Amazon is courting game developers with new features and "much more to come."
Although it's currently best known to gamers for running impressive sales on boxed titles, Amazon apparently wants to be known for mobile games, too. Since launching the Kindle Fire, a 7-inch Android-based tablet with its own app store, Amazon has been working to entice application developers. Back in April, for example, it added the ability for developers to sell items inside their apps, a necessity for any microtransaction-based game. Now it's courting game developers further with a newly-announced initiative called "GameCircle."
GameCircle adds some key, albeit common, features to Kindle Fire games: achievements, leaderboards, and cloud save games are now all available for developers to use. The new features work much the same as other app stores and platforms; developers add the pre-built features using Amazon's custom APIs, so the features themselves are managed on Amazon's side. This means that Amazon can expand the features and make other changes without any application updates required.
The systems all look fairly robust, though they're undoubtedly similar to contemporary systems offering the same features. The developers who tested GameCircle during beta - including Triple Town developer Spry Fox - had praise for the new initiative. While these systems are pretty much expected as part of any game device, the fact that Amazon bothered to add them means that it's interested in expanding the role of games on its tablet. In fact, Amazon hints in the announcement trailer above that GameCircle may add even more game-centric features for developers in the future.