In a somewhat surprising move given its recent close ties to Microsoft, Double Helix Games – the developer behind the new reboot of Killer Instinct for the Xbox One, and the forthcoming Strider re-imagining (which has now been dated for February 18) – has been bought by Amazon, TechCrunch revealed last night.
The developer will continue to work on existing and forthcoming projects, and Amazon hope that the new acquisition will be a “part of our ongoing commitment to build innovative games for customers.” This only further fuels rumours that Amazon are planning to release its own gaming platform sometime this year – but this remains to be verified.
Microsoft moved quickly to re-assure fans of Killer Instinct, and in a statement to Eurogamer a representative said the following:
“We have thoroughly enjoyed working with Double Helix and wish them success in their next endeavour… We want all of our loyal fans to know that the Killer Instinct team at Microsoft is not changing and that the franchise will remain with Microsoft Studios. We remain dedicated to delivering a great experience and plan to announce our new development partner soon. We’re excited about the future of this popular franchise.”
Phil Spencer – head of Microsoft Studios – also took to Twitter last night to let fans know that Microsoft have a plan in place for the transition, and that Killer Instinct will continue to be supported by the current internal KI team, and a new partner developer which will be announced soon. So this doesn’t sound like something to be too worried about, but it does add to the excitement surrounding a proposed Amazon gaming box.