In a completely unexpected move, online retailer Amazon has acquired Killer Instinct and Strider HD developer Double Helix.
The deal sees Amazon take control of the development studio and certain intellectual properties. The retailer confirmed the news to TechCrunch: “Amazon has acquired Double Helix as part of our ongoing commitment to build innovate games for customers.”
All of Double Helix’s 75 staff members will be kept on during the transition.
Now some of you Killer Instinct fans are probably wondering what will happen to the game now. Well it appears that it is still in the hands of Microsoft, who confirmed to Eurogamer that a new developer for the title has already been found. “We have thoroughly enjoyed working with Double Helix and wish them success in their next endeavor,” a 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.”
Microsoft Studios boss Phil Spencer also addressed concerned fans on Twitter: “Our internal KI team is still here and franchise is in good hands,” he said. “We had a plan in place for this transition.” Later adding: “Franchise will continue, something I believe in.”
Current rumors claim that Amazon is working on an Android-powered games console for release later this year. The purchase of Double Helix could have been made to boost the company’s internal development capabilities.