Amazon purchases Killer Instinct developer

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No, not Rare – Microsoft is likely to never give them up after the massive investment that purchased the studio back in 2002.  The developer of the new Killer Instinct title released on Microsoft’s Xbox One Double Helix has been acquired by Amazon and is a part of their push to “build innovative games for customers.”

The acquisition, unsurprisingly, does not affect Microsoft’s Killer Instinct property which remains theirs; the software giant has also announced that their internal KI team is unaffected and remains dedicated to supporting the game.  Microsoft will be working with a new partner going forward to support the Xbox One launch title and any additional entries in the franchise.  As a dedicated KI fan, this is the good news.  While I was thoroughly pleased with the latest entry in the franchise and commended Double Helix for resurrecting it, I have faith that Microsoft will do well by the fans in curating this fan favorite franchise.

Amazon’s move to acquire a game developer is not terribly surprising given rumors that the online retailer is working on a game console of their own.  At this point, it’s unclear if Double Helix will work on more major releases or “full” games or will be restructured to focus on casual games for Amazon’s Kindle Fire line of tablets.

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Classic KI being bundled with Killer Instinct Ultra Edition

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The upcoming reboot of Rare’s classic Killer Instinct will be available this Friday with Microsoft offering players two solid reasons to buy the Ultra Edition instead of just taking the free demo ride: Classic KI.  The launch title will be available for free to all Xbox One gamers with only one fighter: Jago.  Players interested in getting the original arcade game will have to drop $40 on the Ultra Edition as Microsoft has stated that there is no plan to release it separately.  As stated above, there will be two renditions of the arcade release with this bundle–the original release as well as the 1.5D ROM revision.  Gamers interested in getting the Ultra Pin Edition for $60 exclusively from the Microsoft Store will also be gifted these two KI ROMS.  For players new to the franchise (or weathered vets who haven’t played in nearly 2 decades – such as myself), there will be a training mode included with these classic re-releases.

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Killer Instinct is developed by Double Helix, published by Microsoft Studios and releases this Friday alongside the Xbox One.