occupied almost solely by Stadia. Like the Stadia, Luna is basically just a controller but, unlike Google’s service, at $49 it won’t break your bank. You can use Luna through either the controller or via software according to CNN. It will interface with your Amazon Fire TV or on a PC or Mac computer, among others. Luna’s game libraries will be done in the Hulu style with “channels” to which users can subscribe.
At launch, Luna will have a $5.99/month Luna+ subscription on offer with plans on launching an Ubisoft-dedicated channel later this year. Games announced for the Luna+ channel so far include Resident Evil 7, Panzer Dragoon, and Control.
The pricing for other channels wasn’t part of the announcement. However, if it is anything like the Hulu model it seems to be imitating, $5.99 is likely a baseline price and additional subscriptions could be whatever a publisher wants. We’d expect that channels featuring the latest and greatest would command a higher subscription price than those channels filled to the brim with classics and the like.
Then again, the latter is the backbone of streaming services in digital media so we don’t know how Luna (or anyone else for that matter) is going to balance the availability of new content and old content at a reasonable price like Netflix does. While the base sub to Hulu is quite cheap, with all of the add-ons, it can quickly become another cable subscription. Will gamers be willing to fork over hundreds of dollars a month to stream games they will never own? Who knows? It’s an interesting thing to think about though.
Business analysts, meanwhile, are thrilled with Amazon’s entry into this market because they think Bezos and co. can make it work. Citing the retailer’s massive platform, ecosystem of products, and ability to come in at competitive price points and they might have a point there. Another interesting wrinkle in the whole thing is how Amazon will leverage its Twitch streaming service to promote and enhance Luna.
What do you think of Amazon’s foray into video games with Luna? Is this something you would be interested in joining? Do you use Google’s Stadia? Let us know your thoughts on this in the comments section.
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