NEWS - Thursday, February 6, 2014

Amazon buys Double Helix, Killer Instinct still in good hands says MS

Killer Instinct developer Double Helix Games has been acquired by Amazon, a spokesperson confirmed to Polygon today.

Reports first surfaced on TechCrunch; according to the publication, the deal was made for the studio’s talent and intellectual properties, while financial terms have yet to be revealed. The deal was reportedly leaked through an invitation for a joint recruiting event for both companies said to take place Feb. 13 in L.A.

When reached for comment, Amazon provided Polygon the following statement: "Amazon has acquired Double Helix as part of our ongoing commitment to build innovative games for customers."

Double Helix also confirmed the acquisition, but did not respond to our questions about games currently in development.

Amazon has its own game studio, which created mobiles games such as Air Patriots, Simplz: Zoo and Airport Mania HD Free. The developer is currently hiring in Seattle, Wash., and various parts of California, including Irvine.

Double Helix, based in Irvine, Calif., was founded in 2007 after Foundation 9 studios The Collective and Shiny Entertainment merged. The studio has since released several titles, including Silent Hill Homecoming, MX vs. ATV Reflex and the recent Xbox One reboot of Killer Instinct. Earlier today, Capcom announced that Double Helix’s modern take on its classic title Strider will launch Feb. 19.

The news comes following reports that Amazon plans to launch a dedicated games device that could compete with the likes of Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony. The device would reportedly sell for less than $300, include streaming services and allow users to download games, movies, music and more. Reports also suggest that it’s already being shown to publishers.

Update: In a statement, a Microsoft spokesperson told Polygon that Microsoft Studios will be working with a "new development partner" on Killer Instinct for Xbox One.

"We have thoroughly enjoyed working with Double Helix and wish them success in their next endeavor," a Microsoft spokesperson said. "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."

Editor’s Note: Microsoft VP Phil Spencer has also reassured fans via twitter that the future of Killer Instinct and it’s long-promised Season 2 is in good hands with the internal KI team, as seen below.





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