While Amazon has not stated why they deigned to rebrand its Twitch benefits program, the smart money is that it is an effort to diminish brand confusion. A fair umber of people subscribed to Amazon Prime had no idea that their membership granted them the full range of benefits bestowed by Twitch Prime or even that such a program existed in the first place. Another demographic might be people who enjoy video games but somehow do not participate with Twitch and believe that such a program is irrelevant to them, because it had Twitch in the original name.
A recent press release from Amazon indicated that Prime Gaming will provide even more new content covering more games than Twitch Prime ever did. This remark is backed up by the variety of “SNK” titles being offered to Prime Gaming subscribers and augmented by the various accords struck between Amazon and game publishing companies like Riot Games and Roblox Corporation. It is worth mentioning that the Chinese media conglomerate known as “Tencent” completely owns Riot Games and also owns 10% of SNK. SNK is a company that developed a reputation for arcade-quality fighting games and shoot-’em-ups, also known as “shmups,” back in the 1990s. SNK’s gaming catalog includes the “Metal Slug” and “King of Fighters” franchises.
While these are the things we do know about the rebrand, there are still several variables that we do not. For example, will Amazon be making any changes to the sorts of benefits and free titles offered by Prime Gaming? Rumors are already flowing that Amazon is working on its own streaming platform like “Stadia,” “Geforce Now” and “xCloud,” the last of which is included with any subscription to Microsoft’s “Xbox Game Pass Ultimate” in September. Some people may not realize it, but Amazon has also played around in the world of game publishing, to limited success. Both “The Grand Tour Game” and “Crucible” failed to make any headway in the market. Despite those failures, it remains plausible to see an Amazon-derived subscription service in the future. One that blends Twitch perks with Stadia streaming while offering premiums for first- and third-party games. Notably, Amazon is looking to launch “New World,” an MMORPG, in 2021.