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Amazon uncovers GameCircle, a dead ringer for Apple's Game Center

Amazon gives us a peek at GameCircle, social gaming tools designed for the Kindle Fire.

By Megan Riesz / July 11, 2012

Amazon is counting on designers and developers to make Game Circle a successful platform for social gaming.

Amazon/Screenshot

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“Amazing game you’re building there. Amazon is here to make it more amazing with our growing family of developer services.”

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Yup, Amazon has entered the realm of game developer services and social gaming networks in an effort to compete with Apple’s Game Center. 

Geared toward Kindle Fire users, GameCircle features achievements, “which allow players to attract their collection of accomplishments and see the badges they still need to earn,” according to its official launch video. There are also leaderboards, “which give users an easy way to compare their scores and rankings against the competition,” and sync, “which automatically saves a player’s in-game progress to the cloud,” the video says.

Apple's Game Center also showcases leaderboards and achievements, but also has auto-match, which pits iPhone, iPad, and iPod users against friends and random gamers.

As of now, GameCircle is still in its infancy. Amazon is encouraging developers to apply for invitations to access the GameCircle tools.

“Our goal is to give developers great tools to quickly and easily reach new customers and keep them engaged… we also introduced In-App Purchasing API in April, allowing developers to offer a seamless 1-Click purchasing experience within their apps and games, and we’re just getting started,” says Paul Ryder, Amazon’s Vice President of Apps, Games, and Services, in announcing the service. “GameCircle gives developers the right tools to build an immersive, more entertaining experience on Kindle Fire, which will ultimately help developers grow their business.”

In the meantime, popular games such as Temple Run and Doodle Jump will be tweaked to include the GameCircle features, according to PCWorld.

Some say social gaming is essential to any tablet or smartphone interface, but it’s still unclear whether Apple’s original Game Center is popular. GameCircle’s cloud-sync feature is useful for Kindle Fire users with multiple accounts and devices, but such a feature seems to make more sense for Apple, considering its lineup of products. Amazon has only one tablet.

For more tech news, follow us on Twitter @venturenaut.

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