Glowmade’s previous project was WonderWorlds for iOS. (Tequila Works image)

Amazon Games has partnered with the independent studio Glowmade, headquartered in Guildford, England, to publish an original video game.

This expands Amazon’s third-party publishing efforts, where its games division brings other companies’ projects to market, in addition to creating its own games such as New World in-house.

Glowmade’s untitled project is the second game that Amazon plans to publish, after the news earlier this month that Amazon is bringing the South Korean multiplayer action-RPG Lost Ark to North America and Europe in 2022.

The new game from Glowmade is reportedly a “creative online co-op experience” that’s based on an original intellectual property, and has been in the works for a little while. Glowmade is hiring a significant number of people to assist with the project, including gameplay and combat designers, as well as a product manager who’s intended to “craft a long-term player experience.”

Glowmade, founded in 2015, is a 25-person studio with many veterans of the UK’s game development scene, who’ve worked on games such as Fable, Little Big Planet, and Horizon: Zero Dawn. Its debut game, the mobile platformer/level creator WonderWorlds, launched on iOS in 2018 through the Madrid-based publisher Tequila Works.

“The Glowmade team has been working incredibly hard on our exciting new IP, and Amazon Games has been a great partner,” said Jonny Hopper, Glowmade studio head, in a press release via Amazon. “The Amazon Games team’s commitment to helping us deliver on our creative vision has been amazing. We can’t wait to show the world what we’re up to.”

More importantly, Glowmade is a smaller, relatively low-profile studio, which is suggestive of how far Amazon is going to look for new projects. Lost Ark was a surprise, but not a particularly big one in the wake of the early hype around Amazon’s forthcoming New World. Amazon’s already got the infrastructure in place to support one MMO, so why not publish a second?

It’s arguably been what Amazon’s needed to do for years, particularly when you consider its presence in a city like Seattle that has 200 indie game studios in it at any given time; Amazon has enough games-industry talent in its figurative backyard that it could’ve become a third-party publishing juggernaut at any time it liked without having to leave the local area code.

While the imminent launch of New World will likely command the bulk of Amazon’s attention for the next few months, it’s worth keeping an eye on its publishing efforts. Amazon clearly wants to force its way into the games industry with wholly-owned original IP and market-tested styles of gameplay, but there’s a lot it could do for its efforts by simply backing the Amazon money truck up to a few carefully-chosen third-party studios. It’d be crazy if this was the last we heard out of Amazon Games as a publisher.

In other gaming-centric Amazon news, it also announced last week that its newly-founded Canadian studio, Amazon Games Montreal, has brought Alexandre Parizeau aboard as studio head. Parizeau, like the studio’s four founders, is a longtime games industry veteran who has worked on games in Ubisoft’s Rainbow Six franchise.

At this point, the real surprise out of Amazon Games Montreal would be if its debut game isn’t an online multiplayer modern-day tactical shooter with realistic physics. (Seriously, guys, throw us a curveball here. Make a bouncy cartoon game about neon-pink bunnies exploring the power of friendship.)

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